Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What would you give for a new kidney?

I didn't realize that we can thank the Dutch for pioneering reality television, but now they are going even further to push the limits of reality TV.

A Dutch reality television show in which a terminally ill woman is to select one of three contestants to receive her kidneys when she dies is to air this week despite criticism that it pushes the boundaries of the format too far.

The government has called [for the show] to be dropped because it is "unethical" and "wretched" but the broadcaster BNN said it would go ahead to highlight the difficulties of searching for kidney donors.

In the show, due to be broadcast on Friday, a woman identified only as Lisa, 37, will select a recipient based on their history, profile and conversations with their families and friends. Throughout the 80-minute show, viewers will be invited to send Lisa text messages to advise her. |TV contestants to compete for woman's kidneys - Guardian|

While I can see some value to publicizing the plight of people needing organ transplants, it does seem a bit cheeky for a television studio to set up its own organ donation program for the sake of ratings. Couldn't they do a nice documentary instead?

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