Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Outcry over TV kidney competition

BBC NEWS reported A Dutch TV station says it will go ahead with a programme in which a terminally ill woman selects one of three patients to receive her kidneys.
They have done just about everything else on reality TV.
Political parties have called for The Big Donor Show to be scrapped, but broadcaster BNN says it will highlight the country's shortage of organ donors.... "It's a crazy idea," said Joop Atsma, of the ruling Christian Democrat Party. "It can't be possible that, in the Netherlands, people vote about who's getting a kidney," he told the BBC.
And that is not the case here. As indicated below, Lisa will make her choice based on the contestants' history, profile and conversation with their family and friends
.... The 37-year-old donor, identified only as Lisa, will make her choice based on the contestants' history, profile and conversation with their family and friends. Viewers will also be able to send in their advice by text message during the 80-minute show. .... Professor Feehally also pointed out that, under normal circumstances, two people would benefit from a donor, each receiving one kidney. "The set up of the programme bears no relationship to the way decisions are made about transplants in the real world," he said. "Living donors can choose altruistically to give one of their kidneys - usually to a family member.
Can a living donor choose altruistically to give both of their kidneys to someone, knowing it will mean they will have to go on dialysis for the rest of their life. That might not be too bad, if the rest of their life is not expected to be that long.
"If organs become available after someone dies, health professionals with access to detailed information about those waiting for a transplant make objective decisions about who should receive those particular kidneys."
And therein lies the problem. The doctors want to make the decision, and not allow the donor to have a say, since she will be dead. Maybe she will be ticked off at that position, and decide that no one can get her organs. Would the doctors prefer that no one gets them, unless they are allowed to choose?

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