May 29, 2007 / 2:12 PM / 11 years ago

Organ donor show to go on despite criticism

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch broadcaster will air a show this week in which a terminally ill woman selects a recipient for her kidneys from three contestants, despite government calls for the programme to be scrapped.

Newspaper De Telegraaf said BNN would broadcast The Big Donorshow on Friday during which the 37-year-old woman will choose from three people with kidney problems.

She will make her choice based on the contestants’ history, profile and conversations with their families and friends. Viewers will be able to send text messages advising her during the 80-minute show.

“The chance for a kidney for the contestants is 33 percent. This is much higher than that for people on a waiting list. You would expect it to be better but it is worse,” the daily cited BNN Chairman Laurens Drillich as saying.

Ruling coalition parties Christian Democrat (CD) and the conservative Christian Union have called the show “wretched” and unethical.

BNN says it wants to highlight the difficulties faced by kidney sufferers in getting donor organs as a tribute to BNN founder Bart de Graaff, who died of kidney failure five years ago, despite several transplants.

The Netherlands is a pioneer of reality shows like “Big Brother”.

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