Tuesday, 5 July 2011

MPs attack the ‘ingrained bias’ of staff at the BBC on euthanasia

I recently blogged about the BMA vote to undermine the Falconer Commission on assisted suicide and about why I had told the Daily Mail that the BBC was acting as a cheerleader for assisted suicide.

I see today that a group of MPs has attacked the ‘ingrained bias’ of staff at the BBC towards a change in the law to allow euthanasia and has charged the corporation of showing five major programmes sympathetic to assisted dying in the last three years but none against.

Seven MPs have now signed an early day motion (EDM) tabled by Labour's Jim Dobbin (pictured) calling for BBC bosses to launch an inquiry into whether impartiality rules have been breached.

This follows controversy over fantasy author Terry Pratchett's ‘documentary’ ‘Choosing to Die’ which showed a man taking a lethal dose of barbiturates at the Swiss suicide facility Dignitas.

The MPs have said that the BBC had failed to report condemnation by doctors while covering a Swiss vote which supported euthanasia.

The full text of the EDM which can be accessed here is as follows.

Why not write to your MP and ask him/her to add his/her signature? I have already done so.



• Session: 2010-11
• Date tabled: 04.07.2011
• Primary sponsor: Dobbin, Jim
• Sponsors:
o Bruce, Fiona
o Crausby, David
o Field, Frank
o Mulholland, Greg
o Streeter, Gary

That this House applauds the motion passed by the British Medical Association Annual Conference condemning the Commission on Assisted Dying led by Lord Falconer as biased; regrets that such an important development failed to be given coverage by any BBC news programme; notes the strong campaign waged by the BBC network supporting Lord Falconer's Commission and changes in the law to allow euthanasia; further notes this has included five major programmes that have been sympathetic to assisted dying in the last three years with none against; further notes that BBC news programmes looked ahead to the Swiss referendum on assisted suicide on the day before it took place, covered it on the day as people went to the polls and then reported the result which supported euthanasia; further notes that in comparison the BBC failed to give any coverage to the BMA motion debated by British doctors at a conference of national importance to Britain, even though the BBC news staff had a representative present; further notes this as evidence of the ingrained bias of the BBC staff on the issue; calls on the Government to inform the Lord Patten of Barnes, Chairman of the BBC Trust, and Mr Mark Thompson, the Director General, that the Corporation's Royal Charter requiring it to take an impartial stand on all issues of public policy thus disbars BBC personnel from using the network to promote and develop their own campaigns on any issue; and urges that a thorough inquiry at the highest level should be established immediately.

1 comment:

  1. The EDM hits the nail on the head. Where was the reporting of the BMA resolution? I hope the motion gets substantial support. My MP is a minister and so can't (?) sign EDMs. But it's time the BBC reviewed its impartiality on this issue.


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