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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Maintaining dignity on the BBC

How good to hear a news bulletin this morning that talked of two people who made their exit from this world via the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, without wheeling on a man in a frock to say how evil it all was!

That’s not to say men in frocks won’t be wheeled on in other bulletins, but all I heard was the way the 8 a.m. Radio 4 Today programme’s main bulletin treated it. I was waiting for the, “But a spokesman for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Right Reverend Doctor Moron Cretinous-Pillock, said . . .”

Nor is the story on the BBC news site cluttered with clumsy clerical claptrap, either – at least the version I viewed and have linked to here; maybe it’ll get updated.

The story is of the renowned British conductor Sir Edward Thomas Downes, CBE, who has died at the age of 85, after travelling to right-to-die clinic Dignitas with his wife Joan, who was 74.

“After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems,” a family member is quoted as saying.

Even the headline on the Beeb version, British conductor Downes dies, 85, is not judgemental in any way. It could have had “suicide” in it, or “controversial”, but it doesn’t. Let’s hope it stays that way.
UPDATE: The headline was subsequently changed to UK conductor ends life at clinic. Why did they have to spoil it?

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