Nanny State

Man Demands Return of Kidney, Redefines "Messy Divorce"

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A man in from Ronkonkoma, New York, gave his wife a kidney during their marriage. Now she wants a divorce, and he wants his kidney back (or $1.5 million in compensation) as part of his divorce settlement. And you thought your divorce was bad.

Soon-to-be-divorcé and one-kidneyed man Richard Batista probably won't get any compensation though, because legally speaking, our organs have no value. They can be given as gifts, but never bought. For opponents of organ sales, it would be a dangerous precedent indeed to set the value of a kidney in divorce proceedings. But it's not likely to happen.

From the article:

Medical ethicists agreed that the case is a nonstarter. Asked how likely it would be for the doctor to either get his kidney back or get money for it, Arthur Caplan at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics, put it as "somewhere between impossible and completely impossible."

First and foremost, said Robert Veatch, a medical ethicist at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics, "it's illegal for an organ to be exchanged for anything of value." Organs in the United States may not be bought or sold. Donating an organ is a gift and legally "when you give something, you can't get it back," he said.

Obviously, actual removal and return of the kidney is not in the cards, not least because finding a doctor willing to do that kind of violence to the hippocratic oath would be no easy task. But it's pretty clear that the kidney is an asset that Richard brought into the marriage, no? 

Via commenter sixstring

Extra points to the commenter who writes a relevant and metrically correct limerick which begins, "There once was a man from Ronkonkoma…"

For lots more on who owns your body parts, read Kerry Howley here and here.

NEXT: Too Bad

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  1. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma.
    Who said to his missus “we no ma”
    He gave from his back.
    And now wants it back.
    I expect that the judge will say “Blow Ma”

  2. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma
    Who liked downers like Xanax and Soma
    When they cancelled his shows
    He upped his own dose
    Now he watches Nip/Tuck in a coma

  3. Maybe he gave it cuz it meant something? Of value perhaps?

  4. I asked of Echo ‘t other day
    (Whose words are few and often funny),
    What to a novice she could say
    Of courtship, love, and matrimony.
    Quoth Echo, plainly,-“Matter-o’-money.”

  5. I’m not opposed to the notion of him getting some kind of monetary compensation. We pay people compensation for “pain and suffering” and alimony for “emotional support”. I’d say giving your wife a kidney is above and beyond that.

  6. Time for me to repeat my standard line:

    The day it becomes legal for me to sell my organs, I will sign my donor card.

    I dont want to sell them, I want the right to sell them.

  7. That’s silly, robc. No one knows why it is you’re not donating your organs.

  8. A guy from Ronkonkoma named Rich
    Decided his wife was a bitch
    Though he gave her a kidney
    He regretted it, didn’t he?
    So now he wants that bitch unstitched

  9. Booooo! Boooooo, John Godfrey Saxe! Lack of metrical structure, non-standard rhyme scheme AND atrocious use of the apostrophe.

    ::waits::

    ::waits::

    Boooooo!

  10. First and foremost, said Robert Veatch, a medical ethicist at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, “it’s illegal for an organ to be exchanged for anything of value.”

    Nothing more convincing than an ethicist speaking in terms of legal and illegal.

  11. “The day it becomes legal for me to sell my organs, I will sign my donor card.

    I dont want to sell them, I want the right to sell them.”

    You, sir, are a hero.

  12. Point taken. I just like puns and references to Greek mythology.

  13. That’s silly, robc. No one knows why it is you’re not donating your organs.

    Sure they do, I tell people every chance I get.

    For example, now you know.

    But, I really dont care if they know. If they arent interested in acknowledging my rights, Im not interested in helping them live.

  14. That must mean “Rulership by those below.”

  15. Man gives wife kidney
    In divorce, he wants it back
    Bitch wont give it up

  16. I hope he at least got some of that massively torrid organ transplant sex out of it.

  17. She better hand over all those precious memories too. Those are mine, dammit!

  18. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma
    Who contracted mesothelioma
    He made a motion to sue
    But ended up feeling quite blue
    Because mesothelioma from Ronkonkoma isn’t norma’

  19. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma
    Whose wife has slipped into a coma
    His kidney he gave
    But she ran off with Dave
    A redneck from Oklahoma

  20. hypocratic I think you mean Hippocratic (after Hippocrates), but there is something hypocritical about hospitals being paid big $$$$$ for organs that they get for free. It’s in their interest to keep cash for organs illegal, just as it’s in the interest of the liquor store lobby to keep laws against selling liquor on Sunday on the books.

  21. What states still have closed-Sunday liquor laws? Here in the Ohizzle we cannot get it until 1 PM Sunday, but that’s it.

  22. Medical ethicists agreed that the case is a nonstarter

    So this is a filler post, so to speak.
    I see.
    Pass the liver.

  23. THE URKOBOLD DONATES HIS ORGAN TO HIS WIFE FIVE TIMES A DAY.

  24. TAO, I believe that’s the case in my adopted state of PA, as well as UT, and a slew of Southern states.

    I know you can’t get beer at a grocery store here, and you can’t get liquor at a beer store. Ben Franklin would be pissed.

  25. How about a clerihew?

    Richard Batista
    Thought the least, uh,
    His divorcing wife could do
    Is return his donated kidney, so he’d have two.

  26. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma,
    Whose -logy, more vexing than onco-, ma-
    -Lignantly venally,
    Proprietor-renally,
    Wanted his better half ancora.

  27. “What states still have closed-Sunday liquor laws? Here in the Ohizzle we cannot get it until 1 PM Sunday, but that’s it.”

    Your next door neighbor Indiana. Izzle. It was quite a shock to me when I moved there from Missouri and tried to buy a bottle of wine for a Sunday night dinner party.

    Fucking Hoosiers.

  28. ahh, Indiana, the state where condoms are still under lock and key in some grocery stores.

  29. RICHARD BATISTA said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherf*cker [his wife] my kidney. F*ck her. For nothing? F*ck her.” RICHARD BATISTA states that he will give “[Kidney Candidate 4]” his kidney “before I just give f*cking [his wife] a f*cking kidney and I don’t get anything.” (Kidney Candidate 4 is a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois).

  30. The court should hold a hearing on what’s best for the kidney, and award the kidney to whichever spouse can provide the best upbringing to the kidney.

  31. Extra points to the commenter who writes a relevant and metrically correct limerick which begins, “There once was a man from Ronkonkoma…”

    Since the given first line is metrically incorrect, your request would be impossible to fulfill.

  32. As a compromise, perhaps the wife should be allowed to have the kidney on weekends.

  33. Ms. Batista, Dawnell,
    Seemed to have married well,
    But in the final analysis
    Might have chosen dialysis.

  34. Is he an indian?

  35. But will she give him his balls back?

  36. I foresee the solution involving velcro and quick release fittings.

  37. Obviously, actual removal and return of the kidney is not in the cards, not least because finding a doctor willing to do that kind of violence to the hippocratic oath would be no easy task.

    I wouldn’t be so sure of that. I know lots of doctors who have been through bitter divorces, and would probably be more than happy to help out a brother.

  38. The court should hold a hearing on what’s best for the kidney, and award the kidney to whichever spouse can provide the best upbringing to the kidney.

    Well, she already ruined one, so I would say he’s in good shape if this is the way we go.

  39. Well, she already ruined his heart and dick…

  40. “It’s her kidney now and . . . taking the kidney out would mean she would have to go on dialysis or it would kill her,” Veatch said.

    Nor can you assign a subsequent monetary value to an organ, Caplan said. “There’s nothing later [you can get] in terms of compensation if you regret your gift,” he said.

    Mad Max, can you do something with this analogically?

  41. The man needs to do like in the Monty python organ donor segment from the Meaning of Life.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aclS1pGHp8o

  42. But, I really dont care if they know. If they arent interested in acknowledging my rights, Im not interested in helping them live.

    Maybe the guy who would get your organs is the guy leading fight to legalize the right to sell organs.

  43. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma,
    who upon returning from Tacoma,
    learned that the ungrateful bitch,
    would not do a reverse stich,
    so knife met wife at William Sonoma.

  44. If he wants the kidney back, he should use the traditional method: Have a stranger put something in her drink at a party, remove the kidney, and leave her to wake up in a bathtub full of ice with a note saying to call 911 immediately.

    I read about it on teh intertubez, so I know it must be true.

  45. I wouldn’t be so sure of that. I know lots of doctors who have been through bitter divorces, and would probably be more than happy to help out a brother.

    Hey Doc, while you’re in there would cut out the bitch’s heart for me… Ya know, if you got a scalpel that cuts through stone?

  46. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma
    Who had a serious glitch in his genome-a
    For a kidney he gave
    So his wife’s life he could save
    But now he hopes that bitch gets melanoma.

  47. For what it’s worth, the final o in Ronkonkoma is not a long o like coma. It’s a schwa. ron-KON-kuh-muh

    After this, you can move on to other Long Island towns like Nissequogue, Amagansett, and Massapequa.

  48. A judge sitting in Mineola
    Will rule on a story of woe: La
    Femme, once cherch?e
    V. mari n?glig?
    Who’ll claim, “‘It’s a loaner,’ I told her!”

  49. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma,
    whose wife suffered renal blastoma,
    so a kidney he gave-
    a true knight! Now a knave,
    because she’s sleeping with Tony Roma.

  50. Ok, here is my lame ass limerick:

    There once was a man from Ronkonkoma,
    His wife’s kidneys destroyed by Sarcoma,
    I’ve a spare, said he,
    I’ll take it, said she
    And also a bit of alimony

  51. What states still have closed-Sunday liquor laws? Here in the Ohizzle we cannot get it until 1 PM Sunday, but that’s it.

    Rhode Island now has a similar rule, though as late as three years ago it was impossible to buy liquor on Sundays.

    I remember it particularly because the letters to the editor in the local rag on the subject were stand-out idiotic. My personal favorite was the moral scold who worked at a liquor store.

  52. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma
    Called up his lawyer by phon-a
    A kidney he gave
    Her life he did save
    Now he wants to be an ex-dona

    or (fuck the Ronkonkoma thing!)

    This husband, a kidney he gave
    His wife he said he would save
    But then they broke up
    And no longer they schtup
    So into the court gone they’ve

  53. Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture just by sitting on it, doesn’t mean that I’m not sick of this damn war: the blood, the noise, the endless poetry.

  54. ‘Obviously, actual removal and return of the kidney is not in the cards, not least because finding a doctor willing to do that kind of violence to the hippocratic oath would be no easy task.’

    Would that were true! The Hippocratic oath forbids abortion, yet many doctors seem able to wriggle out of *that* one fairly easily.

  55. There once was a wife named Dawnell,
    divorcing a Doc from Cornell.
    She took half the house,
    That dastardly spouse,
    And one of kidneys as well.

  56. Some free-market -arians, liver-,
    Are galled, cannot stomach a giver
    Who can’t buy or sell;
    Are you kidney? Hell,
    Cut it out, they would say, and he will.

  57. Maybe the guy who would get your organs is the guy leading fight to legalize the right to sell organs.

    He needs to do a better job then.

    Whats with the whole state determining liquor laws. In KY, its a county (or even a city within a county) level decision. 75% of our counties are dry, but mine allows sunday sales.

  58. There once was a man from ronkonkoma
    In the manner of a buddhist lama
    Gave organ to wife,
    who ruined his life,
    Kidney Drama! Let’s pray to Obama!

  59. The court should hold a hearing on what’s best for the kidney

    Max wins the thread.

    -jcr

  60. robc, New York State is that way too, but there are only a couple of dry counties left.

  61. organs should be free. like speech, food, shelter and transportation.

  62. The Hippocratic oath forbids abortion, yet many doctors seem able to wriggle out of *that* one fairly easily.

    The original Greek version of the standard oath had all sorts of stupid stuff in it that they leave out today. Cherry-pick much?

  63. LMNOP,

    It was KMW, not I, who referenced the Hippocratic Oath as a reason doctors wouldn’t remove the kidney from the wife.

  64. I suppose some here still need convincing that the government should not be involved in marriage even after this story and all of the comments above.

  65. Yes, I know, MM, but I assume someone as sharp as yourself knows that the “Hippocratic Oath” in modern parlance refers to the modern various oaths (almost none of whom say one whit about abortion) and not the original version that includes the abortion claptrap.

    So…you brought it up. Unless you aren’t that sharp.

  66. LMNOP,

    I find it useful to remind folks about Hippocrates’ “abortion claptrap.”

    If you don’t want to reminded of Hippocrates’ position on abortion, don’t use his name.

  67. “Medical ethicists agreed that the case is a nonstarter.”

    Is there any more irrelevant of a job than medical ethicist? Seriously, every time they interview one of these morons they tell us shit anyone with an IQ north of 12 already knows.

  68. “ahh, Indiana, the state where condoms are still under lock and key in some grocery stores.”

    That is probably not because the state of Indiana consists of a bunch of prudes. I paid my way through college by working at two different grocery stores. At both places condoms were the single most shoplifted items, followed by razor blades and batteries.

  69. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma
    Whose breakup was greed’ly unthonkable
    His marital strife
    He’d end rich, or with knife
    Which the ethicists found most un-wonkable.

  70. followed by razor blades and batteries.

    Just like on that Seinfeld episode? Well, the batteries part anyway.

  71. condoms were the single most shoplifted items, followed by razor blades and batteries

  72. combined, even

  73. Can I suggest that the guy just take his kidney back the old fashioned way? With a carving knife.

    Solve more than one problem that way. 🙂

  74. Another fun part of the Hippo Oath:

    In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

    And keep in mind Hippo probably wasn’t expecting there to be female physicians. Far sighted fellow, that one.

  75. And keep in mind Hippo probably wasn’t expecting there to be female physicians. Far sighted fellow, that one.

    Or, um, Greek and near-sighted.

  76. Yes, farsighted in that he looked out his window into his neighbor’s house to see his neighbor sodomizing a random man whilst a young slave boy jiggled his testicles.

  77. Too slow. I should have previewed first 🙁

  78. Right on guys. I’m not sure which root of our Western cultural heritage to be more ashamed of, the Greeks with their sexual brutality or the Hebrews with their plain old bashing-other-tribes-babies-brains-out brutality.

  79. I’m not sure which root of our Western cultural heritage to be more ashamed of, the Greeks with their sexual brutality or the Hebrews with their plain old bashing-other-tribes-babies-brains-out brutality.

    To be fair, it’s not like either of those were unique in the annals of western civilization. It is only because Hellenic and Judaic thought and history loom very large in our cultural history that we are so transfixed/fascinated/horrified by their idiosyncratic atrocities and unseemly appetites.

  80. “Is there any more irrelevant of a job than medical ethicist?”

    How about “congressional delegate from the District of Columbia”?

    -jcr

  81. I say she keeps the organ but he gets the piano.

  82. I say she keeps the organ but he gets the piano.

    Maybe he’s holding out for the beamer.

  83. There once was a man from Ronkonkoma
    Whose wife left him so she could go roam-a
    He said, “Hey, I gave you a kidney
    “Now I want it back wit’ me”
    So they’ll fight it out in Thunderdome-a

  84. I want my kidney back
    Give me my kidney back
    You bitch.

  85. Just pretend he’s from MELVILLE you no-skills-havin’ bastards!

  86. Medical ethicists agreed that the case is a nonstarter.

    I would like to take the time to complain about this wretched word: ‘ethicist’. It sounds like a child’s attempt at a neologism, but sadly it is now deeply entrenched in our language.

    The proper word is ‘deontologist’.

  87. To be fair, it’s not like either of those were unique in the annals of western civilization. It is only because Hellenic and Judaic thought and history loom very large in our cultural history that we are so transfixed/fascinated/horrified by their idiosyncratic atrocities and unseemly appetites.

    I’m guessing you work at McDonalds

    😉

  88. Extra points to the commenter who writes a relevant and metrically correct limerick which begins, “There once was a man from Ronkonkoma…”

    There once was a man from Ronkonkoma,
    whose disgust is as clear as a yarmulke.
    His kidney he’d miss,
    when his wife couldn’t piss.
    But now he thinks that she’s a sarcoma

  89. I will admit up front that I cruised through my literature classes in college, both of them, but what the hell does “metrically correct” mean?

  90. It means the limerick has to be 3.3 feet long.

  91. All the limerick writers should know that the town is pronounced [ron konk uh muh] – all short sounds. It doesn’t rhyme with coma, Tacoma, or Oklahoma.

    Kevin

    Former denizen of Lawn Island

  92. I see that Paul already corrected the pronunciation of that town near that lake.

    The first thing that popped into my mind when I first heard about this was The Merchant of Venice

    Kevin

  93. What, exactly, does this idiot plan to do with the kidney? Have it reimplanted into his own body? Put it on display in the livingroom? Have it framed?
    What a moron.

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