Tuesday, June 14, 2011


www.dailymail.co.uk - Hundreds of viewers have had complained against the BBC for broadcasting the final moments of a man’s ‘assisted death’ on screen - warning it would lead to copycat suicides.  Many viewers took to social networks and online message boards after watching Peter Smedley, 21, take his last gasp and beg for water before slipping out of consciousness on the programme, Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die.  The former bishop of Rochester stepped into the argument this morning by saying that he felt the corporation had missed an opportunity and that the documentary was one-sided.  The BBC had already been branded a ‘cheerleader’ for the practice after announcing that it would show the final days and death of Peter Smedley, 71, in the programme.  A spokesman for the BBC said that there had been a total of 898 complaints over the show.

Fantasy novelist Sir Terry Pratchett, who was diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, has been vocal in his calls for assisted death to be made legal in the UK and many felt his authored documentary provided little balance.  Anti-euthanasia campaigners claimed the BBC had painted an idealised picture of assisted death rather than an ‘honest debate’ on the increasingly public issue, and warned it would lead to an increase in the number of people wanting to die in a similar way – without knowing all the facts.  The Care Not Killing Alliance called for the Health and Culture Secretaries to carry out an urgent investigation into the way assisted suicide is covered by the BBC and its link to British suicide rates.

Antieutanasia activists, as the organization Care Not Killing charity, described the BBC’s program as a “pro-assisted suicide propaganda loosely dressed up as a documentary.”  Alistair Thompson, spokesman for the group, accused the public broadcaster BBC not to offer a balanced view on the matter and present many programs that defends assisted suicide.  This type of television programs posed a ‘significant risk’ to vulnerable people and warned it was ‘highly likely that copycat suicides will follow’.  We must remember that Loving Separation and not the Suicide is what attracts Krishna. 

Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī came alone from Mathurā to Jagannātha Purī to see Lord Caitanya. Because of bathing in bad water and not getting enough food every day while traveling on the path through Jhārikhanda Forest, he developed a disease that made his body itch.  Suffering greatly from this itching, he resolved that in the presence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he would throw himself under the wheel of Jagannātha’s car and in this way commit suicide. ... One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Sanātana Gosvāmī, “Your decision to commit suicide is the result of the mode of ignorance.  One cannot get love of God simply by committing suicide.  You have already dedicated your life and body to My service; therefore your body does not belong to you, nor do you have any right to commit suicide. I have to execute many devotional services through your body.”

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrī Caitanya Caritāmrita - Antya-līlā - Chapter 4 - Summary
“Sanātana Gosvāmī Visits the Lord at Jagannātha Purī”
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

No comments: