Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The enigma of departure: what we can learn from dying migrants?

Gunaratnam, Yasmin (2015) The enigma of departure: what we can learn from dying migrants? Discovery Society, 17.

Full text not available from this repository.


In an undated lecture, ‘The Problem Patient’, the doctor Cicely Saunders, presented her observations of people who had died at St Christopher’s Hospice, in South East London, between 1978-9, and whose symptoms had been difficult to manage. One of the patients was a Polish woman, “with an extermination camp background who later developed severe depression with hallucinations, helped by E.C.T.” (Electroconvulsive Therapy). Elsewhere in the boxes and files held at the Cicely Saunders Archive, at King’s College (London), were other traces of migrants. In 1976, there was Mrs. J, aged 47 “A charming West Indian: in pain, tearful and depressed. Much alone with her illness.” Saunders noted that Mrs. J was “anxious to go home to Jamaica but eventually realized she was not going to get better and was happy to stay.” The “calm and stoical” Mr. E, from Nigeria, was forty-one years old and dying from liver cancer in June 1981. Mr. E’s wife was in Nigeria and he was living alone in London; “very worried” by his illness and “says he is in God’s hands”, Saunders wrote. After the summary of a patient with an Egyptian surname, whose family was described as ‘like a kind of mafia’, are two words: ‘Another loner’.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2015 12:57
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 15:11

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item