Posted by: Kimbaforeva | June 5, 2011

‘Emmerdale’ storyline criticised by charity

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.”




  1. “…people who suffer similar injuries to Jackson’s can, after much adjustment, go on to live a fulfilling life.” – I note they says ‘can’ not ‘will’… Just beacuse they’re showing someone who fails to deal with their problems doesn’t necessarily make it unrealistic (bearing in mind of course that this is a soap opera we’re talking about not real life), just uncomfortable. If the charity truly wants to be realistic then where are their statistics and storys about people in this situation who do take the same route that Jackson goes down? They themselves are as guilty as Emmerdale at only telling things from one point of view.

    I get the feeling that many of the general public are up in arms about the fact that Jackson gave up and nobody really did very much to get him some proper help, rather than the assisted suicide itself… If anything that’s a positive result for the story – If I worked for Aspire I’d be more worried if all the viewers were going happily along with the whole thing without comment. I don’t think the storyline would have raised the same level of awareness about the issues involved if we’d seen Jackson come to terms with his situation and made the best of it, people would’ve just said “That’s nice.” and that would’ve been it – we don’t really get pationate about these things until we don’t like what’s happening.

    And we should also bear in mind that the story isn’t over yet… Everyone is concentrating on the fact that Jackson dies without thought to what happens next. What if Aaron and Hazel regret what they do? What if they realise that maybe if they hadn’t pandered to Jackson’s desire not to talk to a therapist he might have resolved his problems and gone on to lead a good life with them? How might it affect families in the same situation to see the aftermath of the assisted suicide, to see the pain and the suffering of those left behind? Obviously I don’t know what the writers have in store but to condem the entire story before it’s reached it’s true conclusion is shortsighted.

    • Thanks, PS for your response.

  2. Having watched several soaps for many years I have noticed, more than once, that the characters more often than not, do the wrong thing. They belive the wrong people, they trust the wrong people & they always manage to say the wrong thing.

    This is because that is where the drama is, in the conflict, in the tension, in the smug satisfaction us viewers get from knowing what a fool the character is being.

    So when it comes to making important choices & life changing (or in Jackson’s case ending) decisions, never forget – don’t copy these people, they’re dickheads !

    PS is right, Aspire should be pleased with the responce Emmerdale has had from this storyline, because I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t feel that Jackson is rushing to his grave with indecent haste, without even trying to explore the alternatives.

  3. Everyone reacts to these things differently, some people are happy to be alive after a life changing incident of these proportions, others feel as though being unable to do even the most basic of activities of daily living on their own could be an incredibly difficult. If I could not touch mydaughters cheek or put my arms around them I don’t know how I could cope.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: