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Explain how one religious or moral issue has been dealt with in a television soap opera and discuss whether the treatment was effective.

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Explain how one religious or moral issue has been dealt with in a television soap opera and discuss whether the treatment was effective. Soap Opera: Eastenders Religious/Moral issue: Euthanasia Eastenders is a soap opera which is shown 3 times a week on channel 1. In 2000, the religious issue of euthanasia was portrayed in the story line. Dot Cotton, a very religious woman, is asked by her best friend, Ethel, to help her commit suicide if she isn't able to do it herself. This act is called voluntarily active euthanasia. Ethel is suffering from heart failure and is taking morphine for her pain. She starts to collect the morphine tablets from her daily doses, and saves them so she can take them all in one go and kill herself. She soon realizes that there may be a time when she may not be able to do it to herself, so she asks Dot, her best friend, to do it for her. Dot being very religious, seeks the advice of a priest to seek advice for her decision. ...read more.


Her deterioration seems to also affect the people around her, although Ethel seems to be enjoying her life still. We feel sorrier for Dot who has to watch Ethel, who isn't really that bothered about it, get more ill every day. Over the following weeks afterwards, we see that Ethel is getting worse, and soon she ends up not able to move in her bed. This is the first point in which we really begin to feel sorry for her. From this point on we feel very sorry, not just for Dot, for both of them. Dot feeling sorry for Ethel, makes the most important decision of Ethel's life, and leaves an overdose of morphine pills on her bed side table. We have learnt to feel sympathy for the situation that Dot and Ethel are going through. We are put into each of their shoes, and we imagine what it is like, and definitely feel sorry for both of them. Ethel takes the pills, and dies in her bed, with Dot finding her the next morning in bed with a smile on her face. ...read more.


A lot of research had to be done to get this issue done fully to the extent as it is realistic. Overall, Eastenders has done very well in addressing the issue of euthanasia, following it through to the end, and making it as naturalistic as possible. I don't think that this story line was biased in any way, as it showed us throughout the whole ordeal the good and the bad side. Dot was seen as very confused, and looked at the situation from all perspectives. We also saw the response from the church, which can affect her decision. Everyone who watched was able to come to their own decisions by the information that was given to them. Eastenders did not take on one side of the argument and say that euthanasia was either bad or good. This story line was done very well, and there is nothing that I think can improve it. It started with Ethel dying, and went all the way through to the after-math that Dot suffered. This is very realistic, as no one would commit euthanasia and then forget about it, and go on with their everyday life. ...read more.

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