A campaign video which claimed to offer a realistic portrayal of end of life care has been withdrawn after intense pressure.
Dignity in Dying, formerly known as The Voluntary Euthanasia Society, said the short film called The Inescapable Truth was designed to convey a complex situation in an accessible way.
It showed a dying man in agony in a hospice and was released at the same time as a new report which argued for a dangerous change in the law on assisted suicide.
Film slammed as ‘misleading and irresponsible’
After the film was released, Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice care in the UK objected strongly and in an open letter to Dignity in Dying said that the film’s portrayal of end of life care was “misleading and irresponsible.”
The charity’s chief executive Tracy Bleakley said: “It plays on people’s anxiety and fear about end of life”.
One doctor said on Twitter that in 40 years in medicine, he’d never encountered a scenario like the one portrayed in the film.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, formerly of CARE and now chief executive of Care Not Killing welcomed the withdrawal of the film.
“We are pleased that following considerable backlash and pressure from doctors and Hospice UK this despicable and misleading film has finally been removed,” he said.
“Doctors and nurses condemned the film as giving an unrealistic view of what people experience in hospitals and hospices and using scare tactics about what people are likely to experience following a diagnosis of a terminal condition.”
CARE’s James Mildred also welcomed the fact the film had been taken down.
“Not only was the film misleading, it also was grossly irresponsible. We welcome the fact it has been taken down.”
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