Author Topic: Are you a donor?  (Read 4172 times)

mvansand76

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Are you a donor?
« on: June 02, 2007, 07:09:30 am »
Hi all,

Yesterday controversial Dutch broadcaster BNN aired the Grote Donor Show. The outrage in Holland and in the world about this show was enormous and several parties asked BNN not to broadcast this, but they did last night. In this show, one terminally ill woman was going to donate one of her kidneys to one of three kidney patients. The three patients were there and they all tried to convince her to give the kidney to her/him. Just when, after 1,5 hours, this woman, Lisa was going to tell the audience who she had chosen, the lights went on in the studio and the presenter turned toward the camera and told everybody that it was not real, that it was a hoax and that they were not giving away a kidney. The three patients knew this and Lisa was an actress. Quite a way to pull the attention towards a big problem: the shortage of donors. I thought it was absolutely brilliant!

Here is an article about it on the BBC website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6714287.stm

Are you a donor? If not, what keeps you from filling in that donor form? It could be because, like in Holland, the definition of brain dead is not clear.

Let me know!

Mel

Offline opinionista

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 08:28:13 am »
I just saw this in Yahoo news.

--------------------------

Kidney transplant TV show is a hoax
By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer
Sat Jun 2, 2:42 AM ET

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A television show in which a woman would donate a kidney to a contestants was revealed as a hoax Friday, with presenters saying they were trying to pressure the government into reforming organ donation laws.

Shortly before the controversial program was to air, Patrick Lodiers of the "Big Donor Show" said the woman was not actually dying of a brain tumor and the entire exercise was intended to put pressure on the government and raise awareness of the need for organs.

The three prospective recipients were real patients in need of transplants and had been in on the hoax, the show said.

The program concept had received widespread criticism for being tasteless and unethical.

But Lodiers said that it was "reality that was shocking" because around 200 people die annually in the Netherlands while waiting for a kidney, and the average waiting time is more than four years. Under Dutch rules, donors must be friends, or preferably, family of the recipient. Meeting on a TV show wouldn't qualify.

"I thought it was brilliant, really," said Caroline Klingers, a kidney patient who was watching the show at a kidney treatment center in Bussum, Netherlands.

"I know these transplant doctors, and I thought they'll never go and actually do it. But it's good for the publicity and there are no losers."

During the show, 25 kidney patients were vetted by "Lisa," and most were quickly dismissed for being too old, too young, smokers, ex-smokers or unemployed. Contestants gave moving pleas for why they should receive the organ.

"It really hurt watching that," said Tim Duyst, whose wife is awaiting a transplant and cannot work. "You're dismissed in a wave of the hand."

Viewers were called on to express an opinion or vote for their favorite candidate by SMS text message for 47 cents.

The show was produced by Endemol, which created "Big Brother" in 1999.

The Royal Netherlands Medical Association, known by its Dutch acronym KNM, had urged its members not to participate and questioned whether the program might just be a publicity stunt.

"Given the large medical, psychological, and legal uncertainties around this case, the KNMG considers the chance extremely small that it will ever come to an organ transplant," it said.

All seven of the country's transplant centers had said they not cooperating with the program, KNMG spokeswoman Saskia van der Ree.

Earlier in the week, the Cabinet declined suggestions from lawmakers to ban the program, saying that would amount to censorship.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070602/ap_en_tv/netherlands_organ_show
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. -Mark Twain.

Offline Lynne

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2007, 10:01:39 pm »
My drivers license is signed indicating I'm an organ donor, and I have a living will and power-of-attorney expressing those same wishes.  It's my inner control freak at work, but it scares me to think of decisions being made without my input.
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2007, 11:16:52 pm »
Yes, I am a donor, Melissa. But I've been told they sometimes won't take organs from gay people. I know they don't want our blood. I went down to donate blood on 9/11 and I was told I couldn't.

If they don't want our blood, they probably don't want our organs either.
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mvansand76

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2007, 03:13:43 am »
Yes, I am a donor, Melissa. But I've been told they sometimes won't take organs from gay people. I know they don't want our blood. I went down to donate blood on 9/11 and I was told I couldn't.

If they don't want our blood, they probably don't want our organs either.

Really? That's crazy! Everybody who signs up to donate blood gets the same tests, right?

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2007, 03:38:28 am »
Really? That's crazy! Everybody who signs up to donate blood gets the same tests, right?

Maybe this will help explain things Melissa...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18827137/

It's just the way things are around here, I guess.  :(
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Offline opinionista

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2007, 06:27:22 am »
Yes, I am a donor, Melissa. But I've been told they sometimes won't take organs from gay people. I know they don't want our blood. I went down to donate blood on 9/11 and I was told I couldn't.

If they don't want our blood, they probably don't want our organs either.

This is so ridiculous. But considering it was approved by the Reagan administration, it's not surprising. They not only refused to acknowledge the presence of the epidemic when it was already killing hundreds of people, they also blamed it on the gay community.

Anyway, how do they know you're gay? I mean do they actually ask for your sexual orientation when you offer to donate blood? I thought that was private!
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. -Mark Twain.

Offline JCinNYC2006

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2007, 12:03:45 pm »
I've never tried to donate blood myself, but my understanding is that if you're a man, they ask you if you've had sex with a man in the last like 20 years or so.  If you say yes, bu-bye.  Since I work in HIV and have had some patients who say they were infected via a transfusion, I do realize how important it is to screen as well as possible.  But the screening should come from the test itself, not some arbitray, discriminatory policy.  Imagine all the blood that's not going to use because of this biased policy. 

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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2007, 04:31:15 pm »
That's almost three different topics here.

First, the Dutch show: I find it absolute horrendous and sick. The end does not justify the means. I don't believe in the pretent "good deed" to bring attention to the topic - but even when I give the producers the benefit of the doubt, it remains sick.

Second: donating organs: Yes, I am a donor. Once I'm dead, they can take everything they can still use, I don't care.

Third: donating blood: I don't donate blood, simply because I have a weak circulation.

Are gay men allowed to donate blodd? I got curious and looked up the situation in Germany: in Germany, gay men can't donate blood either. The list of people barred from donating blood is long:

Persons
  • older than 60, if they want to donate for the first time
  • older than 68
  • younger than 18
  • weighing less than 100 pounds
  • pregnant women
  • women breastfeeding a child
  • with HIV/AIDS
  • with frequently changing sexual partners
  • gay and bisexual men
  • drug users
  • who were in jail (no matter how long and how long ago)
  • who were in Great Britain longer than 6 months between 1980 and 1986 (Creutzfeld-Jacob's disease)
  • who had diarrhea or fever during the last four weeks
  • who had bigger (whatever that means) operations in the last 6 months
  • who had a tooth extracted the last three weeks
  • who got piercings or tats the last four months
  • who took Antibiotics the last few weeks (don't know how many weeks)
  • who take certain psychotropic drugs


Quote
Anyway, how do they know you're gay? I mean do they actually ask for your sexual orientation when you offer to donate blood? I thought that was private!


The procedure is the following: everyone gets a card with those questions and has to check yes or no. Those who check yes on any question still get their blood drawn like all others (so that nobody notices), but the blood will either be thrown away or used for medical research, but not for transfusions.

At least the procedure is ok.

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2007, 04:38:11 pm »

The procedure is the following: everyone gets a card with those questions and has to check yes or no. Those who check yes on any question still get their blood drawn like all others (so that nobody notices), but the blood will either be thrown away or used for medical research, but not for transfusions.
At least the procedure is ok.


God, isn't that awful??  >:(

It's pretty much the same way here Chrissi. I tried to donate blood in Evansville on 9/11. But when they found out I was gay, they flat out told me they didn't want my blood. I felt like a complete and total fool.

It's really bad when they don't even want our blood during a national emergency.  :(
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Offline Mikaela

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2007, 05:08:59 pm »
After reading your post, Chrissi, I got curious and looked up the rules here close to the North Pole. Turns out that concerning the donation of blood, according to the Red Cross the following groups can never give blood here. (It appears that hospitals online euphemistically rewrite this whole list into one sentence: "If you've ever been in situations that increases the risk of contracting HIV/Hepatitis". and leave it to the reader to figure out what that means.)  ::) 

-  Men who have or ever have had sex with other men
-  Women who engage in or previously have had sex with a man/men in the above group
-  Former or current drug addicts
-  People with Hepatitis or HIV/AIDS
-  Prostitutes and former prostitutes

In addition there's a long list of people who cannot donate for some shorter or longer period of time. And if you've got a serious chronic disorder or illness, for instance a heart disorder, you're out of the question as a blood and organ donor, too. I also think that you're not allowed to donate if your country of origin lies in Africa south of Sahara, but couldn't find that on this list. Perhaps it's been removed.

I thought that the above list was unexpectedly and surpringly harsh, I wasn't aware of thge extent of those particular rules.

---------

The weird thing about the Dutch hoax TV show is that it got a lot of press and attention here when it was believed to be a real deal. There were lots of news stories accompagnied with moral outcry. The news that it was in fact a hoax got much less press, and the reason behind the hoax got completely lost somewhere. I don't think many people caught on to that particular tail end of the story. So in that regard, the show failed in its goal (at least this far from Holland), which IMO further makes it doubtful that the show's means can be justified. I myself believe that no matter the current outrage,the show opened many people's minds and their subconscious selves to the possibility of an actual, for-real donor reality show. Putting that into people's minds, getting the general public used to the very idea of such a show, will increase the possibility that next time, the show will in fact *be* real. So personally I do not think that this publicity stunt should have been carried out. However, I do hope that at least it served to get people to sign up as potential donors locally.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2007, 05:15:28 pm by Mikaela »

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2007, 05:16:55 pm »
I myself believe that no matter the current outrage,the showt opened many people's minds to the possibility of an actual for-real donor reality show. Putting that into peoples's minds and getting the general public used to the ideaof such a show will increase the possibility that next time, the show will in fact be real.


I've been wondering the very same thing, Mikaela. There's little doubt in my mind other people are thinking about it and considering the possibilities. I sure do hope I'm wrong though.  :(

The media over here covered this story extensively; the controversy being the main reason for all the coverage. But where there's controversy, there's an audience. And where there's an audience, there is money. Money talks. So I suspect at some point, someone, somewhere will give it a try, or something equally as controversial and appalling.
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mvansand76

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Re: Are you a donor?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2007, 04:15:54 am »
The weird thing about the Dutch hoax TV show is that it got a lot of press and attention here when it was believed to be a real deal. There were lots of news stories accompagnied with moral outcry. The news that it was in fact a hoax got much less press, and the reason behind the hoax got completely lost somewhere. I don't think many people caught on to that particular tail end of the story. So in that regard, the show failed in its goal (at least this far from Holland), which IMO further makes it doubtful that the show's means can be justified. I myself believe that no matter the current outrage,the show opened many people's minds and their subconscious selves to the possibility of an actual, for-real donor reality show. Putting that into people's minds, getting the general public used to the very idea of such a show, will increase the possibility that next time, the show will in fact *be* real. So personally I do not think that this publicity stunt should have been carried out. However, I do hope that at least it served to get people to sign up as potential donors locally.

Ah, but in the days after the show, some 52,000 people ordered a donor form online (whereas in a normal weekend they get about 50 requests for a form), so even if only 5 or 10% of those people actually fill it in and send it back, then the show will have been a success.

The only thing I missed in this donor show was the addressing of the main issues surrounding becoming a donor or not. I think they should have looked more into the reasons why people don't become donors, such as worry about what actually constitutes brain-death.