Media Framing of “Medical Futility”: Flaming the Debate?

Mcguire, Kim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2713-8846 (2019) Media Framing of “Medical Futility”: Flaming the Debate? In: Medical Futility in Paediarics: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives, Trivent Publishing “Applied Ethics: From Bioethics to Environmental Ethics”. Trivent Publishing. ISBN 978-615-81353-1-3

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The cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans can be approached from many different viewpoints. In this chapter, the role of the media, including social media, and in particular the language used therein, will be the primary foci. The aim is to highlight the need for a more ethical press reporting, to reveal the need for greater transparency and accessible language regarding doctors’ decisions, but also the opportunity for removal of discussion from the media gaze. Once in the media, the differing viewpoints became more intractable, with each side unable to persuade the other to a satisfactory, or at least mutually agreeable, solution. Mediation is therefore strongly suggested to avoid “framing and flaming” the debate. Mediation has been widely accepted in many spheres and offers at least the voicing of alternative interpretations in a neutral and confidential environment, and even of transforming the conflict – finding ways to redefine the issue.

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