Eastenders story line about Phil and c... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Eastenders story line about Phil and cirrhosis

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Hello

A rather silly question but I wonder if any of you are watching Eastenders at the moment?

Do you have any views on the current story line about Phil's son giving a part of his liver to save his him?

x

26 Replies
oldestnewest

Totally ridiculous. My partners sister wanted to do the same but she was told her liver wouldn't be large enough as she wasn't the same build. How can Bens liver be anywhere near the same size. xx

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It is ridiculous!!

I hope they don't show it as being easy ride getting a new liver. The assessment to even be eligible for transplant is tough enough let alone everything else. Living donations are rare mostly done between parent and child.

Plus being an alcoholic means you have to undergo the psychological aspects as well.

Xx

I agree with Poppy. It's a concern. Many people watch Eastenders, some even think it's reality. The writers could have (should have) taken the opportunity to inform the public that there is a lack of donated organs, it might have got someone to sign up for organ donation. Instead they opt for this ridiculous story line. Like others have said this procedure is normally reserved for parent and small child. My other concern is that this is not doing alcoholics who have given up, stayed sober for six months and had to prove in an assessment they will stay sober any favours.

The general public's perception of liver transplant is now George Best and Phil from Eastenders

I hope they don't continue with this.

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Hidden in reply to RodeoJoe

People do believe it's reality sadly. There is so much stigma attatched to liver disease as it is let alone adding to it. It really isn't helpful and Hubby has been sober for 12 months and still fights everyday and has to prove it to everyone.

I hope they don't continue with this also.

X

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Hidden in reply to RodeoJoe

Agree

Also they have failed to drive the message through about how dangerous Alcohol can be.

They have picked the typical "smack head" and "litre of vodka a day" in the gutter type drinker, like Phil was. The message would have been better sent if it was a middle aged mum supping some wine at home, most people watching East Enders will not see their drinking as harmful, you dont need to be at Phils level of abuse to get Cirrhosis. Opportunity missed and I am dis-appointed in the Liver Trust really, they have helped them with this story line

Robbo_c
Robbo_c in reply to Hidden

This.

My mum was an alcoholic, but I had no idea until she was diagnosed with cirrhosis. I can honestly say I never witnessed her drunk. She would sit at home each night, watching telly, and would open a bottle and finish it. She probably didn't realise the harm she was doing to herself. It's certainly made me take a long, hard look at my own drinking habits.

I don't watch Eastenders, so don't know how Phil's cirrhosis has been portrayed (apart from what's been mentioned on here), but the programme makers have an opportunity here to educate the public about what a ghastly condition liver disease is, and maybe make people look at their own drinking habits.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Yes, it is rather disappointing they've used Phil.

I do wish, like you said, they'd use a normal mum drinking her wine at night to relax.

I wonder how it will pan out.

x

tillycindy
tillycindy in reply to Hidden

Doubtless you,ll Know by Christmas Lizzie! xx

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Hidden in reply to tillycindy

I don't actually watch it any more. It popped up on my Facebook.

Gave it up at Christmas and I must say, haven't missed the dreary programme. Now we watch incredibly odd stuff. Hubbie loves programmes like Ice Road Truckers, or The Alaskan Bush People!

If its not his programmes, then its kids programmes.

I just wish Eastenders would get their facts right and I think they should have used a person who you would never imagine getting liver disease. Instead of promoting awareness, they've just promoted more prejudice.

xx

tillycindy
tillycindy in reply to Hidden

Well Lizzie, we know who wears the remote in your household! I gave up on EastEnders during the Den and Angie days, and he landed in a canal via a bunch of Daffs if I remember rightly, so long ago now. Thought at the time that television cauldn,t get more ridiculous!!!!!!!. I,m afraid that so many groups have been let down over the years by producers/writers, and so many opportunities to educate the wider public lost (often in the name of ratings ). Be it race issues, gay, health, the list goes on. somehow the fact it is the B.B.C seems to make the let down worse. I would like to know what the liver Trust has to say, prob that they had no editorial control. I call these issues soaps take on with such seemingly careless abandon the goldfish outlook " oh well if it dies we can always get another one" You can fly the flag for womens rights though Lizzie and regain control of that remote! anne x

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Hidden in reply to tillycindy

Thank you Anne!

I used to be queen of the remote, but there is so much rubbish on nowadays x

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

I have to admit I'm a big fan of Ice road truckers! It's quite exciting when you get into it. Lol

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Absolutely. Hubby was a 'functional alcoholic' held down a full time job etc. Even when he was warned he was still saying it won't happen to me. It did. It can. I find it really hard when people I work with are like 'i really need a big glass of wine's or something like that. Then judge my husband while hes lying in Hospital having his 31st drain in 6 months.

I think anyone can fall into the trap of being an alcoholic. Sad but true unfortunately it's all about ratings!!

I also think they have not touched on the other issues, and concerning Ben. Ben has hearing difficulties, well he did have when he was younger ( probably as they have changed actors ove the years these strangely seem to have disappeared too) . He also has psychological issues , one of them being anger , and he has been jailed for manslaughter. I don't think with his psychological health let alone any physical health issues he has he would even remotely be considered a candidate . Let alone the fact it is son and father, and a very dysfunctional family.

tillycindy
tillycindy in reply to Bermuda1

Well Bermuda, Now I know the storylines have picked up I,ll have to start watching again! Honestly lizzie, do you really think we,re falling for the " I don,t actually watch it anymore, it just popped up on my facebook " line?. Seriously though, if the Liver Trust was involved i would like to know how much, and what their comments are on how it,s playing out. Maybe admin can inform us. Hope everyone is diddling along o.k this morning. anne x x

Bermuda1
Bermuda1 in reply to tillycindy

Not that I am an avid watcher or anything . Lol . Tee Hee.

tillycindy
tillycindy in reply to Bermuda1

Ha, it,s all coming out now. Personally I,m a B.B.C four girl myself and of course B.B.C parliament channel!. Just trying to figure out if I can add rubbish, dangerous misinformation to my list of reasons not to pay the license fee. The little man with the antenna on his van actually missed coming around, never heard such incredible excuses he reckoned , I believe he said he,d " miss the entertainment" In the end we had them so baffled they gave up, They,ve only just started on again all this time later. I wonder what the actors think (about the terrible storyline I mean not trying to avoid paying the license fee ). I suppose they say the lines, collect the pay packet and give it little thought unless the issue impacts on their lives in some measure. Somehow I doubt we,ll see the Jade goody effect (which is possibly what the Trust was hoping for ) that didn,t last did it, the number of women going for screening?. anne x x x P.S will try and see if admin will comment on the Trusts involvement. They may reply, never know. Or it cauld be answers on a postcard please! lol .Ah yes it,s Lizzie who asked wasn,t it !, xxx Keep you posted.

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Hidden in reply to tillycindy

Seriously, I dont watch it any more! xx

tillycindy
tillycindy in reply to Hidden

Pinocchio! thought we ought to be serious for a while, lizzie, as it,s such an important subject. I messaged Admin and asked if it,s possible for a response to the storyline on EastEnders involving Phil. Asked them to comment on the Trusts involvement. Pointed out that the story has been described by some folk as ridiculous. Had raised concerns, and some people considered it a missed opportunity to educate the public with regards to the issues of people living with liver disease their partners/family/friends etc. The lovely Rebecca messaged back to say she has contacted Andrew Langford the C.E.O, so we shall see what their response is. Hey ho, what have you started!! lol anne xx

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Hidden in reply to tillycindy

I would be interested to know to. It really annoys me!! Lol getting all annoyed about a fictional character on television. Wish I hadn't started watching it again now ashamed to say I'm hooked. Oops... lol. I blame hubby he started watching it again in hospital. :)

tillycindy
tillycindy in reply to Hidden

I had asked for all of us Poppy. Pleased that Rebecca has asked the CEO for a response hopefully she,ll reply to us here. anne x x x

Many of us on here raised our concerns about it right at the start. I haven't been watching but no doubt millions of others have.

In real life there is no way at this stage Phil would be considered for a live donor transplant - for one if he's still drinking so he wouldn't get on the transplant list and you need to be assessed and on the transplant list awaiting a cadaveric liver before you'd be considered for any type of transplant including a familial live donation. My hubby who at the time of assessment was only 5ft5 and 8 stone was listed for all types of liver including a live or a split liver due to his small stature so it does happen for adults but not for someone Phil's size.

It angered many of us right at the outset and BLT came on and told us of their input to make sure it was a realistic portrayal but obviously the programme makers arn't interested in correctness and the impact it will have on the public perception. Yes it's not real but for millions of viewers it does impact on their thinking and could set liver donation back again.

Katie

I feel awareness could have been made as a storyline on EE of an episode with Phil at a consultant appt with them spelling out how important it is for people to carry an organ donation card and maybe reach out to the public that way.

Typical soap and typical let down eh peeps 😡

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Dear All

The Trust and clinicians from a transplant centre have tried to influence this storyline and given realistic advice that unless Phil was abstinent he would not be considered for a transplant. It is unfortunate that for TV the reality is not always properly portrayed and consequently viewers may not get a realistic view of how alcohol related liver disease can devastate the person and their families.

Given the shortage of donated organs, the need for more donors and for those who choose to be donors to have their decision carried out when they have died we sincerely hope that the storyline does not put anyone off becoming a donor or allowing their loved one's organs to be used for transplant.

I have spoken with the production team and they have reassured me that Phil will not be considered for transplant until he has been sober for more than six months and that Ben’s psychological health will be reviewed as part of any consideration. Please know that we, and our clinical colleagues, are trying very hard to persuade them to keep the storyline as realistic as possible.

Best wishes

Andrew

Andrew Langford, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust

Just watched on BBC iplayer, the episode from 23/09 where Phil is accused of drinking. From personal experience I thought the portrait of his, I assume hepatic encephalopathy, fairly accurate.

It's been made really clear that he has not been drinking for six months.

I do think it would have been good for it to be a character that we know drinks but who we think of as a moderate drinker, the mum with the bottle of wine that you describe... although I immediately think of Jane and she has enough on her plate.

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