Monday, April 3

So much for my happy ending

Last month I told you guys about a controversial ABC reality show called "Miracle Workers." If you can remember that far back, it's the series that follows seriously ill patients through their treatment from beginning to end. More often than not, appearing on the show is a godsend for patients and their families because ABC foots the bill for the expensive and cutting edge treatments they might not be able to afford otherwise.

The question I turned back to you was if the show was exploiting a delicate situation. I think it's safe to say that almost anyone would take producers up on this offer if they felt their life depended on a pricey operation, so the participants on "Miracle Workers" are vulnerable and desperate enough to put their lives on television even if they might not have otherwise.

On March 22, my fears about "Miracle Workers" were realized.

Priscilla Benoit, age 56, died at a Houston hospital from complications that arose after Priscilla received an experimental artificial heart pump last fall. The operation was necessary because Benoit's heart was damaged by chemotherapy for breast cancer.

At the beginning of this episode of the show, the audience will see an advisory warning them of the outcome. Regardless, when the Benoit family signed on it is likely that they thought the treatment Priscilla was receiving would be the miracle they were looking for. Now, after the loss of a loved one, how will the Benoit family handle having their story plastered on TV screens across the country? Their pain and suffering cannot be forgotten and they can relive each horrible second because it is all on tape. How can they move on this way?

ABC released a statement in which Benoit's husband, Jerry Primeaux, gave his approval to air the show but I have my doubts about how independently this decision was made. It is REAL reality TV in that ABC admits they cannot create a happy ending when there is none to be had, but if you ask me this is something Benoit's family will regret as they proceed in their grieving and moving on process. Thoughts?

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