Telly chiefs have become embroiled in a bitter row over the portrayal of organ donation in a recent episode of flagship drama Holby City.
Three complaints were made in a scathing attack on the "recklessness" over the way the difficult subject was handled.
In one moving scene a seriously ill patient is lying in bed when all the lights to the ward go out. This is followed up by a loud bark of "Surprise !!!!!" which turns out to be an organ donation for the patient. However, it's not a heart and lungs that gets unveiled but a Yamaha PSR175 keyboard complete with owners manual, Elton John song book and mains adapter.
The patient said "To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything but everyone knows the PSR175 is wholly inferior to the high end Korg CX3. The CX3 just has better reverb and vibrato handling. What's so upsetting is nobody asked me which organ I'd prefer. It was just assumed."
However, producers of the show have defended their actions. One senior source said "Thousand of people are on the waiting list every year for vintage organs, pianos and other rare musical instruments. They rarely come up for sale, even on Ebay. Many have to make do with a recorder or mouth organ until a suitable donor has been found - it's heartbreaking. I accept in this particular case that we should have consulted with the patient first as she clearly preferred the Korg CX3 but the fact of the matter is there is a shortage of donors. "
Another source said "Lessons need to be learned. Maybe, going forward, we need to review the process of donating organs. A nominal fee to be paid by the recipient rather than donating it free of charge for example. Or perhaps let the recipient "test drive" the piece of kit before agreeing to take it on permanently."