MS in the Media

Raising awareness or scaremongering

MS Ireland
03 May 2013

In the last six months MS has been in the media quite a bit. We have read about Marie Fleming and her assisted suicide case and Evelyn Joel and her untimely death due to her daughters neglect. Both high profile court cases have perked the interest of the media due to their controversy.

Oscar Wilde once said “all publicity is good publicity”. But is this true for MS? As a by product of reporting the facts of these cases have the media painted an distorted picture of MS? When language like ‘sufferer’, ‘terminal’, ‘end stage’, ‘bed-bound’, ‘no quality of life’ are used repeatedly, does it present MS as something it’s not for most people?

Over the last few months all of the services of MS Ireland have handled calls and queries from concerned and scared people with MS and their families. Younger people are feeling scared that only a bleak and painful future is ahead of them and many carers feel the value of their loved ones life is being diminished. In general many people with MS feel that the constant negative coverage creates fear and hopefulness.

Assisted suicide debates are happening the world over and unfortunately neglect is found in every society. However, as these have been reported in the context of multiple sclerosis it does seem that a skewed view of MS is emerging. And this view may not be helpful to people trying to live their life as best they can.

What do you think? What do you think of recent coverage of MS? Please leave your comment below.