Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Matter of Intent?

Driving to work last week I listened to part of a discussion of this story on the radio:

UK TV station defends plans to show man's death


LONDON (AP) — A British television channel plans to show a film about an American man who commits assisted suicide at a Swiss clinic, reigniting debate over an issue that strongly divides opinion in Britain. Opponents called the broadcast a ratings-grabbing stunt.


I could not find the program online to listen to it again, so excuse me for doing this off the top of my head. The participate representing the government position argued that (among other things) it was inappropriate to show an "intentional death" on television. This reasoning is just wrong. How can anyone say that a peaceful intentional death is inappropriate when the media is full of so much violent intentional death, either real or fictional? I can think of other reasons to object to this program being broadcast, but this matter of intent is a totally bogus, and not a reason to disallow this program as part of the larger debate on assisted suicide.