Why can't they warn us?

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As a woman who has lost babies, I am in touch with other women in a similar situation on another board. Many of us were surprised by the baby's death in Th. episode. I ended up sobbing, the scenes were so real. I know that spoilers are posted, but I never read them. I wish there were some way they oculd have warned us, like maybe "This episode may be disturbing to grieving parents" or something like that. I love the show, but I had to fast forward through most of it, it hurt so.

-- Sarah Williams (swilli@twcny.rr.com), March 24, 2000


I don't know, but if they posted a message such as that, they'd probably end up haing to do it for just about every other episode they do. Take, when Lucy was stabbed, that final scene between her and Carter freaked even the normalest of people such as me out who haven't really experience unbelieveable tradgedy. Or they'd have to put a warning on the episode of when Mark was beaten up. That could have also shaken some people up. Heck, I knew it was coming and was still shaken for a while.

-- Chris (Lilsbgem01@aol.com), March 24, 2000.

I must agree with the second poster.I have AIDS,anman an episode had bothered me,and been very difficult to watch....I know it's a medical show,so I know I may see something that will upset me,but I watch anyway.To the OP.Im so sorry for your losses

-- (jennimomto4@aol.com), March 25, 2000.

Inserting warnings to "protect" people who might get upset at program content would probably require a segment at least as long as the episode itself. Think about every single element of a given episode -- and you can almost bet someone, somewhere will take offense, be disturbed, or be otherwise upset by its inclusion.

It would be impossible to anticipate every reaction to any given element in any given episode, so beyond the big three (language, violence, nudity), the networks don't even try. They couldn't do it even if they wanted to. I think the assumption is that you'll know when enough is enough for you, and stop watching if you get too upset or offended. And personally, I'll lose every last bit of respect I have for the production team if they DO start inserting warnings. It's drama, it's supposed to produce emotional reactions in people. There's no drama if you know what's coming.

The only other solution is to do what "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" does at the beginning of each show: "`This Hour Has 22 Minutes' is a satirical examination of daily events. Some viewers may not share this sense of humor." But again, that warning is so vague it might as well not be there.

-- Mike Sugimoto (phloem@fumbling.com), March 25, 2000.

Sarah, I am so sorry for your loss, I have two children and losing one is something I can't even imagine. I do know a little about grief, however. My dad died unexpectedly almost 2 years ago. A few months after he died, I watched a rerun of an ER episode where a woman brought a year old baby in with a heart problem. Now this was a rerun that I had seen before and i knew what was going to happen, but when the baby suddenly died, it brought back what I felt when I heard my dad was not going to make it. I mean you take someone to the hospital so they can fix it, and they couldn't fix it. Before that scene had ended I was in tears. My point is that when you are grieving sometimes you know what will upset you and sometimes you don't. In a show like ER you just have to be prepared to change the channel or fast forward through the upsetting parts.

-- Claudia (jl_cl@bellsouth.net), March 25, 2000.

I know what you guys are saying about the warnings, that they would have to be posted for every show and that they would need to be long. However, I also know that the death of a child is the most heartbreaking, heartwrenching thing I have ever experience. I just wish there were some way we grieving parents could knwo that shows were going to deal with a child's death. I remember losing my grandfather, and watching a movie where the grandmother died, and I felt sad and cried. But nothing compares to the profound grief that I feel over the loss of my babies, and the show the other night put me into such a depression! I just wish I had had a clue. Thanks to all of you who expressed your sympathy. I appreciate it.

-- Sarah (swilli@twcny.rr.com), March 25, 2000.

All that i can say is that i'm sorry for your loss, those of you who have lost a loved one. I as a mother was also very effected by that scene. But all I can say is welcome to the ER, unfortunately things like that go on, unexpected deaths and unexpected survivals but isn't that one reason we keep tuning in each week? In every episode something always shocks me and also I think teaches alot of people some very important lessons. Who knows how many babies were saved by that one episode?

-- Heather (charliegirll@hotmail.com), March 25, 2000.

NO babies were saved by that episode -- it was bad writing, false information. There is no way a baby could get enough amphetamines through breastfeeding that they would actually die as portrayed. Not to say that taking drugs while breastfeeding is okay (it isn't, since even small amounts of any drug can have unknown long-term effects), but it isn't the disaster it was portrayed to be. I found this storyline to be gratuitously upsetting.

-- kate (krileyc@aol.com), March 25, 2000.

I'm sorry for your losses. I've had a stillborn baby.

But, to watch a show like ER where someone dies nearly every episode, and not expect that sort of thing... well, it'd be like watching Adam 12 and not expecting sirens. Maybe this isn't a good time in your life to watch shows like this.

-- Susan Someone (soozremove@texas.net), March 27, 2000.

This is not a good time in my life to watch this show? When do you think it would be? 10 years? 15 years? I will never, ever, ever, ever get over losing my babies. I would think that you would understand that. I understand that a show about an ER will include death. I expect that, yes. I also expect children to show up hurt and die. However, I (like kate on the forum) found this story to be gratuitous, especially considering that it may have been inaccurate. The preface shows like NYPD Blue with warnings about violence, language, etc. Why could they not put a simple scrawl that says "Parents who have lost children may find this show difficult to watch" or something like that. That is all I wondered.

-- Sarah (swilli@twcny.rr.com), March 27, 2000.

Like other people have said, the disclaimer would be very long. Like: "Parents who have lost children, people with a relative dying of lung cancer, single mothers whose babies' father has left town, people who have been victims of a violent act, those who have been through surgery, people who have gone through pain regarding whether or not to donate a loved one's organs, people who have suffered loneliness and a physical disability at the same time, and anyone who's ever been in an ER in general may find this difficult to watch."

-- Susan (soozremove@texas.net), March 28, 2000.

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