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Cancer survivor hits out at BBC for ‘inaccuracies’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 02, 2014

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A BURTON woman whose life was saved by a bone marrow transplant has complained to the BBC over the ‘inaccurate’ portrayal of the donation process in a new programme.

Katherine Sinfield, of Balfour Street, decided to contact Points of View, the Beeb’s customer complaints mechanism, after watching new comedy series Over to Bill.

The show, which featured Outnumbered star Hugh Dennis, aired on Tuesday night and featured several controversial scenes, which also saw organ donation charity Anthony Nolan complain to television bosses.

The 33-year-old said: “Phrases such as ‘hoovering it out’ and ‘removing bones from your hips’ were not only inaccurate, they could also have a serious impact on the fight to recruit new donors.

“I agree with the argument that this comedy sketch showed ignorance and a lack of understanding by two misinformed characters.

“Where my concern rests is with the final scene shown during the credits, where the aforementioned characters are shown limping out of the hospital following their donor session.

“A limping scene clearly shows an ignorance and lack of understanding and research by the scriptwriters.

“I can excuse the characters’ words, but I cannot excuse this inaccurate physical portrayal of the characters.

“A bone marrow transplant is no more unpleasant or painful than giving blood or receiving dialysis. This scene does nothing but reinforce the inaccurate and ignorant comments made by the characters concerning the removal of bones and the ‘hoovering out’ of bone marrow.

“Please be more thoughtful in the future. The BBC should be seen to encourage donors, not scare them away.”

Katherine is in remission from chronic myeloid leukaemia and fighting back to full health after a lifesaving bone marrow transplant last year.

The BBC is looking into Katherine’s complaint and she can expect a response within the next two weeks.

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