Monday, February 20, 2012

Christian TV channel fined £25,000 for healing claims

Christian TV channel Believe TV has been fined £25,000 by OFCOM for


In Ofcom's finding published on 22 August 2011 in Broadcast Bulletin 188
Ofcom  found that a number of programmes and pieces of content broadcast by the Licensee
had the potential for harm, because some viewers with serious illnesses – especially
more vulnerable ones – may not seek, or may abandon existing, conventional
medical treatment on the basis of what they have seen on Believe TV. 
OFCOM decided to act because of the repeated nature of the incidents which included claims to be able to cure cancer.

The original complaints can be found here:
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/enforcement/broadcast-bulletins/obb188/obb188.pdf

and includes this:

A cancer healing “testimony” was made by a woman who had attended a healing by
Pastor Alex Omokudu at the Victorious Pentecostal Assembly (VPA). She said she
had originally collapsed with “a tumour in her head”. Her relative, standing at her
side, explained that after the woman with the tumour left hospital she went to the
VPA and “purchased” Ribena (allegedly representing the blood of Christ) and “oil”.
Her relative explained that the woman with the tumour stopped taking her medication
for seizures, continued to take Ribena, and that when she went for a scan she was
told “there wasn’t a problem”



The full judgement is here:
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/enforcement/broadcast-bulletins/obb200/obb200.pdf

It will be interesting to see whether Christian pressure groups view this as an attack on Christianity or welcome it as a protection for the vulnerable.


1 comment:

  1. The statements that bother me the most always come from groups/individuals who are of the same opinion as I am. I would guess that some Christian groups will agree with this because they don't want to be associated with something crazy. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who agree with the philosophy and won't find this irresponsible.

    As far as the ruling, my opinions are mixed. It is certainly irresponsible to encourage people away from their medical treatments. On the other hand, I am generally of the opinion that restricting speech should be avoided where possible. Also, I feel like a ruling such as this brings more attention to the initial proclamation of being cured than it would have otherwise received if restricted to Believe TV.

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