The Care Not Killing Alliance have written to Channel 4 over questions of breaching national and international guidelines on suicide portrayal and Ofcom rules on impartiality.

Both the International Association for Suicide Prevention in partnership with the World Health Organisation, and the Samaritans, have, in the last few years, updated their own resource or guidelines for media professionals.

The WHO recommendations to media professionals include the following:

  • Avoid language which sensationalizes or normalizes suicide, or presents it as a solution to problems
  • Avoid prominent placement and undue repetition of stories about suicide
  • Avoid explicit description of the method used in a completed or attempted suicide
  • Avoid providing detailed information about the site of a completed or attempted suicide
  • Exercise caution in using photographs or video footage
  • Take particular care in reporting celebrity suicides'

The Care Not Killing Alliance has been concerned about the partisan and pro assisted suicide and euthanasia stance taken by Channel 4. Previous reporting of the Debbie Purdy case, other assisted suicides and the Falconer report have portrayed assisted suicide in a positive light and have failed to give weight to the opposite perspective.

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