Love’s Farewell

We haven’t featured Mediawatch-UK here for some time, although that is the organisation that gave this site its name. The reason for this is that the MW-UK seems to be becoming increasingly irrelevant and ineffectual in its campaigning, and its director John Beyer seldom says anything noteworthy.

His latest pronouncement on the upcoming ITV documentary, Malcom and Barbara: Love’s Farewell, is a case in point.

This documentary is the second in a two-parter by Paul Watson exploring the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on a family. The “contoversy” stems from the fact that it shows the moment of Malcolm Pointon’s death.

Barbara Pointon, his wife, agreed to the showing, as it

produces a response from the public that spurs politicians to make better decisions about the future of dementia care, then Malcolm’s death will not have been in vain. The death scene serves a purpose and makes the important point that in Alzheimer’s we confront a killer disease, a disease that has overtaken cancer to become the second biggest killer in Britain after heart disease.

The Alzheimer’s Society has also praised the documentary:

Malcolm and Barbara: Love’s Farewell gives valuable insight into the battles thousands of people with dementia and their carers face everyday. Sadly, Malcolm and Barbara’s journey is not unique, 1 in 3 older people will end their life with dementia.

Dementia is more than just memory loss; it robs people of their lives and has a devastating impact on families and loved ones. Malcolm and Barbara’s decision to film their journey in its entirety was one they made together to raise awareness of this harsh reality. We hope their brave decision will shine a light on the fact that dementia is a terminal condition that is currently desperately under funded and misunderstood.

Compare this to John Beyer’s reaction:

There is a certain dignity in death that is not appropriate for people to gawp at on television. The way that broadcasters seem to want to intrude on every human activity undermines that dignity. We are entitled to privacy and dignity, and television destroys all that.

You see? Beyer’s witless, philistine prudery is not even funny anymore. Surely it’s time for Mediawatch-UK to die with dignity.

7 Responses to “Love’s Farewell”

  1. Stuart W says:

    Another TV taboo bravely broken (and for a non-exploitive purpose); another excuse for the Beyers to pop their heads out of their shells and moan.
    I find it ironic that the Right have made ‘nanny state!’ one of their favourite war cries in recent years when people like this want to wrap us all in cotton wool the moment the telly is switched on.

  2. Tiger Dunc says:

    This is not a first though. I remember a documentary from a couple of years back which followed a most charming Dutch or Belgian chap through the last stages of a terminal illness, including his actual death. It was done with warmth, respect and dignity.

  3. Stuart H says:

    By the strangest coincidence….
    in my youth I worked for a while on the geriatric ward of a West Country hospital. I well remember that one winter night we couldn’t get the hospital chaplain to a dying old codger who’d asked to see him. Turned out the chaplain was a Festival of Light member, and he was too busy hymn-singing with his chums outside a Sex Pistols gig.
    Come to think of it, while I must say RC clergy scrupulously sat with any of their flock no matter how lowly, it was hard to get other clerics to pop in on long term patients for years at a time unless there was a chance of a legacy.
    Dignity or respect for life from the church? I think not.

  4. Bernadette says:

    Read an interesting quote from Paul Watson in yesterday’s Guardian blaming MediaWatch for stirring up the controversy without actually approaching him about him (but then I suppose they are not actually interested in doing that are they?). He is now rightly concerned that his reputation has been tarnished when he never sold the film on the basis that it showed the man’s actual death.

  5. Martin says:

    I heard an interview in which Barbara was described as a humanist, then some nutty RC rang to ask if it would be O.K. for him to pray for Barbara and her husband!
    She was more gracious than I would have been.

  6. marc says:

    The thing with being a humanist Martin is that we are (as a rule) more gracious than the religious give us credit. Then there’s the out and out vehement secularists like me who enjoy lambasting them.