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.