BBC justified televising death

13 May 2011
<p>Last night (Thursday) the BBC One documentary Inside the Human Body showed the death of an elderly man, attracting some criticism. Dying Matters and National Council for Palliative Care Chief Executive Eve Richardson has issued a statement in response to the programme.</p>

Gerald, an 84-year-old ex-soldier suffering from terminal lung and liver cancer, had agreed to become the first person in Britain to have the moment of his death shown on television, and viewers duly saw him drawing his last breath.

Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition, said that as long as the issues are handled with care, the televising of a death is a positive thing.

"It’s essential to ensure that issues around dying are handled sensitively and responsibly, but there is no reason to avoid broadcasting someone’s death if they wanted this and they and their families agreed to it," she said.

"Dying is as much part of living as being born and until the taboo around dying and death is broken many people will continue to avoid talking about the type of end of life care they would want.”

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