House of Commons
BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION MOTION ON THE COMMISSION ON ASSISTED DYING AND THE BBC
Tabled 18 July 2011
This is an amendment to an existing motion
Motion originally tabled by Jim Dobbin on 04 July 2011
This is amendment number 1
"leave out from `House' to end and add `deplores any deliberate attempt to confuse euthanasia with assisted dying; rejects accusations of bias on the part of the Commission on Assisted Death; further rejects accusations of bias on the part of the British Broadcasting Corporation in favour of assisted death; and points to the numerous occasions on which the opposing view has been aired, such as Newsnight on the evening of the Terry Pratchett documentary, 13 June 2011, Question Time on 4 February 2011 and The Politics Show on 21 June 2009.'."
Original Motion Text
That this House applauds the motion passed by the British Medical Association Annual Conference condemning the Commission on Assisted Dying led by Lord Falconer as biased; regrets that such an important development failed to be given coverage by any BBC news programme; notes the strong campaign waged by the BBC network supporting Lord Falconer's Commission and changes in the law to allow euthanasia; further notes this has included five major programmes that have been sympathetic to assisted dying in the last three years with none against; further notes that BBC news programmes looked ahead to the Swiss referendum on assisted suicide on the day before it took place, covered it on the day as people went to the polls and then reported the result which supported euthanasia; further notes that in comparison the BBC failed to give any coverage to the BMA motion debated by British doctors at a conference of national importance to Britain, even though the BBC news staff had a representative present; further notes this as evidence of the ingrained bias of the BBC staff on the issue; calls on the Government to inform the Lord Patten of Barnes, Chairman of the BBC Trust, and Mr Mark Thompson, the Director General, that the Corporation's Royal Charter requiring it to take an impartial stand on all issues of public policy thus disbars BBC personnel from using the network to promote and develop their own campaigns on any issue; and urges that a thorough inquiry at the highest level should be established immediately.