Jade Goody and the Death of Privacy
Deaglán de Bréadún
As a former cancer patient, now happily in possession of a clean bill of health, I have to say I find the whole Jade Goody melodrama quite disturbing. Obviously one has to feel great human sympathy for someone in her predicament but . . . whatever happened to dignity?The involvement of Max Clifford is never particularly heartening and, of course, the tabloids have lapped up the whole thing and fed it onto their readers.
There was a time when terminal illness was treated with a gravity and decorum that reflected a society which was, for all its faults, essentially at peace with itself in respect to the eternal verities of life and death.
But we have probably witnessed the Death of Privacy in our own time.
Another extraordinary episode was this week’s case involving the expectant father who filmed his partner’s Caesarean section in the delivery room. Click here to read about it.
He was asked by the midwife to pause from filming for a moment. This spoiled the continuity of his narrative so what does the gentleman do? Why, he sues of course.
The case was thrown out, leaving him to pay the costs. The Pat Kenny radio show invited him on for an interview.
Why he was allowed to film the delivery in the first place is a mystery to me. Is this normal practice nowadays?
I had the privilege to attend the births of my children but cannot imagine that I would have been allowed bring a camcorder. Surely the staff are entitled to privacy at their place of work?
The idea of taking a case against the caring midwife who saw your baby safely into the world beggars belief. I cannot help wondering what advice was given to the gentleman about the prospects of winning his action.
O brave new world!