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Medicine And The Media

Death on camera

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 04 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1100
  1. Julia Neuberger
  1. author of “Caring for Dying People of Different Faiths” (Mosby) and chief executive of the King's Fund

    Rabbi Julia Neuberger looks at how death and dying are now openly discussed in the media and argues that the medical profession needs to keep up with the trend

    A few weeks ago, the news that Lord Winston was making a television series in which someone was to be filmed in the process of dying led to much media coverage. Some thought this was important and that modern Britons were sheltered from death as from nothing else. The majority camp argued it was an invasion of a last, very private moment, which the prurient television camera should not rest on even briefly.

    Yet there is a strong argument for the sensitive depiction of “real” death, given the amount of violent death we see screened every day, through film drama and in depictions of war and starvation in news stories. We have become inured to death in the big …

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