Soaps have two main roles, which are to entertain and to inform people of issues that arise in everyday modern life but religious issues are often avoided as they are very sensitive and can be taken offensively. This is a problem because it means that important areas of social life, religion and culture are not covered but are replaced by sometimes inappropriate subjects.Soaps are a ‘moral universe’ because they provide us with help lines e. g. fter most soaps, they offer a helpline to people who have queries or are suffering from the same problem dealt with in the soap. There is one main problem with soaps however, which is that they have a tendency to normalise rare events (such as gay weddings, teenage pregnancies etc.
), which can promote a cynical view of reality. If they didn’t have a ‘heightened reality’ though, they would be boring and there would definitely not be 6 million children tuning into soaps.Children also prefer watching soaps to sitting there and reading a teen magazine, which is a good thing in a way because soaps handle issues more responsibly and with more precautions. Eastenders dealt with the issue of euthanasia in a past show where Dot is the permanent carer for Ethel who has lung cancer. The nurses and doctors offer to put Ethel in a care home as she has only a few days to live and Ethel refuses and says she wants Dot to care for her.
Dot reassures Ethel that they’ll manage but Ethel tells her “I don’t want to manage…I’m ready” even though Dot explains taking life is wrong. Dot is persuaded by Ethel that someone like her also stuck in a bed “a lump” is also wrong and Dot gives her the extra morphine pills that kill her.
Euthanasia is the action of inducing a quiet and easy death (mercy killing). It is a major issue for Christians because all Christian churches teach that euthanasia is a form of deliberate killing and is wrong, as the ten commandments state ‘Thou shall not murder’ and the bible (Psalms) states that ‘The world and all that is in it belong to God’.However, there are situations where patients who are suffering from illnesses that cannot be cured and are being kept alive by treatments with unpleasant side effects and are brain dead.
In this case, some could say Jesus taught us to love each other, so euthanasia is a loving act because you’re assisting their death to end the pain. People are kept alive often just on life support machines and given medication to keep them alive when they would have once died without the life support machines.So one could argue that we are giving them a poor quality of life. Sanctity of life also teaches that life is worthy of the highest respect, as it is sacred and holy. It also backs up the idea that life is a gift from God, therefore it belongs to God and he will take life from you when your time has come. This is supported by all religions. Euthanasia was used as explained above in Eastenders and was also linked to Dot’s religious beliefs and morals as a Christian, as she didn’t believe it was right to take a life away.
Dot was torn between her love and care for Ethel and her morals but she couldn’t bear to see Ethel in pain for any longer and decided to give her the extra morphine pills that killed her. This was a very hard decision for Dot but in the end she decided that it could be seen as doing the right thing because it would put Ethel at rest and end her pain. I think this topic was used in Eastenders because it is a very serious matter and it’s a good example of how situations like this can be handled.However, euthanasia can be used as a method to kill off an ill family member for the wrong reasons (could be financial or family problems). As a result of Dot’s decision to give Ethel the extra morphine tablets that killed her, Dot has deep feelings of guilt and in a state of depression. She confesses to the police because she believes she has done wrong by committing a cardinal sin, but when they investigate further they conclude that because Ethel was dying and could have passed away any day, there is no case to answer.Then Dot admits her ‘sin’ to Pauline, who is shocked and asks her “what’s the difference between a pill and a pillow? ” Pauline argued her point that Ethel might have had a bad day but then a good day the next, so they couldn’t predict how long she had left.
She also said that Ethel was not fit enough to decide what she wanted because she didn’t know what she wanted and what was best for her. She then talks with Mark who suffers from HIV and he tells her that one day he might turn to her for that kind of help to end his suffering and he would want her to do the same.This makes Pauline come to terms with the situation and Dot was in a difficult situation and couldn’t let someone she cared continue to suffer in agony and hold on for dear life. I thought Eastenders dealt with the situation of euthanasia very well, as they portrayed the difficulties that come with it, which were what Dot had to face but also Pauline’s reaction to Dot’s ‘sin’ made people realise that it is a serious issue and different people react to if very differently and have views as to whether it is totally wrong or not.
They showed all sides of the religious arguments as well as the moral aspects; but they also highlighted how very often people act differently when they are in a particular situation. They were also very sensitive about the issue in my opinion but the only thing I would say is that they based the issue of euthanasia around the Christian beliefs and morals, which would not interest all viewers.