"Healthy Viewing?": Experiencing Life and Death Through a Voyeuristic Gaze
Kendrick, Kevin D.
Nursing Ethics. 2000 Jan; 7(1): 15-22.
Recent times have witnessed a groundswell in the number of British television programmes that deal with the 'real life' experiences of people in various health care settings. Such programmes tend to focus upon the two interrelated strands of the experience of those who deliver professional care and those who are at the receiving end of it. The usual rationale given for such programmes is that they offer insights about the delivery of health care that are not readily accessible to members of the public. This article will look beneath the rationale and reasons offered by programme makers for the existence of such documentaries. It will explore insidious and questionable elements that go beyond revealing the 'lived experience' of professional carers and those for whom they care. Emerging from this is the challenging notion that such programmes deliver the opportunity to experience the vulnerability, suffering and even death of others through a voyeuristic gaze.
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