“When my immigrant grandmother contracted a contagious disease on her voyage to America from Eastern Europe, she was deposited in a London hospital, alone and unable to speak a word of English. Her story has evoked terror every time I have heard it. Imagine being afraid of medical treatment, then struggling to describe your symptoms in an unfamiliar language.
In “Medicine in Translation: Journeys With My Patients” (Beacon Press, $24.95), Danielle Ofri, an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, introduces us to a Tibetan hunger striker, a Turkish man who was tortured for his human rights advocacy, a fragile Chinese couple and a Senegalese man whose radiation therapy for cancer is discontinued because Medicaid will not pay for his daily transportation for treatment.
These very different people have all been patients of Dr. Ofri’s. Their stories, recounted by the author in compelling and intimate detail, enlighten the debate about the obligation of already overtaxed hospitals to provide health care to immigrants.”