Complaints scrap hospital reality show

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Dutch television station RTL has decided not to broadcast any further episodes of its controversial reality show, 24 hours: between life and death. The first episode was aired on Thursday evening.

Patients at the accident and emergency department of Amsterdam’s Free University (VU) Medical Centre hospital were filmed by hidden cameras for the programme. On Wednesday, it surfaced that some people had not been asked beforehand whether they wanted to take part in the fly-on-the-wall show.

The hospital came under fire from patients’ organisation and other health bodies for breaching patient confidentiality. The VU said it had agreed to co-operate with the programme in order to show how professional and thorough the care offered by the accident and emergency department is.

The hospital argued that some patients were in no state to be asked for their permission before they received treatment. However, following the furore caused by the news of the secret filming, it has now withdrawn its backing for the show which was being made by the Eyeworks production company.

With the VU no longer co-operating on the project, RTL says it cannot broadcast any more episodes of the programme.

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