This is certainly true of Jacintha Saldanha (46) whose body was discovered hanging in the nurses’ quarters close to the King Edward VII hospital in central London last Friday morning. She is pictured above along with her husband and daughter.
Lord Glenarthur, the chairman of the hospital, called the death the immediate consequence of the hoax of the Australian television presenters impersonating the Queen and Prince Charles. It was Jacintha Saldanha who had taken the call. Lord Glenarthur may, or may not, have been right. Let us assume that he was.
The suicide note, written for Mrs. Saldanha’s family – her husband and three children who live in Bristol – has not been published.
She came from Mangalore, the port city in south-west India facing the Arabian sea. Her brother still lives there.
It would be hard to believe that an English, European or North American nurse would have become suicidal merely for having been duped.
It is suggested that there is a concept of shame in the culture in which Jacintha Saldanha was raised that is hard for us to understand. It is in that culture that we may find the explanation.
In any case, Lord Glenarthurm was right. He called the death, “frankly, tragic beyond words.”