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The Big Donor Show

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1. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

A TV channel in the Netherlands is to broadcast a programme where a terminally ill woman will pick someone to receive her kidneys.

Discuss.

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Just so everyone is on the same page - here's the story:

Kidney Donor TV Show Planned

3. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

Discuss, but with the broader context, please?

This TV station was launched a couple of years ago, with a guy who had a kidney-disease himself, and died a couple of years ago. He had two (?) transplants in his life, but in the end it didn't helped.

This Channel mainly wants to feed the discussion, on how we can get enough donors, to help people that depend on a donor. You have to know that a lot of people here are waiting for a kidney. (as do a lot of other people, for other organs) At this moment people are dying, because there are not enough people that are willing to give away their organs, when they die.

You can ask how far you can go to raise attention to this matter, and even the TV Channel says it is a tasteless idea, but the idea that people are dying because there are not enough organs, to help people who need a transplant is even worse.

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Personaly: I don't know what I should think about this. I think that attention to the problem is necessary, but I wonder if a parody on a game show, is the way to do it.

[ Edit: Edited on May 30, 2007, at 5:31 AM by Herr Bert ]

4. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

Yeah I agree with Mr Bert.

More donors are needed, but is this the way to go about it? I'm wondering, have many companies been buying advertising space while the program is broadcast?

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

That bit was on the news last night. I guess they're trying to raise awareness for organ donations, but it's just a bit...not only tasteless, but cruell. Maybe it's a case of you've got to be cruel to be kind...?

6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

It's just a TV channel dying for some viewers, because it s*cks like most TV channels do.
But of course, these kind of programs are good to fall a sleep out of boredom.
You get born, you live, you die, end of story.

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Personally, I find the idea of this program to be in extremely poor taste. But, no matter what the subject matter entails, there will always be someone willing to participate - just as there is in this situation. It can be seen as cruel when it is obvious one of the three possible recipients will be the "loser", therefore losing hope in receiving a kidney in a timely manner. I am taking for granted that all three recipients have already undergone tissue-typing and the other analyses required to classify them as good transplant matches. If not, then the program is indeed of no value what-so-ever outside of drawing attention to the shortage of available organs and entertainment for the bored TV viewer.

The other issue not being discussed in the news reports (about the show) that I have read, is the donation of both kidneys. The donor is terminally ill, that's a given. By donating both kidneys, she is also agreeing to assisted euthanasia, which has been legal in The Netherlands since 2002. Not only does broadcasting this program shed light on the transplant aspect, but also on the issue of euthanasia. (No one can survive very long without one functioning kidney and she will have zero.) Is this really a message the Dutch Transplant Foundation wants to send side by side with the need for organs? Maybe. Maybe not.

Being a live kidney donor is a huge decision for someone to make. Most people consider having two kidneys a good thing. The rationale sits with donating one and having the remaining kidney fail placing the donor in a recipient situation. Maybe this program will bring an increase in live donations, but it's more likely to be a gruesome "spectator sport", no different than Big Brother or American Idol just with human lives relying on the whims of the voters.

8. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

I never picked up the fact that she would donate both kidneys. (but then again I missed a lot of the story). But I always understood that transpanting a kidney from a live donor, has a much larger rate of success. If the transplant would be done, a couple of days/hours before, she would die anyway, I don't really see the problem.

One thing to point out, is that the woman will make the decision, not the public vote.

If the Channel is doing this to raise awareness, then this at least helps, as the EU today announced it wants to introduce one donor-card for the whole of the EU.

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Quoting Herr Bert

I never picked up the fact that she would donate both kidneys. (but then again I missed a lot of the story). But I always understood that transpanting a kidney from a live donor, has a much larger rate of success. If the transplant would be done, a couple of days/hours before, she would die anyway, I don't really see the problem.

One thing to point out, is that the woman will make the decision, not the public vote.

If the Channel is doing this to raise awareness, then this at least helps, as the EU today announced it wants to introduce one donor-card for the whole of the EU.

I must correct my statement - as MaltaStar states only one recipient will be chosen by the donor. Several other stories intimated two of the three "contestants" would receive kidneys - hence my comments about euthanasia. (Sorry - didn't intentionally go off topic.)

All of the coverage I have read (and I haven't read them all, I'm sure) do state that the donor will make the choice based on several items, including advice sent to her via SMS. Whether she heeds any of the advice is one thing, but it is still audience participation none-the-less.

In general, organ transplants have a greater success rate when the donor organ has been
taken from a "live" donor. Kidneys just happen to be organs where the donor can continue to live a full life with just one. Donors who have been accident victims or suffered cardiac arrest (just as examples) who are considered in complete irreversible brain death will be maintained on life support pending removal for transplant. It is a perfect situation if the donor and recipient share the same hospital as organs do not need to be transported.

I am just of the belief that, in all fairness, no donor be allowed to choose the recipient. Too many factors are involved with absolute need. Are these three "contenstants" the top three on the recipient list? I don't know. But, in saying that, does it negate me from donating a kidney to Beerman if he were in need and a match? Probably. It's just a very thin line to tread and I feel the show will backfire. (But, that's just my opinion.)

10. Posted by Fun Bobby (Budding Member 115 posts) 9y

"no donor be allowed to choose the recipient."

I think the donor choosing the recipient is not an issue. For instance, if my sister needed a kidney and I donated 1 to her, I would be the donor choosing the recipient. The fact that this donor is deciding who the recipient is dependant on a few meetings for a TV show may not sit with everyone too well, but I think the real controversy comes due to the fact this is screened an some sort of audience participation entertainment. Surely there are easier ways to generate publicity for such a serious subject?

What next, TV votes to see which of the 3 battered housewives gets the 1 remaining place in the womans shelter?