Kidney donation on Big Donor Show wasn’t real, was intended to “raise public awareness”

The Dutch reality show that was to follow a terminally ill woman giving away her kidney is a hoax.

The sick was actually “an actress, not actually dying of a brain tumor as claimed,” the show revealed on Friday, although the patients were really people who needed kidneys.

Why do the show? “The entire exercise was intended to pressure the government into reforming its organ donation laws and raise public awareness of the need for organs,” the AP reported, citing what the show’s host said on the program. Adding to that, “around 200 people die annually in the Netherlands while waiting for a kidney, and the average waiting time is more than four years — more than in other European countries.”

“Politicians have really dropped the ball,” one of the kidney recipients contestants said.

Dutch kidney donation show revealed as hoax [AP]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.