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If only brain tumour research could be funded in the same way as leukaemia and other cancers

Please add your objection and register complaint to ITV

A number of people have contacted us about a trailer for ITV’s new series called “My Child’s Not Perfect” which is due to be broadcast on Tuesday, 6 December 2011, 9:00PM – 10:00PM. In the trailer the mother of one of the children featured appears to imply that she would rather her child had a brain tumour than a behavioural problem because ‘at least a brain tumour can be cut out’.

 Treatment of brain tumours and the research need to support such treatment is considerably more complex than simply ‘cutting’ the tumour out. Trivialising the issue may give parents false hope and may reduce the public’s willingness to donate to support the fight against tumours so it is important that ITV and the series’ production company, Maverick Television, take action to ensure they are not seen to be trivialising the issue.

Brain Tumour Research member charity, Headcase, brought this to our attentuion and has already written to ITV and been told that one complaint alone would not justify a change in the programme so if you would like to contact ITV to let your views be known, we have provided a template letter based on the complaint made by Headcase.

If you would like to register a complaint please feel free to adapt the template below and send an email to viewerservices@itv.com before 6 December.

Nb: (Ofcom can only intervene after an advert has been broadcast and therefore encourage potential viewers to raise issues direct with the programme maker if they aware of a problem in advance). 

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Trailer My Child’s Not Perfect

I am writing to object to the trailer for the ITV series ‘My Child’s Not Perfect’. The trailer features a mother of a child with a behavioural disorder who makes a comment along the lines of ‘I would rather he had a brain tumour, at least they can be cut out’.

You should be aware that brain tumours in children are the single biggest killer (among all cancers) in British children and cannot be cured simply by ‘cutting them out’.

I appreciate that the comment was an unscripted and emotional one from a mother who is genuinely concerned about her own child’s serious problems but to screen this ill-informed comment will not only give false hope to the many parents of children with brain tumours, of which there are many thousands in the UK, but could also have a negative effect on the public’s willingness to donate funds towards the fight against Brain Tumours.

I do hope that you will take my comments on board and delete this reference from next week’s programme or at the very least make it clear that the comment concerned is in no way intended to belittle or trivialise the serious nature of tumours of the brain or the essential work that charities across the country do to support the fight against brain tumours.

Yours faithfully,

 

7 Responses to Please add your objection and register complaint to ITV

  1. Sue Leeson says:

    It sickens me to think you would air a comment that implies to cure a brain tumour is as simple as cutting it out.We lost our daughter in feb this year after just 4 months.Brain tumours kill more adults and children under the age of 40 than any other cancer.I hope you understand the seriousness of Brain Tumours and decline from airing these comments.Yours faithfully susan leeson.

  2. sarah jones says:

    my friend has had 2 brain tumours an
    d i am disgusted in what this lady is saying

  3. tracey says:

    I have had to write as I was appalled at the trailer I have seen with a mother saying `I would rather he had a brain tumour, at least they can be cut out’ with regards to her child who has a behavioural disorder.

    How can she possible say this???!!!!

    My son, now 7, has been battling a brain tumour since he was 3. They are unable to `cut it out` as the bulk of it is too deep and embedded, they took what they could. Would she care to come and visit the childrens cancer ward where him and many children like him receive their chemotherapy to try and stay alive…then she can decide whether she would rather it be a brain tumour. Very silly naive woman. I appreciate living with children with behavioural disorders can be hard but I do not believe in anyway it compares to having a child with a brain tumour. Many of the friends I have met on the ward no longer have their children due to their brain tumours….perhaps we should let the fantastic team of surgeons and oncologists know that all you have to do is `cut it out` and everything will be ok. Unfortunately with a brain tumour comes many many other issues and sadly the cancer can spread very quick.

    I would invite this naive mother to visit those parents who have lost their children to this terrible disease and dare to tell them she has the roughest deal. Brain tumours are the biggest childhood killer and thanks to not enough money still going into research it hasnt moved on in 40 years. How on earth this can compare to a behaviour problem I will never know.

    I trust you will look at this and remove the very very offending words. If only it were as simple as `cutting it out`.

    Tracey Piggott

  4. Sharon Nicholson says:

    Re: Trailer My Child’s Not Perfect

    I am writing to object to the trailer for the ITV series ‘My Child’s Not Perfect’. The trailer features a mother of a child with a behavioural disorder who makes a comment along the lines of ‘I would rather he had a brain tumour, at least they can be cut out’.

    You should be aware that brain tumours in children are the single biggest killer (among all cancers) in British children and cannot be cured simply by ‘cutting them out’.

    I appreciate that the comment was an unscripted and emotional one from a mother who is genuinely concerned about her own child’s serious problems but to screen this ill-informed comment will not only give false hope to the many parents of children with brain tumours, of which there are many thousands in the UK, but could also have a negative effect on the public’s willingness to donate funds towards the fight against Brain Tumours.

    I do hope that you will take my comments on board and delete this reference from next week’s programme or at the very least make it clear that the comment concerned is in no way intended to belittle or trivialise the serious nature of tumours of the brain or the essential work that charities across the country do to support the fight against brain tumours.

    Yours faithfully

    Sharon Nicholson
    (brain tumour patient)

  5. SHARON MARSHALL says:

    I am so disgusted by this woman’s total ignorance to this killer disease. Give me strength! please please do not broadcast this!

  6. tracey wilkinson says:

    i have a child with a brain tumour, come live at our house you would change your comment then, this should not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! be allowed ……………….

  7. Sarah Colville says:

    ITV obviously thought it was ok to air this comment in the actual programme last night – I have already complained to ITV – my daughter had a brain tumour, it took me till midnight last night to calm my eldest daughter down, I was absolutely furious with ITV for airing this

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