New Zealand Law Society - TV show’s end of life piece was balanced says BSA

TV show’s end of life piece was balanced says BSA

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The Broadcasting Standards Authority has dismissed a complaint that a television item on euthanasia was unbalanced and inaccurate.

The item, broadcast on 20 February 2018 on Three’s The Project, discussed the End of Life Choice Bill which was then before a parliamentary select committee.

The programme featured euthanasia advocate and terminal cancer patient Bobbie Carroll, and also included earlier comments from Matthew Jensen of the Care Alliance who opposed the bill. The item also included a statistic highlighting the medical profession’s split on the issue, and some debate over the bill amongst the hosts.

The BSA did not uphold a complaint from Right to Life New Zealand that the item was unbalanced or that the use of certain terms such as ‘euthanasia’ was inaccurate. The BSA says it recognises the legalisation of euthanasia is an important and ongoing issue of public importance in New Zealand. It found that, overall, the item was sufficiently balanced and was unlikely to mislead or misinform viewers, so any restriction on the broadcaster’s freedom of expression would be unjustified.

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