A charity has blasted Emmerdale‘s current assisted suicide storyline.
The plot sees Aaron Livesy help to end Jackson Walsh’s life, but spinal injuries charity Aspire has warned that it could cause a “great deal of hurt”.
Director of Services Alex Rankin told the Daily Star Sunday: “The storyline has been negative, unrealistic and pretty inaccurate. I’ve watched it very closely and have been incredibly disappointed with how Emmerdale have portrayed Jackson’s situation.
“People with spinal injuries are not ill, they do not need to spend all their time in bed being spoon-fed soup. Emmerdale had a great opportunity to be inspirational with this storyline, to show that people who suffer similar injuries to Jackson’s can, after much adjustment, go on to live a fulfilling life.
“What worries me is that it’s basically saying that life with a spinal injury is not worth living. I don’t think they’ve considered how those people in Jackson’s situation will feel when they watch it. I think it’s going to cause a lot of people a great deal of hurt.”
However, actor Marc Silcock has insisted that the soap does not want to promote assisted suicide with its current storyline.
“We always knew what the end was going to be,” he told the Boston Herald. “We didn’t know how the characters would play out and how well-received they would be. To be brutally honest, the final two episodes are pretty horrific, and we tried to make them that way.
“We don’t want one person for a minute to think that [Jackson’s decision] is correct. I am an advocate for the idea for the right to die, but I believe the show has covered all the aspects of the storyline and covered all the bases. We’re not saying that we believe that this is right; we are showing what these three people believe at the moment.
“We didn’t want to glorify it and make it a beautiful thing. That’s not reality. In reality, helping someone kill themselves would be a hideous thing, and we try to show that as best as possible.”
An Emmerdale spokesman insisted that the story will be told “with integrity”, adding: “We approached Aspire, keen to inform them about this storyline, and we welcomed their feedback which was fully taken on board.”