Thursday, May 24, 2007

BB keeps housemate in dark about dads death. Discuss!

An expert on grief and bereavement has said Big Brother housemate Emma should be informed of her father's death, despite the deceased's request not to tell her.

Her father Raymond Cornell, 53, died of cancer in Adelaide, and his funeral was held on Monday.

Emma's boyfriend Tim Stanton told News Limited that Mr Cornell had asked that his daughter not be told of his death until she left the house.

Director of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, psychologist Chris Hall, this morning said Emma should be given the information about the death of her father, so she can make her own choice about the best way to deal with it.

"I've worked with lots of bereaved people, and I've never had somebody complain that they've been told too much. But I have had people complain to me that they've been lied to, or that they've been deceived," Mr Hall told

"To me it's somewhat paternalistic. I think there's a real danger when we make assumptions about what the needs for other people may or may not be, and when we actually remove choice from the individual.

"One of the things about bereavement is it often makes people feel incredibly powerless. . . death is a choiceless event, we have no control over that experience," he said.

Mr Hall said that Emma's grief could be exacerbated by not being involved in the aftermath of her father's death, whose funeral was on Monday.

"It may be that she decides to continue, or not. There are two needs here: the needs of the family and (the needs) of the deceased person, who may have expressed a wish. But very often we see people whose grief has been made more complex because they have been excluded in some way," he said.

Mr Hall said that given Emma, who at 24 is an adult, she should be informed of the death even if it goes against the wishes of her family.

"She's an adult and so I think the duty of care to an adult is to discreetly and privately inform her of the situation."

Mr Hall also said Big Brother's producers should tread carefully when dealing with this issue on air.


dieter said...

If it was me I would be bloody angry that they did not tell.

Brizpaul said...

I personally think this shows run is coming to an end. I've watched the show probably once or twice only because nothing else was on the other channels. Its received negative publicity in the past and that has helped keep its profile afloat but it is a sinking ship leaking ever so slowly but none the less sinking. Will be interesting to see if the sympathy vote comes into effect with the daughter of the father that has died.

peter said...

its just wrong

dieter said...

Or will those voters think she should be with her family,vote her out.Personally i think its a waste of time.They 'in the house' need something to talk about. Maybe BB could give then a news paper or let them see a news show instead of going on about themselves.

Brizpaul said...

Maybe they will maybe they wont Dieter. The easier option would be just to axe the whole program. To the producers tv ratings and advertising revenue comes well above human emotion.

dieter said...

The almighty dollar rules I agree. The show does not rate well down here so with any luck it will get dumped.

Sue said...

There is a grieving process that goes on, and a part of this process is the funeral. Saying goodbye and laying this person to rest. I just think she could have more emotional problems, not knowing, than she would if she knew of her fathers' death.

Also, she probably would have wanted to be there towards the end of her fathers life. I know I would.