The BBC on: Assisted Dying, Terry Pratchett, Panorama, Dementia, Dimbleby Lectures and Euthanasia

You will have to forgive my slightly cynical nature, but something is afoot.

All week the BBC have been trumpeting the ‘death cult’ of euthanasia. Firstly last Sunday we had the results of a rather small BBC Panorama programme survey (sample 1000) which claimed that almost three-quarters of people support assisted suicide for someone who is terminally ill. This news was picked up by other media outlets.

The next day (Monday) on the BBC, Sir Terry Pratchett said he was ready to be a test case for assisted suicide “tribunals” which could give people legal permission to end their lives.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a big day for the BBC as they again covered Sir Terry Pratchett and announced that he will deliver their 34th annual Richard Dimbleby Lecture. His lecture will explore how modern society needs to redefine how it deals with death and will of course be broadcast by the BBC.

Running alongside all of this, the BBC also extensively covered the fact that there may be potentially more sufferers of Dementia than previously estimated and made much of the financial “Burden” associated with treating dementia.

Are you beginning to detect a theme?

Unsurprisingly, yesterday the Bristish Humanists joined the fray and announced that they are also calling for an independent inquiry into the law on assisted dying. They of course cite Terry Pratchett in their article as follows:-

Sir Terry Pratchett, a distinguished supporter of the BHA, took the Dimbleby Lecture, on the subject of assisted dying.

The BBC tirelessly promote euthanasia as they have done this week, in what can only be described as an organised and structured campaign. Is it right that a we legally have to fund such a liberal biased, government controlled operation? What ever happened to balance at the BBC?

We only ever seem to hear the pro-assisted suicide view from the BBC and they are prepared to use their news network, their flagship Panorama program and their prestigious lectures to push one view and one view only.

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5 Responses to “The BBC on: Assisted Dying, Terry Pratchett, Panorama, Dementia, Dimbleby Lectures and Euthanasia”

  1. Jim Says:

    On the implied connection between the euthansia and dementia stories – I understand that the origin of the dementia story was a recently published Oxford study. The media were focussed mainly around the gross underfunding of this serious and rapidly growing problem, particularly as compared to the funding for cancer research. Cancer arguably affects fewer people than dementia, and yet receives far more public and state attention. It is true that the cost of treating dementia is going to increase very significantly as we all progressively live longer. The point is that we will have to do something about it.

    Yes, one could look at both stories and conclude a conscious link, but the origins of the two stories are completely separate.

    Whether we like it or not, someone with the public profile of Terry Pratchett speaking out on a topic as expolosive and divisive as this is surely bound to make headline news. The media will inevitably feel compelled to run with this story. And I’m sure you would be even more surprised if the BHA did not have something to say about it.

    Surely the main reason why topics of this nature regularly come up in the BBC reporting (along with many other unrelated media sources) is that they challenge the status quo, and are therefore newsworthy. Supporting the status quo is not news!

    I can recall many times in the past when my side of the political spectrum accused the BBC of unfair bias. Ironically, on more than one occasion both sides made furious accusations of bias towards the other viewpoint regarding the same report!

    We will of course always react unfavourably to a view that does not accord with our way of thinking. However, leaving that rhetorical statement hanging there (“Are you beginning to detect a theme?) is surely encouraging people to come to a conclusion that is not justifed by the facts.

    End of rant. Sorry. I just could not leave that post unchallenged.

  2. Webmaster Says:

    Hi Jim, that wasn’t a rant at all, but a well reasoned, articulate and relevant comment.

  3. Maggie Says:

    Here here! Yes, I am a Christian, but I’m also a realist and want to know that, should the worst happen to me, I will be able to live rather than just exist. If I can’t, I hope that those who love me love me enough to let me go peacefully and not in the writhing drug-muffled agony that I saw both beloved grandparents and my father go through for over a week before they died (and a month in my father’s case). Those of us who love animals grant them that release when the time comes or we are accused of being cruel. It can also be very cruel in the human world. When I was very young, I asked my teacher that if God was so powerful, why did he let wars happen. She told me that it was because God gave us free will. Enough said!

  4. Chris Mann Says:

    Talk about bias and favouritism? Christianity?

    One of the leading causes of bizarre and dark-aged dogma on the entire planet?

    I know that your God says suicide is wrong, but no one is reading from the big book of stupid anymore. Get used to it.

    The only reason you oppose assisted suicide is because God said no. Not because you have a scientific, well-thought out and structured argument as to why it’s a bad idea.

    Hit me with facts, not fiction.

  5. Maggie Says:

    Wow Chris – and I thought I was angry at the original post! Well said. Let common sense and human compassion prevail. The BBC are catering for all and I, for one, am fed up of hearing fanatics moaning on about people speaking up for themselves (as Terry Pratchett did). I wholeheartedly believe that EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion and EVERYONE is entitled to be heard. I am fed up with frequently seeing non-believers’ opinions meeting emotional over-reaction from religious fanatics. I was brought up a Catholic but saw it for what it was by the age of 10. Yes, I still have my own very personal belief, but I also have common sense and the courtesy of hearing out a reasoned argument before jumping on a bandwaggon brandishing a God banner. It just doesn’t wash with me either and factual, proven science is so much more honest isn’t it?

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