Saturday, October 03, 2009

Gift and Giver's Remorse

Source: "Divorcing husband wants kidney back," January 6, 2009, Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell
Keyword: grace, marriage, gift, gratitude, divorce

When his wife needed a life saving kidney transplant, Dr. Richard Batista gave her one of his. Seven years later, when his wife filed for divorce, Batista decided he wanted the kidney back. Since the kidney was necessary to sustain his wife’s life, he said he would be willing to accept 1.5 million dollars, the estimated value of the kidney. Batista admitted the strain of his wife’s medical issues threatened their relationship at the time. He said. “My first priority was to save her life. The second bonus was to turn the marriage around.”

Medical Ethicists argue Batista will not get his kidney back, nor is he likely to get any money from the deal. Robert Veatch, from Georgetown University says the case won’t succeed for two reasons. First, United States law prohibits buying or selling human organs. Second, Veatch says donating an organ is giving a gift and there is no way to collect compensation for a gift even if you regret the decision later. Veatch added, ”When you give something, you can’t get it back.”

We can be thankful that God will never revoke His life-giving gift of grace.

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