Tonight was the conclusion of the ITV soap Emmerdale’s mesothelioma storyline. The character with mesothelioma, policewoman Donna Windsor (actress Verity Rushworth), chose to plunge to her death from a multi storey car park with a criminal handcuffed to her. It seemed the mesothelioma was somewhat secondary in the story, and the character could have had any terminal illness, in order for her to eventually kill herself.
I feel that whilst the producers of Emmerdale might have had a dramatic ending, they have failed to show the perniciousness of mesothelioma and equally in having the character kill herself, done a great dis-service to mesothelioma victims who fight to stay alive. The producers and writers of Emmerdale have it seems to me used mesothelioma for their own dramatic ends, and disrespectfully failed to show the human issues surrounding this disease. With the character being so young there was the obvious question which was not addressed, of how she had been exposed to asbestos, and there was the lost opportunity to highlight the dangers of asbestos in schools, which would explain why someone as young as her had contracted mesothelioma.
Whilst when the storyline was first disclosed several months ago there was great hope that the true nature of mesothelioma who be highlighted nationally, this programme has ultimately done nothing for mesothelioma victims and greater awareness of the disease and the fight against it.