Dutch Reality Show-Compete For A Dying Woman's Kidney - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-31-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
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Dutch Reality Show-Compete For A Dying Woman's Kidney

Of course organ donation needs all the publicity it can get, but is that the message anyone will get from this show? Who will be watching it for that purpose? What will be next?

By Arthur Max
Associated Press
Wednesday, May 30, 2007; C07

AMSTERDAM, May 29 -- A 37-year-old woman suffering from an inoperable brain tumor wants to donate a kidney before she dies and will choose the recipient from among three contestants on Dutch national television, a TV network said Tuesday, claiming it wants to highlight a crisis in organ donations.

Asked to intervene, the Dutch government declined, saying it would be censorship to stop the broadcast, regardless of how distasteful -- and even unethical -- it might be. It is unclear whether the contestants are a medical match with the terminally ill woman, and whether the winner would be capable of receiving her kidney.

The publicly financed television network, BNN, said it intends to go ahead with the program on Friday, drawing attention to the hundreds of people who die each year for lack of a kidney transplant.

The subject of the scheduled broadcast of "The Big Donor Show" reached the floor of Parliament after a member of the governing Christian Democrats, Joop Atsma, questioned whether a public contest for a lifesaving organ would cross the boundary of merely objectionable to illegal.

"The information I have right now tells me that the program is unfitting and unethical, especially due to the competitive element, but it's up to program makers to make their choices," responded Education Minister Ronald Plasterk.

Government interference, he said, would amount to censorship.

BNN defended the program. "Some people will think it's tasteless, but we think the reality is even more shocking and tasteless: Waiting for an organ is just like playing the lottery," said network Chairman Laurens Drillich.

"The Big Donor Show" is produced by Endemol NV, which created the "Big Brother" concept in 1999 and marketed it around the world, setting off the rage of reality TV.

The network identified the donor only as Lisa and gave no other information about her. During the show, she will hear interviews with the three candidates, their families and friends before choosing who will get her kidney.

Viewers will be able to vote for a candidate via SMS text message, but the final determination will be Lisa's, BNN said.

Though the ailing woman intends to donate the kidney while still alive, she would be free to donate other organs after her death under the normal organ allotment system, said BNN spokeswoman Marieke Saly.

But there's no guarantee that Lisa's choice will receive the organ.

Plasterk said that as with any transplant, the tissues of the donor and the recipient must be compatible. "The doctors in this program can't make any concessions on that front," he said during a lively parliament debate.

"So it's very possible that in practical terms, we're not talking about anything here, because it's possible this transplant can't take place," he said.

Paul Beerkens, director of the Dutch Kidney Foundation, welcomed the sudden attention to the problem of organ donations, but called on BNN to cancel the show now that it has gained publicity.

"There are about 1,500 people waiting on the list for more than four years, so something has to be done," Beerkens told AP Television News. "But let's be clear: This is not the way."

Dutch TV producers have raised eyebrows before with controversial material. before. Two years ago, a station showing a "Big Brother" series followed one contestant's pregnancy, then aired the birth. Though the mother hoped to win the $540,000 top prize, she quit before the end of the show.

Around the same time, BNN showed footage of one of its reporters snorting cocaine and then being interviewed about the experience in a talk show format.
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Old 05-31-2007, 01:47 PM   #2
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My dad told me about this the other day and I think it's absolutely terrible. I don't like the fact how they're making a game out of something so serious. The contestants all need a kidney, but they have to compete for it on some game show. It just doesn't sit well with me. Although it does raise awareness, I don't think it's a good kind of awareness because it seems to be trivializing the whole issue. I thought when people found out they're terminally ill they decided to do something meaningful with their life...(and yeah I know she's donating an organ, but there are certainly other ways to do it. And ways where it will be more likely for the transplant to actually work.)
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:00 PM   #3
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it is bad taste but it is more bad taste that the majority of the complaining people don`t have a donor codicil.
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:50 PM   #4
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I will just copy what I wrote in U2MaNaIcWeIdO's journal:

I doubt that they're going to go through with this show in the way they've suggested. Knowing BNN (their founder died of kidney failure, and they like to be provocative) this is a big media stunt to draw attention to the fact that there's a huge shortage of organ donors, and that the EU's currently debating the subject. If my gut feeling's correct (and I hope it is), they're going to announce at the end that it's all been a hoax just to draw attention to the subject.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:09 AM   #5
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Last week I saw a program on TV where the producer/director of the donor-show came to explain his 'intentions'. It seemed as if he couldn't really explain the real intentions of the program, because in my opinion his arguments were a bit vague and not convincing.

I truly hope you're right though, DrTeeth, because I seriously have my doubts.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:38 AM   #6
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America needs more cutting edge shows like this Fuck Deal or No Deal or Dancing with the Bores.









Dancing with the Boars, however
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
I will just copy what I wrote in U2MaNaIcWeIdO's journal:

I doubt that they're going to go through with this show in the way they've suggested. Knowing BNN (their founder died of kidney failure, and they like to be provocative) this is a big media stunt to draw attention to the fact that there's a huge shortage of organ donors, and that the EU's currently debating the subject. If my gut feeling's correct (and I hope it is), they're going to announce at the end that it's all been a hoax just to draw attention to the subject.
And indeed, in the end they did announce that it was all a hoax.
Or at least, there was no woman suffering from a brain tumour who was willing to donate one of her kidneys while she was still alive. She was an actress.
On the other hand, not even one of the three people got a new kidney (and up to 23 years of living a fairly healthy life). So they may have to wait another 13 years or so, before they get a new kidney...
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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Yep, it turned out to be a stunt, and a pretty brilliant one if you ask me.
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn


And indeed, in the end they did announce that it was all a hoax.
Or at least, there was no woman suffering from a brain tumour who was willing to donate one of her kidneys while she was still alive. She was an actress.
On the other hand, not even one of the three people got a new kidney (and up to 23 years of living a fairly healthy life). So they may have to wait another 13 years or so, before they get a new kidney...
I'd hate to be Joop Atsma at the moment
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
I'd hate to be Joop Atsma at the moment


He had some great soundbites. I wonder if he'll also use them for the subject the presenter was asking for.

Hopefully he now understands where his priorities are as representative.
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Yep, it turned out to be a stunt, and a pretty brilliant one if you ask me.
I had hoped that it would be even more confrontational and political.
And that they would've announced a second episode (in 5 years or so if in the meantime still nothing had happened).

And for those wondering why they chose a format like this one: this broadcasting company already had a show in a more regular format (i.e. like regular fundraising events) a couple of years ago asking for more people to register themselves as a donor. And also asking the government to take appropriate action. Sadly, that had no effect.
Hopefully those bozos in the parliament will listen this time.
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Yep, it turned out to be a stunt, and a pretty brilliant one if you ask me.
Okay, okay, you were right
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:32 AM   #13
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Hopefully this stupid stunt makes people consider becoming an organ donor. I don't think it was very well thought out though, probably put some people off.


REGISTER TO BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR, TELL YOUR FAMILY WHAT YOU WANT, YOU COULD IMPROVE OR SAVE SO MANY LIVES.:Pray:
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:43 AM   #14
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I've read that all three candidates already got transplanted a kidney, but those were refused by their bodies.

There is a serious shortage of organs in almost every country, and for every organ, but some might start to think, "Well, if all three already got a kdney the shortage can't be too bad." Nevertheless, it is bad, so it might have helped to have other candidates who didn't receive a kidney so far.

I'm not sure if this show helped to get people signing up as organ donors. Hopefully it did, and maybe there will be some information about the success in the coming weeks.
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:25 AM   #15
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Yes if it does make people truly stop and think then it was indeed a brilliant hoax.

How many people here are signed up to be organ donors? Recent events in my life have made me realize that I need to do that asap. I have always wanted to but for whatever psychological reasons I have kept putting it off. What are all the legal things you have to do to make sure your family will follow your wishes?
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