Gransnet forums


Photograph of dying Gran

(181 Posts)
Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 07:57:50

I was horrified yesterday to find a photo of a poor old soul curled up on a bed apparently asleep. The text told me that it was the poster's gran who was in her last hours. Lots of responses offering support etc to the person who'd posted it. I replied suggesting that it was not very respectful to post this very private moment on a social media site. The poster replied with a lot of guff saying it was because she loved her etc etc.
Privacy, dignity, respect ? Was I overreacting?

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:26:40

They also know I'm a registered organ donor.

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:27:58

People take photos of other people, and publish them in various ways, without their consent all the time.

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 18:29:02

Willow10 I think that sharing and showing that photo is strictly against the rules - it would have been sent to her in confidence and she should have deleted it if she could be of no help.

Jane10 that is quite shocking and it seem that people are becoming desensitised to what is right or wrong these days with every aspect of their lives being shared on social media. Poor Grandma who was not afforded privacy in her final hours.

Baggs Sat 13-Apr-19 18:30:26

Feeding dead bodies to vultures was a coomon practice in India, btw, and a good way to deal with dead bodies in a hot climate.

The fall in vulture numbers because of poisoning in the food chain caused a real problem. I don't know if that has been solved yet.

It's not essentially different from cremation when you think about it.

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 18:34:20

My own feeling is that if I was close to death or already dead, it wouldn't matter. I realise this is probably not a common view.
Well, you wouldn't know, of course, but there is the aspect of the dignity of the dying or dead person.
Better to be remembered looking your best than probably your worst. We have been to several funerals in the last couple of years and the orders of service usually have a photo on them of the deceased looking younger and vibrant, which is a good way to remember them I think.

Alexa Sat 13-Apr-19 18:51:36

I agree with Jane. Disrespectful. Is this actually permitted on decent websites? It should be illegal to post photos of anybody without their permission unless they are celebs who presumably are paid for being celebs.

B9exchange Sat 13-Apr-19 19:17:36

The GDPR classifies personal data as anything that can be used as part of identification. Beyond the obvious name, phone number, and addresses, this also includes photos.

Article 4 of the GDPR, the data subject’s consent means…

“…any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.”

I would be livid if someone took a photo of me and posted it online without my consent, and it could be construed as an illegal act. There may need to be a test case.

If you want to put your entire life online for the world to see, that is absolutely your right to do so. But you do not have the right to put other people's lives online without their consent, and that includes your children, as Gwyneth Paltrow found out!

Privacy has been hard won, and is part of human rights legislation. Please respect it. A country that dispenses with privacy is in a very worrying state.

paddyann Sat 13-Apr-19 19:21:26

Callestimo WHO decides whats right or wrong? Surely its up to the individual.What really irritates me on FB are friends who put up posts to "mum on her heavenly birthday" folllowed by lengthy posts about how much she's missed etc etc .These are people who wouldn't give "mum" the time of day when she was alive and were happy for their children to call her the old witch!! A photograph of someone you love at the end of their life is no more disrespectful than treating them badly for years and then being a public mourner for sympathy my opinion .

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 19:26:14

paddyann two wrongs don't make a right. Neither if the situations you mention are OK.

Sara65 Sat 13-Apr-19 19:27:57

I completely agree with Paddyann about the hypocrisy of some families, social media has made it possible to portray yourself as anything you like, just by posting a few stupid messages and some staged photos, however, a dying person should still be treated with dignity, not a photo opportunity for your Facebook page

rosecarmel Sat 13-Apr-19 20:38:47

I think the sender of images should extend the intended recipient the courtesy of asking them first of the image is something they wish to view or don't instead of shoving an image in the face of or sending it via text to any unsuspecting soul ..

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 20:41:27

Callestimo WHO decides whats right or wrong? Surely its up to the individual.
paddyann - that is precisely the point, you have hit the nail on the head.
The individual in this case was the grandmother, not the person who took the photo, and grandmother was in position to decide whether or not the photo of her dying was put on social media.

Callistemon Sat 13-Apr-19 20:41:51

was in no position

sodapop Sat 13-Apr-19 21:20:18

Exactly Callistemon

grumppa Sat 13-Apr-19 21:57:17

It must be wrong to post on social media a photograph of any person without their consent (or their parents' if they are children). A couple of years ago a cousin of mine put on social media a photograph of her dying father (my uncle) with her smiling children (his grandchildren) as he lay totally unconscious, unable to give or withhold consent. This greatly upset his other daughter, and rightly so, in my opinion. The sick and dying should not be treated as photo opportunities.

Jane10 Sat 13-Apr-19 22:02:26

This photo wasn't sent to me. I don't know the poster. It must have been liked or shared by someone I follow. With twitter pictures an be disseminated throughout the world to be seen by anyone. I didn't look for it it just turned up in my Twitter feed.

BradfordLass72 Sat 13-Apr-19 22:47:24

Willow10 That is so awful for you. Can I suggest something that has helped me?

I used to have nightmares (as an adult, not a child) from things I saw on the news.

Of course I stopped accessing all news media and still do but I found some relief in talking to the people who had been brutally treated, or who had been so despairing as to kill themselves.

I know that writing this in public will leave me open to scorn but I don't care.

I told these people they were not forgotten, that life had treated them shabbily but they would always be remembered by me at least, with love.

I'm not religious but I hope somehow the message gets through - love is never wasted.

jura2 Sat 13-Apr-19 22:51:31

No Twitter here- and this confirms that perhaps it is best that way.

I agree that it is wrong and disrespectful, and it would have upset me too.

rosecarmel Sat 13-Apr-19 23:25:24

I agree with Bradfordlass whole heartedly - Send love - I do similar when disturbing events appear in my newsfeed - I find it helpful as well -

Evie64 Sun 14-Apr-19 00:25:00

I agree Jane. That moment should be sacred and private. I loved the fact that my dear old dad was there for my birth and I was there stroking his face and talking to him as he died. I would not have dreamt of posting a picture of that moment, it was waaaaayy too special to share, plus my dad would have been seriously p****d off if I had!

Baggs Sun 14-Apr-19 08:09:13

I can see where I'm going wrong in most people's eyes: I don't regard birth or death as sacred. When someone says "Nothing is sacred", I agree.

It would seem that most people on this thread don't believe in the freedom of individuals to do what they want so long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I suppose some will argue that the dying grandma was harmed. I don't see how. Privacy has been mentioned. I don't think I'll care about privacy when I'm "curled up as if sleeping" but actually dying. It really, really, really won't matter.

The important thing is that the granddaughter was with her gran at that moment and I suggest that that is what she wanted to record.

Posting the pic on social media might seem a bit weird to most of us (including me) but freedom is freedom. Give the girl a break.

This thread is really yet another grannyrant about how the young use social media.

Jane10 Sun 14-Apr-19 08:32:53

Sorry that you just don't get it Baggs. I've run this past several younger people and they similarly feel that this reveals at best poor judgement and at worst lack of sensitivity.

Alexa Sun 14-Apr-19 09:15:13

Dying is not sacred but, since we all must die, dying well is to be wished for. If someone wants the general public to watch her die that is her choice.
Everyone should be able to die with dignity. I have watched people die and, believe me, they are extremely helpless, and it's cruel to take advantage of a dying person.

Witzend Sun 14-Apr-19 09:27:43

What I'd ask myself is, would the person mind such a photo being shared publicly?
Should imagine most people would certainly not be happy.

One reason I'd never have shared the photo of my dying mother, was that she was in the most pitiful state anyway, and I know her former (pre dementia) self would have been appalled.

TBH even before she was dying, I dissuaded any non-close family from visiting her, since although by then she was well past caring, I knew her former self would have absolutely hated for them to see the pitiful state she was in. It was a question of her privacy as well as her dignity.

Sara65 Sun 14-Apr-19 09:41:12

Completely agree Witzend, my mother in law was an elegant charming woman, who always liked to look her best, after several years in a nursing home, suffering from dementia, she was certainly none of those things, I’m sure she would have wanted to be remembered for who she was for most of her life, not the last few years. We weren’t close, but I respected her, and would never in a million years have taken photos of her.