UK Soap Opera, Emmerdale is facing unending rebuke and condemnation after it’s storyline ending in assisted suicide.
Emmerdale’s controversial assisted suicide storyline has caused outrage amongst viewers, and has been blasted by a spinal injuries charity.
The harrowing episode which showed paralysed Jackson Walsh being fed lethal drugs to help him die, provoked fury on Twitter and Facebook after it was aired two hours before the watershed.
One viewer commented: “You shouldn’t have done that at this time of the day. Kids are watching.”
Marc Silcock, the actor who plays Jackson in the ITV soap, revealed that a twist will result in the two characters regretting helping Jackson end his life. Aspire, a charity which supports victims of spinal injuries, has warned that the story is likely to cause “a great deal of hurt”.
Aspire’s Director of Services, Alex Rankin, said:
The storyline has been negative, unrealistic and pretty inaccurate. I’ve watched it very closely and have been incredibly disappointed with how Emmerdale have portrayed Jackson’s situation. People with spinal injuries are not ill, they do not need to spend all their time in bed being spoon-fed soup. Emmerdale had a great opportunity to be inspirational with this storyline, to show that people who suffer similar injuries to Jackson’s can, after much adjustment, go on to live a fulfilling life. What worries me is that it’s basically saying that life with a spinal injury is not worth living. I don’t think they’ve considered how those people in Jackson’s situation will feel when they watch it.
It seems that the UK generally find the idea of assisted suicide something that shouldn’t be legalised. They especially don’t want their children seeing such distressing scenes on national TV before the watershed.
I find this news quite interesting, in light of Hugh Grant’s recent remarks about assisted suicide. Moreover, it was only last month that someone warned about how soaps ”distort” the truth surrounding assisted suicide.
Again, I recommend that we take a step back from the debate over assisted suicide, and really consider the implications of it all. I’m glad that the storyline winds up with Jackson’s relatives regretting to help end his life; this would be the sad reality for many if such a thing were legalised in the UK. Apart from that, how do we really know that the patient in question would want to end his/her life? The answer is that we would never know, which is why there shouldn’t be a change in the law… ever.
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
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