April 24, 2024

The BBC and euthanasia

Hi there,

Journalists are amateur bioethicists. Not
just yours truly, but all of us who supply the news. And sometimes journalists
have their own agenda. Another instance of this came to the fore this week in
the UK. Ray Gosling, a veteran broadcaster and gay rights activist, was found
guilty of wasting police time by fabricating a cock-and-bull on-air confession
about mercy-killing a lover with AIDS some time ago.

It turns out that the story – which cost
British taxpayers a pretty penny to investigate – was a complete fabrication.
The 71-year-old told the court that “I would have done it. I would have, the
tenses were wrong.”

As the judge pointed out, a bit more than
the tenses were wrong: “You know the power of television celebrity and the
trust the public and television producers have in you. You have to match this
with the responsibility of identifying and telling the truth to the public.”

But, to my mind, the real scoundrels in
this fantasy were the BBC producers whom Gosling told about the “murder” and
did nothing. For them it was just an appealingly sensational yarn. They did not
shrink from collaborating with Gosling’s aggressive promotion of euthanasia. Isn’t
that evidence of unabashed prejudice on the part of the BBC, Britain’s premier
source of news?

Any comments from the UK?


Michael Cook