On primal screams – The Rosie Hospital stillbirth documentary

BBC Radio 5 Live – Emma Barnett – 1:11:50

I listened to the defence of this documentary and I’m even angrier.


This is not how you raise awareness

Capturing “a primal scream on tape” is not a valid or acceptable reason for covert filming.  What you are making is not a documentary to raise awareness.  It’s a snuff film.

Three days. In their infinite compassion they allow a window of 3 days to make contact with a bereaved family and expect a decision.

3 days is NOTHING. No decision made after three days of losing a child is going to be done at anywhere close to full capacity.

This story gets worse. All the participants talk of their sensitivity whilst remaining fully tone deaf to the anger of those that have gone through this.

This is not awareness raising. The producer displays a lack of knowledge of the technical aspects of the subject matter let alone the emotional ones.

The talk is of raising awarenss but makes no mention of Baby Loss Awareness Week which was only a matter of weeks ago and subject to sustained, sympathetic and supportive coverage? No mention of Parliamentary debates? No mention of the work done by bereaved parents in their awareness raising activities? No remorse shown.  No empathy, compassion or even knowledge. Channel 4 should review how they gave this gig to such an unsuitable producer.

The interviews were horrible. My wife was furious when she heard it. That scream they are so eager to capture on film haunts her dreams at night.

This phony consent sought after the fact ignores so much.  Once you make that decision you can’t go back.  Once it gets broadcast that is it.

You can’t stop people from sampling it or turning it into a meme.

Your most private and harrowing pain becomes fodder for those who neither understand or care about that pain

The idea that no one else sees it without consent is nonsense. If they do get it they will be looking for the good bits for telly so they can edit. They would then have to show it to them to check it’s ok. The significant trauma this could inflict is unknown but significant. We remember the off hand comments forever, what does that mean for something as harrowing as the actual moment of loss?

The edge of glee at the propsect of capturing ‘the primal scream’ of a mother being told her child is dead shows us exactly what they see such a moment of pain and vulnerability as.  The scream of someone having their universe shredded is the money shot.  This isn’t awareness raising, it’s a pornography of suffering.

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