Deporting the dying: makes me proud to be British

by Richard on January 9, 2008

The case of Ama Sumani, the dying Ghanaian woman deported (strictly: “removed”) from Britain today is as tragic as anything I’ve seen in the news recently.

Of course, the immigration officials are “right”. She had overstayed her visa and had in any case broken its terms. There is no question about the legalities if the BBC report is accurate.

But where is the compassion? To take a dying woman from a hospital and put her on an aircraft is beyond belief.

[tags]Ama Sumani, immigration[/tags]

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }


Paul Martin 01.09.08 at 8:00 pm

I felt ashamed to be British when I heard this story at lunchtime.

I wonder what Jesus would think.


Richard 01.09.08 at 8:33 pm

I’ve written to my AM and MP about this. It’s presumably too late to do Ms Sumani any good, but the Home Office need to know that not all British voters take the Daily Mail’s line.


PamBG 01.09.08 at 9:02 pm

Blech. I feel sick.


Rachel 01.09.08 at 9:14 pm

We run into ethical dilemmas like this all the time in nursing. Where I live in Michigan we get a lot of illegals from Mexico, too. A lot of situations are more difficult to parse out, but I feel like common sense should have prevailed in this one. And this is slightly callous, but I don’t see how her deportation was overwhelmingly in the government’s best interest. I would think that it would be cheaper to transport a body rather than a medically unstable person. And now they’ve got a pissed off British population, too.


Kim 01.09.08 at 9:47 pm

The self-serving, malicious, or ignorant (and intelligence is a moral duty) fear-mongering of the prelate Nazir-Ali, and now the heartlessness of British immigration bureaucrats, have driven me to Kafka and Camus, who provide rich pickings on the spiritual malady of cardiac corruption. Here is Camus in The Fall.

For the Nazir-Ali dis-grace, try:
“Too many people now climb on to the cross merely to be seen from a greater distance, even if they have to trample somewhat on the one who has been there so long. Too many people have decided to do without generosity in order to practice charity.”

And on the gut-wrenching case of Ama Sumani, how about:
“For it cannot be said there is no more pity; no, by heaven, we never stop talking of it. It’s just that no one is ever acquitted any more. Over the dead body of innocence the judges swarm.”

And on both: “I’ll tell you a big secret, mon cher. Don’t wait for the Last Judgement. It takes place every day.”


PamBG 01.09.08 at 9:56 pm

I’ve written to my MP too. It will be interesting to see if there is any response and, if so, what as his entire political platform revolves around healthcare in this area (which is not the area from which Ms. Sumani was deported).


DH 01.09.08 at 10:02 pm

Last Judgement takes place every day? Where in Scripture does it say this?

I agree with you KIm that it is heartless and a disgrace. However, we don’t need to cloud this agreement with things that are outside of Scripture with incorrect statements that the Last Judgement is every day.

On your charity statement I read a passage of Scripture in one of the solid translations of the “love passage”. “Among Faith hope and charity above all else is charity.” Some translations use love but what is interesting is that charity is mentioned. It seems to me that charity is the context of the love. So my conclusion from all of this and what you said Kim is What is so bad about charity? To me charity is being generous. Charity as defined doesn’t get into how less or more generous a person is. Charity is the act from an attitude of love. So your statement about charity is hjard to understand in light of this particular passage of Scripture.


Paul Martin 01.09.08 at 10:06 pm

Aagh you have Dr Taylor, Pam.

I will be writing to my Mp on this tomorrow and linking it to other deportation issues such as Gov’t policy to deport dissidents to Uzbekistan despite that country’s reputation for torture including boiling opponents. There is also the Watford footballer who faces both serious danger and separation from his recently born child - he may however be fortunate due to his skills at kicking a ball.

A measure of human decency in such cases surely isn’t too much to hope for - or is it?


DH 01.09.08 at 10:17 pm

I think the point you are making is that if one can be more generous they should and Christ calls us to do that. I think that is the point and I agree with it. However, I would have phrased it differently I guess because I don’t understand the negativity with the term charity. Maybe it is one of those multiple definition understandings?


Amy 01.09.08 at 10:37 pm

isnt there a fund people can donatemoney into to pay for the bonemarrow transplant in her country? i would donate everything i have to this woman to show her that not all of britain believe in being so cold hearted


A. Afoakwa Sekyere 01.10.08 at 2:18 am

This action by immigration officials is very unnecessary and must be considered as barbaric, cruel and inhumane.

Brits should be ashamed of themselves!!!


Doorman-Priest 01.10.08 at 8:07 am

I feel ashamed to be British a lot of the time these days, especially when I travel abroad.


Wood 01.10.08 at 9:00 am

>> “Brits should be ashamed of themselves”

We are. We really are.


BD 01.10.08 at 11:34 am

We have a case, Laibar Singh, in Canada illegally who became very ill. He has taken sanctuary and Canadians are standing against immigration in his situation.


Angus 01.11.08 at 8:58 am

Amy - see The DWIB Leukaemia Fund


Cat 01.13.08 at 2:11 pm

I’ve been trying to find the name of Ama Sumani’s lawyers to find out if I can donate through them since there doesn’t seem to have been anything set up in her name.

I am currently in remission from cancer myself and had six months on chemotherapy last year; I can’t imagine what Ms Sumani and her family are going through. Or what was going through the minds of the people who escorted her from the hospital.


admin 01.13.08 at 5:03 pm

I believe her solicitor is Sara Changkee, of Albany Solicitors, in Cardiff.

St. Martins Row, Albany Road
Cardiff, CF24 3RP
029 20472728


Cat 01.13.08 at 7:47 pm

Many thanks, admin. I have found Albany’s email address through The Law Society ( and e-mailed them.


david thompson 01.14.08 at 12:24 am

For all those people who want to help this lady… can a fund be set up to help with her treatment? I would certainly be happy to contribute


no voice no choice 01.15.08 at 12:55 am

sorry it is Mrs Janet Simmons Xquisite Africa, 148 City Road, Cardiff CF 24
Tel 029 2049 8400
Mobile 079 3500 1721

Ama is in desparate need. We take out a loan to help her, but she still needs more. I offered to not use my NHS entitlement and give it to Ama. She can stay with me free etc. She even asked just to stay here and die with dignity rather than without dignity in ghana. The bbc reporter is paying for food and lodging. Gordon Brown should be ashamed of himself. I doubt whether the home office will give us a chance to help her in the uk, but one never knows.


Angel 01.15.08 at 6:08 am

It appears that there are several funds set up for her. I think this is great. Instead of forcing people to pay about 5,000 pounds per month (a typical cost for hospital dialysis in the UK) for her treatment, anyone who WANTS to help her can do so. According to the BBC article today, there are three hospitals capable of doing the treatment in Ghana, and she only needs 1,000 pounds per month to pay for treatment there.

(I wonder how many Ghanaian kids you could feed and educate for 1,000 pounds a month… and whether Ama Sumani thinks that prolonging her life is really the best use of the money.)


Paul Martin 01.15.08 at 9:17 am

Uuugh do you expect her to say, “let me die!.” Get real!


Bella 01.19.08 at 3:44 am

Angel. You need to think about what you have written.
We could all, Especially here, be putting hundreds of pounds to your starving uneducated children. Perhaps it’s time for the ‘moral animal’ to take a look at themselves. This however is not the Question at hand. Ama sumani is a person as any other human is a person who is dying because poltical borders have distinguished human life from human life.
I hope Ama does not suffer any more from our ignorance.

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