EU condemns organ donor tv show

A tv reality show which centres on people competing for a dying woman’s kidneys has been roundly condemned in the Netherlands and abroad. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the European Commission, due to publish its own proposals to increase organ donation on Wednesday, told news agency ANP the show was in ‘extremely poor taste’.

The programme, to be broadcast by the public channel BNN on Friday has already been criticised by the cabinet and MPs. However, ministers Ronald Plasterk (media) and Ab Klink (health) will not ban the show. Plasterk says the media law does not allow him to act before the programme is shown.
Despite the condemnation, BNN announced at the weekend that the show will go ahead. In it, the terminally ill 37-year-old Lisa will choose which of three kidney patients will receive her kidney. The public can help her decide by sending sms messages.
BNN says the programme is a serious attempt to highlight the scarcity of donor organs and to honour the memory of the broadcaster’s founder, Bart de Graaff, who died five years ago at the age of 35. De Graaff suffered from kidney disease all his life, which stunted his growth and eventually killed him, despite a kidney transplant in 1997.

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