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Don't know how many watch the show "Cold Case" - it's one of our brain candy items. Last night's (3/19/06) episode revolved around a killer who was driven to commit a second murder 26 years after committing the first one, seemingly because he had Multiple Sclerosis. He had been in remission all these years, but now was experiencing some minor hand tremors, which of course signified "the beginning of THE END" (actual words from the show).

My partner has MS, and while of course we watch these shows as fiction not meant to be taken seriously, we were both really ticked by this. Many TV shows do attempt to provide an accurate picture of health issues. I sent this complaint to CBS:

I enjoy the show "Cold Case", but I have a large problem with the latest episode "One Night". It showed and fostered a tremendous amount of ignorance and misinformation regarding Multiple Sclerosis.

MS is NOT a fatal disease. This can not be repeated often enough. While it is not yet curable, it is in fact treatable - there are several medications that halt or slow exacerbations caused by MS. Many people with MS do not in fact become completely disabled.

While I acknowledge that a show like "Cold Case" is fiction, not documentary, that does not excuse it incorporating such irresponsible misinformation into the plot. In fact, the story line was made substantially weaker by it. The idea that someone (no matter how demented) with MS would be driven to commit murder because of what appeared to be a minor exacerbation is ridiculous, and the thought that a minor trembling of a hand marks "THE BEGINNING OF THE END" is beyond ludicrous.

Your "CBS Cares" website seeks to provide current and accurate information about a number of health issues. Please try to incorporate this admirable goal into your shows also.

This isn't the first time I've seen such ridiculous misuse of MS in a story line before. Years ago, the wife of one of the characters on "Law & Order" was supposed to have MS, and over the course of several episodes, the same stupidity (MS is fatal, she'll become completely helpless, etc.) was presented. I'm sorry I didn't complain to the network about that, but I had to this time. (At least the wife on "Law & Order" didn't become a serial murderer because of MS.)
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