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To find it disturbing that people enjoy watching TV shows about sick children?

(43 Posts)
JoyofSpring Wed 09-Mar-16 20:31:43

Flicking through the channels on the box and I see there is a double bill tonight of "Children's Emergency" which seems to be a programme about horrible things happening to children. In real life. It's not the only programme like this out there.

Now I can kind of see why people watch medical programmes like "sex sent me to the ER" and I can see why people would watch something that is raising awareness of a particular illness (like how to spot the symptoms). But why on earth would anyone choose to watch a programme like this that just shows children and their families going through the most awful medical emergencies. It doesn't benefit them. It doesn't help anyone else. I can barely even read the programme synopsis.

So, AIBU? If not, please enlighten me why these programmes are attractive!

SlightlyJaded Wed 09-Mar-16 20:36:42


I don't understand this at all

Nor do want to read "True Life misery-Lit"

Nor do I want to see anyone getting hurt in a clip on a "you've been framed" type show

Nor do I want to see gratuitous suffering via videos on Facebook. This last category is one I have to argue about all the time with various people. It's not that I want to pretend it's not happening. I want the news to be out there, for us to read and understand the horrors that others face, but I don't want to hit a fucking like button under an actual video of someone suffering.

nocoolnamesleft Wed 09-Mar-16 20:36:50

Probably help with fundraising, though... At least, rumour has it GOS gets a major boost to charitable donations when they've had a TB series...

whattheseithakasmean Wed 09-Mar-16 20:39:27

YANBU I find it disturbing - a cheap wallow in other people's dreadful misery. I always suspect the witless voyeurs who enjoy these shows have never had to actually live the experiences they watch for their dubious 'entertainment'.

Vintage45 Wed 09-Mar-16 20:40:40

YANBU. Since having DC's I can't watch anything to do with children hurt, especially abuse. In saying that I do watch the spy on the wall English A&E programme.

PseudoBadger Wed 09-Mar-16 20:44:28

I never enjoyed them but since DCs I have actively avoided them and won't have them on. I also have gone right off wildlife documentaries after a having a distressing reaction to a baby wildebeest being separated from its mum blush

JoyofSpring Wed 09-Mar-16 20:46:25

So glad it isn't just me!

Jaded I am totally with you about Facebook!!! I hate it when suddenly a picture of a child with cancer or something l pops up on my feed and it says "hit like if you hate cancer" or a poor migrant child that has drowned on the way to Europe. How is that going to help this poor child? If someone is fundraising or wants to raise awareness of an issue then yes put a post up but if it's going to contain something that people may find triggering for anxiety then please label it and give people the option to click on it if they want to find out more.

I will happily donate without needing to have that seared into my brain. It's not that I deny its happening, it's not that I don't want to help, it's just that I cannot get the images and story out of my head.

JoyofSpring Wed 09-Mar-16 20:50:04

And yes! This is has got so much worse since having DC.

badger just after DD1 was born I was in floods watching a baby bird get pushed out of its nest.

OhSoggyBiscuit Wed 09-Mar-16 21:00:27

I hate to watch kids crying in pain. It's bad enough when it's adults in pain, but children just break my heart sad

HopeandSoap Wed 09-Mar-16 21:05:11

I watch programmes like this although not the one you've mentioned. I watch them because I love things medical related (I watch the adult patient ones too) and also I see it as education so I know what to do if my child has similar symptoms.

I watched a couple a while back. They did a series on Birmingham Childrens Hospital - my son has been under their care since he was 5 months old (past 5 years)

I found watching the series very comforting. i know it sounds odd, but seeing the amazing things the doctors were able to do, the love and support offered by all the staff, and the children overcoming such difficulties, was a great reassurance to me.

I guess people have different reasons. Tbe few that I've watched have aleays focussed on a happy ending - with a child being cured or given a much better quality of life. I guess there is a lot of joy to be taken oit of something like that, no?

Personally, I can't watch all these shows like one born every minute. I can't fathom why anyone would want to watch it or enjoy seeing full on labour But then I had a difficult birth with DD which may be colouring my view somewhat.

Gah! My spelling is terrible. Apologies, I'm typing on my phone.

whattheseithakasmean Wed 09-Mar-16 21:24:44

I suppose as my child died in a hospital it is all a bit unbearable for me. If they all have happy endings, they are obviously avoiding the really shitty stuff to make it palatable to the audience, which I find pretty offensive.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 09-Mar-16 21:32:26

I remember watching the Grear Ormond Street series which was on when I was a child in the 90's (maybe early 2000's?). If I'm remembering correctly that was more tastefully done than the show you mention in your op.

The way the presenter introduced it "a seriously injured 5 year old, we're talking collapsed lung and possible brain bleed!" had me changing the channel immediately.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 09-Mar-16 21:32:46

*Great not Grear

jlivingstone Thu 10-Mar-16 02:25:14

How about the news OP? It's rarely pleasant to watch.

I wouldn't choose to watch something like "Children's Emergency" but don't think it's strange some do.

Pollyputhtekettleon Thu 10-Mar-16 04:44:10

Everything is just an emotional wank these days. Just look at Facebook. People constantly posting either 'heartwarming' shite or worse, the shite that makes your blood run cold. It's like porn, people can't get enough of 'feeling' and are going for more powerful stuff as they become immune to the milder stories. I really don't like the turn things have taken with popular content and am ready to go back to straight up news, facts and truly educational content. The other stuff is exhausting.

Stanky Thu 10-Mar-16 04:57:44

I've never watched that programme, but the families must agree to take part for whatever reason. I like to watch 24 hours in a and e. I find that the doctors and hospital staff are amazing, and I am in awe of them. I was amazed at the care I got, when I was in hospital. My baby hadn't been moving much that day, and they were monitoring us so closely. I kept thinking "I'm nobody. What do they care if me and my baby live or die? We're not important." But we were treated with such great care by complete strangers. I find that amazing.

Atenco Thu 10-Mar-16 05:29:40

I remember watching a programme about a child with leucemia and all his treatment, poor wee thing. Then I decided it would be bad enough if it ever happened to a love one of mine, there was no need to live through it vicariously and have avoided such programmes ever since.

MattDillonsPants Thu 10-Mar-16 05:32:23

YANBU. I can't stand to see any child in pain or sick. I can't even watch adults who are hurt. I hate to see human suffering...HATE it. If I see an ambulance at the side of the road, or someone fall over....I cannot bear to look....obviously if there was only me, I'd help but I just get devastated and so sad.

wannaBe Thu 10-Mar-16 05:50:11

I have always found the programmes about E.g. GOSH incredibly interesting (and often heartbreaking), and often those families agree to be filmed as much to raise awareness of conditions and e.g. The need for organ donation etc.

Emergency programmes I find more uncomfortable because a family will have been approached at a point when they weren't expecting to be there, not knowing what the outcome might be, to be asked if it would be OK to film the process.... And while of course the family can probably choose for the footage not to be shown if their loved one dies for instance, but the fact that they have to be approached in the first place just doesn't sit right.

I agree with a PP about one born every minute as well. Have no idea why people watch it so religiously.

figureofspeech Thu 10-Mar-16 05:58:49

I understand what you are saying but it also serves a purpose in educating some people who aren't familiar with what it's like having a sick child. My son was born three months early and I experienced some distance from certain people. Some were surprised he was in hospital after he was born, it didn't occur to them that he was too sick to come home. It didn't click in their mind that I had to decline a previously accepted invitation. I was frozen out and didn't get much comfort from them until one of them saw a similar programme and realised how all consuming it is to have a seriously sick child. I honestly don't know what went through their minds but I wouldn't leave an abusive voicemail because a person whose children was on life support didn't attend my party. That person was also a parent but still didn't think being born 14 weeks early was that big a deal.

leelu66 Thu 10-Mar-16 06:28:30

I can't watch them myself but I don't think they're watched by vicarious rubber-neckers necessarily (at least I hope not).

It can be fascinating, the process of saving lives. And humans are essentially empathetic beings. We do feel other people's pain and like to feel that we have the capacity to feel for others. It's why we cry when watching a sad film.

whattheseithakasmean Thu 10-Mar-16 06:32:19

I think emotional wank sums it up for me - it is 'feeling porn' for those seeking an emotional rush because their real lives feel safe and cushioned from such raw suffering.

Jw35 Thu 10-Mar-16 07:05:26

Most things on TV are utter crap these days. I'm fed up with reality TV!

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