Win A Donated Kidney

Proving again that the truth is stranger than fiction, an article in the Toronto Star tells the story of a dying woman who is going to donate a kidney to the winner of a bizarre reality show.

The Dutch government will not stop the broadcast of the show, as that would be censorship. Meanwhile, the network that will broadcast the show, BNN, says that it has a higher moral principle at work: the network is trying to highlight the shortage of organ donors.

The woman who is donating the organ is dying from an inoperable brain tumour. She plans to donate the kidney while she is still alive.

The director of the Dutch Kidney Foundation, Paul Beerkens, is happy for the attention that the show is bringing to the need for donors, but wants the broadcast stopped. While there are approximately 1500 people in Holland waiting for organs, Beerkens commented that this "is not the way".

This could be a windfall for a couple of reasons: while it's not mentioned in the article, one has to assume that the medical procedure to transplant the kidney is also covered.

Personally, I'd rather have good medical insurance and hope for a family member who's a good match. Living donors for both parts of livers or a single kidney are becoming much more common. When the donor knows the recipient, there is more investment and more motivation. While this won't address the need for more people to sign their donor cards, it could help meet the immediate need.

Monique L. Attinger

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