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Outrage as reality TV show runs competition for human organs
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Thursday May 31, 2007
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[Note: This story has now been revealed to be a hoax, designed to pressure the Dutch government into reforming organ donation laws. A more complete explanation follows the video.]

In the following video clip, CBS News reports on outrage over a Dutch reality show that offers a donated organ as the prize. On the program, invented by the original producers of Big Brother, three competitors with kidney disease will tell their stories and be voted on by the audience before one of them is selected by a dying woman to receive her kidney.

Even the show's broadcaster says, "We know it's tasteless." But he insists that the intention is to highlight the lack of organ donors, saying, "We're trying to get a lot of attention for organ donorship." The founder of the channel died five years ago after waiting in vain for a kidney donation.

The project has been widely condemned, with critics calling the show "high-minded hypocrisy." Although it is not illegal, some members of the Dutch parliament would like to see it banned.

(With wire services)

The following video is from CBS's Early Show.

According to the Associated Press:

A television show in which a woman would donate a kidney to a contestants was revealed as a hoax Friday. Presenters said they were trying to pressure the government into reforming organ donation laws.

At the last moment, presenters of the "Big Donor Show" said the woman was not actually dying of a brain tumor as claimed and the entire exercise was intended to add pressure on the government and to raise public 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.