The Big Donor Show was worth watching

Follow up to my previous post The Big Donor Show.

It's all over. The show was aired this evening starting with all the news headlines across the world and a montage of the networks founder Bart de Graaf. Bart was on dialysis for 13 years before having a kidney transplant. Before he died in his 30s his founded BNN (Bart Nederland Network) with fun shows.

The audience was filled with transplant survivors and they covered the donor crisis in the Netherlands. The number of donors is actually decreasing whilst more than 200 people die a year waiting for organs. Most European countries have a policy where you are a donor unless you opt-out but Holland has an opt-in policy.

Lisa (the donor) firstly selected from 25 compatible recipients removing those over 50, the very young and both smokers and ex-smokers. From there she whittled the list down to 3 possibilities who appeared on the show. She then asked the possible recipients questions about how they live and what they would do after their transplant. In the end it was a difficult decision and she wished she has 4 kidneys.

Despite the media's best efforts to discredit the show it was in fact a deliberate attempt to draw attention to the donor crisis. In the end they played Bart's laugh, the recipients were real but Lisa was a healthy actress and everyone was in on it. What a brilliant marketing campaign and obviously the government wouldn't have given the go-ahead if it was for real.

Last year there were only 25 organs donated in New Zealand. If you are willing to receive an organ you should be willing to donate. I'm a donor are you?

If you wish to be a donor tell your family and the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) so it appears on your license. Dutchies, you can download the donor form from the Donor Register site.

You can watch it online tomorrow on


  1. We saw the show also. I liked it. A pity the donor actrice "Lisa" is in real life not a registered donor :(


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