Home > Events > Dying alone and undiscovered – Jon Minton (online)

Marguerites, better known as daisies, in full bloom, with white petals and yellow centres. Photo by Lara Celini.

Dying alone and undiscovered – Jon Minton (online)

Date: Monday 8th January   /   Time: 7:30pm - 9:00pm

“Many people would be shocked that someone can lie dead at home for days, weeks or even longer, without anyone raising an alarm among the community they live in”. – Dr Estrin-Serlui

However, research* data from England and Wales shows an increase in the number of people whose bodies are discovered too late to be able to attribute a cause of death – and not just the elderly. Dr Jonathan Minton, a member of the research team, will talk about this research. He’ll argue that a lot of things have to have gone wrong for this to be the case, and suggest that broader issues connected to social isolation and loneliness have become more acute in less than a generation. He’ll also discuss some of the origins of the research, press coverage and social media engagement, and the ways that some of the findings were as expected, but others were not.

* Research by Hiam, L., Estrin-Serlui, T., Dorling, D., McKee, M. and Minton, J. (2023)

Read the article, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

The meeting will be chaired by Edinburgh Humanists local group convenor Cathy Crawford.

Please note that this is an online only meeting via Zoom and registration is required.

The online meeting will be followed by an in-person social meeting in the same week, and you are very welcome to join the “Humanist Pub Night” in the back room of The Kenilworth Pub on Rose Street, Edinburgh on Wednesday 10 January from 7pm onwards.  This will allow people to meet informally and discuss this topic further if they wish to.


This event is open to all Humanist Society Scotland members, supporters, and anyone who shares our vision and values. Participation is free.