Seven Dumps Live Open-Heart Surgery After Surgeons Said “Uh, Scuse Me?”

You may recall the unusual news from a few weeks back that Seven were planning to broadcast an open heart surgery live for reasons likely only known by the possibly coke-addled executives who originally conceptualised it. Anyone with an available brain cell instantly thought it seemed like a kind of terrible idea, and now Seven has come around to that obvious realisation and cancelled it.

According to a scoop over at The New Daily, Seven have changed the focus of Operation Live to a somewhat less dicey – but still pretty dicey – procedure: the caesarian section birth of a baby.

The decision was made after the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons wrote to the network to tell them that an open-heart surgery on live TV with commentary like it was a footy match is inherently a kinda terrible idea. RACS president John Batten told The New Daily that live broadcast of precise and risky operations is great for education, but not so much for entertainment:

In live surgery for education, things have gone wrong … and go wrong very quickly, particularly in heart surgery. I have heard of a case of somebody dying and, if that happened, there would be terrible consequences.It might have nothing to do with the surgeon but that’s what can happen.

A Seven spokesperson confirmed that the show’s focus had changed and that patient safety “comes before any consideration of the television audience”.

Operation Live is based on a UK format. It’s on YouTube if you feel like watching an aortic valve replacement, which I guess surgeons in Britain weren’t angry enough about to get cancelled.

In another interview, with the Daily Telegraph, Batten raised particular concerns about it being live and not pre-recorded:

One wonders what we’re achieving by live broadcasting compared with pre-recorded and edited, particularly if that pressure of live recording has any effect on the surgeon and their focus on the patient and the task before them.

It’s probably a good point! There are many things which do not need to be live. I guess there’s at least one person out there who would be like, “Oh, it’s not LIVE?? I’m seeing this guy getting cut open on PRE-RECORD? Fuck this, I’m out.”

Anyway. It’s airing this Sunday night after My Kitchen Rules, if you are, for whatever reason, keen.