Accompanied by the simple message “The end of the world is coming . . .” a friend passed along a story from Bloomberg titled Dutch Allow Endemol TV Show With a Kidney as Prize. The story is simple (I didn’t link to the Bloomberg article because it took too long to load): a Dutch woman with an inoperable brain tumor wants to donate a kidney before she dies–to a recipient chosen on national television with text-message input from viewers. (Will the losers receive the board game edition of the show?) The Dutch government refused to block Friday’s broadcast of “The Big Donor Show” because, it said, doing so would breach free speech rights. BNN, the television network, claims it is broadcasting the show to publicize the need for kidney and other organ donors. That the winner’s tissue may not be compatible with the donor’s–and that the premise is unethical and tasteless–are irrelevant.
In a related story, next year’s edition of The Apprentice will require contestants to give Donald Trump not only their soul but one body part they deem expendable. (Insert punchline here.)