The Unkindest Cut

By Amity Last edited 126 months ago
The Unkindest Cut
2006_scalpel.jpg

Poor ol’ Enders.

In trying to be sensitive to the family of Madeleine McCann, the soap rewrote an episode that was to involve the kidnapping of a child. However, instead of offending one family they have now offended many others.

The BBC received 183 complaints regarding a scene in last night’s rewritten episode in which pregnant character Dawn Swann (because rhyming names are the epitome of class) is tied down to a bed and threatened with a forced caesarean. It’s not entirely clear if the complaints were regarding the cruelty of that threat or if it was simply because they believed the storyline to be preposterous, but in this instance, Enders was not making things up for dramatic effect.

Just over two years ago in Ireland, a woman was threatened with a forced caesarean by doctors at her local hospital because she has quick labours and would not submit to a two-week hospital stay and induction so that her birth could be scheduled for convenience. Another woman in London was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and an unauthorised caesarean performed on her because she declined their offers of medical intervention. Many other cases of forced or threatened caesareans have been recorded in the past as well.

So for once, EastEnders was borrowing from real-life events, not a strange mix of Jerry Springer and The X-Files. Now if they could just get rid of Pat Butcher’s earrings – that really is cruel and unusual punishment.

Scalpel photo provided by gilbert's Flickrstream

Last Updated 20 June 2007