Reality TV & the seriously ill

Reality TV & the seriously ill

Reality TV & the seriously ill …interesting article in the ‘Times’ today. 'Disney is offering the seriously ill the chance of a ‘miracle’ cure by becoming a guinea pig for pioneering surgery. Patients requiring brain or spinal tumour treatment and other sufferers of life threatening diseases are invited to take a chance on ‘Miracle Workers’.

The producers are looking for patients who have been given little hope by doctors. They must also be too poor to afford ‘elite medical care’. They will be filmed every step of the way from consultation to surgery to recovery (or not). For sensation hungry television producers a show in which human life itself is in the balance is the ultimate concept’.

Oh and by the way the tag line is 'When a person’s life is on the line and doctors insist that nothing more can be done, it’s time to turn to ‘The Miracle Workers’.

Clearly taste, ethics. morality is no barrier. All that matters is good TV…how I wish it wasn’t becoming dreadfully, awfully true. How many of us would watch it whilst muttering ‘disgusting’ or ‘outrageous’. If it isn’t it moneyspinner it wouldn’t happen.


Television producers would be better employed in commissioning some investigative reporting looking at why so many serious illnesses aren’t being prevented and why so many people are having to rely on access to expensive drugs to stay alive, yet can’t get the funding for the expensive drugs.

It has crossed my mind that perhaps we aren’t that far away from TV Programmes inviting us to phone in and vote whether people on life support machines should be switched off or not. OK this is a preposterous thought and some may find what I’ve said extremely tasteless, but I thought it and I can’t undo the thought.

Daphne could it be …that we are back to euthanasia again?


coffin chasers Another instance of the way the media thrives on misery


Not necessarily agreeing with it/not agreeing Whilst I dont agree with reality tv in some ways, in other ways (big brother, sorry I love it!), watching something which brings being close to death and trying to survive in whatever way possible actually doesnt turn my stomach.

The unaware have a lot to be gained from viewing something like this, although I do think the way in which it is done would have to incredible to achieve anything.

The public in general dont know about terminal illness unless it touches them personally or they work with it. Bringing it to the unwashed isnt awful, and we have to bear in mind that these subjects would have to have agreed for it to happen in the first place, so it really is their choice.

I loved watching the autopsy programmes the other week on tv. Where would I ever have gotten to watch and learn about that unless I was in the medical profession? It is fascinating, and can only improve understanding, something we would all be happier about in the long run.

Mole are you still on holiday somewhere nice, or back down to earth and cycling around looking for more whales in the Thames?

The thing I have a problem with Is someone making money out of others peoples misery or hope. Sorry, I am not a reality TV watcher on the whole

I do not have a problem with a documentary on terminal illness but I do have a problem with turning it into the equivalent of a “push your button to vote now folks” type of program.

totally agree …the other issue for me is, if you are poor the only way to access this state of the art medical treatment is by giving up your privacy and possibly your dignity, by having the whole experience televised. The rich folks don’t have this dilemma.


You and I wouldnt do it but some would, and not just out of desperation.

I think it may possibly be treated with respect, I fail to believe that it would be ‘soiled’ for viewer gratification purely to raise ratings, nothing else has ever got that far.

Plastic surgery tv may come close but those people mostly have their own issues to deal with and are so desperate to change their looks they would go along with anything, terminal illness is a whole different thing.

Steph x