By Peter Saunders, CMF
This morning I took part in a debate on the Radio Four Today programme (listen here
) about the assisted suicide story
to be screened next Monday in a British television drama (see my previous blog on this here
The ITV Soap ‘Coronation Street’ is running a story centred on Hayley Cropper, a transgender character who has been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.
According to media reports she declines pain relief out of fear that it might confuse her sexual identity and dies after drinking a lethal cocktail, the contents of which are not specified.
I am not opposed in principle to drama programmes dealing with this issue but as a doctor who has managed many dying patients I expressed concern this morning that all media portrayal of suicide or assisted suicide has to be done with the utmost care and sensitivity so as not inadvertently to steer vulnerable people toward suicide.
On the basis of the reports I have heard the programme runs the real risk of giving credence to five dangerous myths about death and dying.
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