Not to be tested as a tissue match for estranged brother who needs kidney?

(229 Posts)
GoodTouchBadTouch Thu 11-Jul-13 12:53:25

My husbands brother is 28 and having dialysis (?) 3 times a week, we aren't in contact with him, haven't been for years, no big bust up, he was just a bit of a wanker as a teenager, and identifies as a communist so there was no reason to see him again when we moved. We have only seen his mother twice in 10 years.

My husband still speaks with his mother (the are Scandinavian) and she told him a while ago that its getting to the point where he will need a transplant and my husband straight away said to count him out.

She was horrified and got upset. My husband said he doesn't want to go over to be tested as there is no point and we haven't heard from her for a while but I can see it being brought up again if she isn't a match. (she is diabetic anyway)

Im relieved he feels this way of course, but didn't forbid it or anything. I was reminded by the organ thread and just wondered what you would do? As we are quite cut-off I can only see one point of view. Ours. I hope we aren't being unreasonable... I don't think so

I find it slightly hard to be objective as I can't imagine not offering to be a donor for any of my own siblings, but I also haven't gone rushing out to donate a kidney to "Joe Blogs down the road" and it sounds like your DH's brother is little more to you than Joe Blogs would be to me. So, no, I don't think YABU.

HeySoulSister Thu 11-Jul-13 12:57:05

He did bad things as a teen? He's a man now, time to forget

If anything happened how would your DH feel knowing he never tried to re establish a relationship?

The donor issue I'm not sure about

hiddenhome Thu 11-Jul-13 12:59:43

YANBU I think it's reasonable to expect parents to donate kidneys to a child, but not the other way around.

myfirstkitchen Thu 11-Jul-13 13:00:07

Not unreasonable.

I'm sure people will say if they were in that situation they would do it. Easy to say when you aren't in that situation though.

A tough one because he needs it, but I think someone's entitled to hang onto an organ of theirs they're using too.

Debsndan Thu 11-Jul-13 13:00:54


ThePowerof3 Thu 11-Jul-13 13:01:27

Wow that's a hard one, his brother could potentially die though it depends on whether DH could cope with that

LessMissAbs Thu 11-Jul-13 13:02:08

Its a personal choice and there is no right and wrong. Whatever decision your husband makes will be based on reasons that are right to him.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 11-Jul-13 13:02:12

I'm sure you'd hope he would do it if it was the other way round..

JollyGolightly Thu 11-Jul-13 13:02:13

If there's no chance at all that your DH would donate a kidney, there's no point in his being tested. So HINBU and nor are you.

holidaysarenice Thu 11-Jul-13 13:02:18

I have seen both sides of this, a brother who wouldn't donate to his sister. She died. And a mother who gave to her daughter - both healthy and well.

I think what he did as a teen is completely irrelevant, he was a child.

I also think of the view like this, if I was a mother, and I had loved both my children, how would I feel if one child wouldn't save the other child? If one died due to the actions of the other?

It is a very hard situation.

I wouldn't deny a relative a life saving organ on political view points (and would love to know what is so bad about Communism) , unless they were Nazi's/National front or another extremist party that deny's other's Human Rights.

I would think carefully, especially if there is Diabetes in the family and from my own health POV and the impact on my own family.

What makes it easier is that his Mother lives in another country and there is limited contact, i cannot imagine what it must feel like to have one child in that position and another who won't even get tested. I hope that i never have to find out, so be kind to her.

I would get tested, but say that, it doesn't mean i will donate, in a way, if he isn't a match, it clears your DH's mind and also absolves him in the family.

Then if he is a match, he can make his decision and be sure of his reasons, as he may not think this matters to him, but it may, later on.

Sparklymommy Thu 11-Jul-13 13:03:41

As a mother with kidney disease I may in the future need a transplant. I will be forever grateful to anyone who would even take the test for me. However, I would refuse to take a kidney from with of my sisters, as they have children too and if there was then a problem with their remaining kidney they would have jeopardised themselves for me. I would never be able to forgive myself.

Yanbu. Especially if you have children.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 11-Jul-13 13:05:23

your husband is entitled to do whatever he sees fit, but many people are a bit of a wanker as a teenager! They grow up into nice, decent people but your husband hasn't given him a chance. He's judging him not by who he has grown into, but who he was as a child.

To be written off by a grown man for a decade because of how you behaved during adolescence seems more wanker like than being a teenage pillock!

curlew Thu 11-Jul-13 13:05:43

You're estranged because her a communist???????

ThePowerof3 Thu 11-Jul-13 13:06:00

That's an amazing attitude Sparkly

ILikeBirds Thu 11-Jul-13 13:08:01

I think it's difficult as the operation to donate is more risky than the one to receive. I'm not sure it's a level of risk i'd be willing to take for a virtual stranger.

Something like refusing bone marrow donation could perhaps be unreasonable.

I'm just a bit shock by the views ...

If I was in a position to help a family member (genetically linked) I would.

flatpackhamster Thu 11-Jul-13 13:10:44



I wouldn't deny a relative a life saving organ on political view points (and would love to know what is so bad about Communism), unless they were Nazi's/National front or another extremist party that deny's other's Human Rights.

Only on Mumsnet (or Comment is Free) would someone not understand what was wrong with Communism. What about all the dead people? Stalin's 50 million, Mao's 100 million, The Khmer Rouge, Kim Il Sung. Communism and Nazism are as awful as each other.

Wasn't there that hilarious thread recently where someone posted 'AIBU to not understand what's wrong with Communism' and loads of cretins came out and said that the problem with Communism was that people were too flawed to appreciate its magnificence? I laughed.

GrimnirTheImpaler Thu 11-Jul-13 13:11:31


This is another situation where it should be accepted that no-one has the right to tell someone what to do with their own body.

[I wouldn't do this for my brother (although I would consider it for my other siblings). I don't speak to him and I think the world would be a better place without him - he was or is a child abuser.]

I totally agree with Hecsy - to not want to try and help because he was a bit of a wanker in his teens seems very harsh.

If your DH needed help and his DB was his only chance what would you think if a flat no was given.

Obv his body his choice and all that but I think he is being U to just write it off and not even see if he could help. If he is refusing because he is worried about the impact on you, the kids, future medical problems then fair enough but if he is just refusing because he doesn't like him, well, that makes him a bit of a wanker too to be be honest.

sashh Thu 11-Jul-13 13:13:06

Well you don't know if your dh would be a match anyway.

I would donate, but for selfish reasons, I couldn't live with myself knowing another human being (communist and or Scandinavian or not) had died and I could have prevented it.

ThePowerof3 Thu 11-Jul-13 13:14:52

That's so true Ilikebirds

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 11-Jul-13 13:16:18

I will also need a donor kidney soon.

I wouldn't expect anyone to give me one. I wouldn't accept one from anyone with children. I do not feel entitled to someone else's organs. I'd struggle letting DP give me a kidney, even though we have no children.

It's not a cut and dry issue. You have to go with what you feel inside, and live with that decision either way. Nobody has the right to expect an organ.

noddyholder Thu 11-Jul-13 13:16:57

I have had 2 transplants. You don't know what you would do if you were in that situation. Imagine your child needed a transplant and this brother was the only match? If your dh would be prepared to stand by and watch his dc on dialysis and living a shadow of a life then yanbu.

purpleroses Thu 11-Jul-13 13:18:19

If I was your DH, I would find out (online or from GP) what the chances of being a match are. If they are low, then I would definitely get tested, because it would give an opportunity for a future relationship with his DM and DB - he could make it clear at the time that he's undecided whether he'd actually donate. If he refuses to be tested I think he'll probably lose both relationships.

If the chances of being a match are high though, then there's not so much point in testing unless he would be prepared to give a kidney.

Hijack again...

Flatpack hamster - sometimes the fact that there are people with opposing views to our own and with 'different' and personally morally objectionable views to me a d are able to express them makes this place great.

Denying someone a kidney because you don't agree with their politics is like being back in the old regime where men were hanged for daring to have different views.

TheCraicDealer Thu 11-Jul-13 13:22:00

A lot of people are giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying that even though he was an arse as a teenager he shouldn't be punished for it as an adult. Well he's 28 now, he's had plenty of time to decide what's important to him and to invest time or effort in those things. And he's made it clear that his brother and SIL are not on that list. So why should his DB make such a sacrifice for someone who shows such disinterest?

TotallyBursar Thu 11-Jul-13 13:24:00

I would have donated to my extended and not very close family (and did in fact have a much more minor bone marrow transplant before my own health needed treatment) and I was fine with that and the continuing lack of relationship - I didn't want her to die but I still think she's a cock.

Now I am a mother, my family need me more and there are significant risks to being a kidney donor that include health impacts later in life.
I'm sure many will not agree with me but, in our case, I would not be happy if DH put the needs of his family (a wife that needs her husband and children that need their father) below the need of an estranged sibling who is one person, not 7 or however many in your family in a situation that may mean losing them both or having a dh that needs a carer, can't work or becomes ill himself with no guarantee brother will accept the transplant or remain stable.
Also if he agrees under duress to be tested and is a match but does not want to donate then that is a terribly unfair amount of pressure to put on his shoulders - all the unknowns, the chances of failure, the risks of losing them both will be disregarded because he 'didn't save Johnny'. No, I wouldn't ask that of anyone.

I assume we know brother in Sweden has made conciliatory noises, perhaps along with his mother, and been rebuffed before we call op's DH names? I didn't see anywhere that said so. It's not unheard of for wanky teens to mature into full blown wanky adults - I have a fair few of them around the Christmas table. Awful diseases or sadnesses can happen to not very charming people too. Not saying brother still is any of these things - but I have no current judgement, there's got to be more context tbh.

I think he was unreasonable to not even think about it, to just immediately say no. Plenty of people are wankers when they're teenagers, should that doom them for life?

I would think of it not as doing something for his brother, but for his mother. I can't imagine telling your mother she has to watch her son die because you don't want to even be tested to see if you could save his life.

TotallyBursar Thu 11-Jul-13 13:27:47

Sorry x posts there - really slow internet today.

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 11-Jul-13 13:28:27

I haven't seen my sister for 12 years....haven't fallen out, just have nothing in common.
I have no particular feelings about her....wouldn't donate an organ for her. I would for my dh and dcs.
I am a donor carrier.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 11-Jul-13 13:28:50

I'd find out what exactly the risks are of being a live donor. If you feel they are too big, you can explain to MIL why DH can't be a donor.

Outright declining is something the family will probably not forgive if BIL dies. This doesn't mean I think your DH should donate, just that his explanation needs to be worded diplomatically,

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 11-Jul-13 13:28:52

donor card carrier

TimeofChange Thu 11-Jul-13 13:29:04

I know someone who donated a kidney to a sibling.

The recovery was far, far longer than she thought it would be.

It changed her personality for the worse.
She became very cantankerous (hormonal).

She had to change her life style permanently ie stop drinking alcohol.

It is a bigger op than she was led to believe.

Many medics in the USA are against live organ donations.

I would give a kidney to any other human being who needed one to survive, without a second thought.

(well, unless they were a convicted murderer, paedophile, rapist, terrorist etc -anyone who had knowingly and willingly hurt other human beings).

I'm slightly amazed how many people wouldn't.


The difference between Nazism and communism is that the very ideology of Nazis/neo-Nazis is infused with hatred, racism, eliminationist aims, etc. Communist ideology is not inherently evil, although obviously many communist regimes have been just as bad as the Nazis.

I've known quite a few communists, they do things like run soup kitchens and organise demos against the welfare cuts and stuff like that. (Don't really see the BNP out there feeding the homeless do you?)

So no, I don't think cutting someone off because they're a communist necessarily makes sense. If he's going around saying let's kill all the kulaks, fine, but most likely, like a lot of teenagers, he's attracted to the social justice aspects of the ideology, not the genocidal maniacs of the past.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 11-Jul-13 13:34:05

If he is a supporter of actual currently or previously existing 'communist' regimes (which are invariably corrupt dictatorships anyway) and the way people are treated and that people are killed then that's dreadful, every bit as dreadful as being a supporter of the nazi party.

But when people who live in capitalist countries say they are communists, what they normally mean is the ideal of socialism, not the reality of communism.

The whole from each according to ability, to each according to need dream of a Utopia where everyone has everything they need and all work cooperatively for the good of the whole society.

Interesting, this is what the NHS says about it:

Are there any risks to me?

All operations carry some risk and this is no different for living donation. Donors are at risk of infections (eg chest, wound or urine) and, more rarely, bleeding or blood clots. There is a very small risk of death for the donor: this is estimated at 1 in 3,000 for this operation.

Are there any long-term risks?

There is a small possibility of a slight rise in blood pressure and excess protein in your urine. However studies have shown that there is no long-term effect on the health of the donor or your remaining kidney.

Am I at greater risk of developing kidney failure?

You are at no greater risk of developing kidney failure after donating than anyone in the general population.

Will it shorten my lifespan?

Studies have shown that donors live longer than the average population. This is because donors are selected on the basis of good health and are thoroughly screened prior to donation.

Will I have to change my lifestyle after donating?

No. You should lead a normal healthy life as before.

HipHipHippoNotSo Thu 11-Jul-13 13:34:48

I'm in shock .

So your Dh is basically willing to let his brother die because he was an arse as a teenager & his political views .
That is just unbelievable, not only could he save a life he could save his brothers life !!
Why on earth is this been questioned when every day people donate to complete strangers .
I'm a registered Donor & I would donate to anybody no matter what their political views may be or how much of an arse they had been , I have a lot of family that I can't stand the sight of but if one of them needed a donation to live I would be their right away .

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 11-Jul-13 13:34:54

grin x post, dreaming. Although you said it far better.

skylerwhite Thu 11-Jul-13 13:37:30


Totalitarianism is not the same thing as communism. And like dreamingbohemian pointed out, communism is not an inherently evil ideology.

It's your husband's body, so it's his choice. I couldn't imagine allowing a sibling to die without even being tested to see if I was a match. But each to their own.

No I didn't Hecsy but thanks smile Glad I'm not the only one who knows some nice gentle commies!

By the way, with respect to the 1 in 3000 death rate, the death rate from C sections seems to be 1 in 2500. Just to give you a comparison.

Mama1980 Thu 11-Jul-13 13:40:09

I would donate a organ to anyone who needed it (Bar murderers) regardless of whether I was related or liked them or not. I am on the donor card register and would donate bone marrow, blood etc. if I could.
It is his choice and I respect that but I don't understand how he could take such a position.

FrameyMcFrame Thu 11-Jul-13 13:42:29

If your husband is not interested in saving his brothers life, no matter what their differences I think that is very cold.
Could he even think it through with medical advice/?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 11-Jul-13 13:43:44

I am one grin

I would love mankind to exist in a cooperative state, all giving what we could to the best of our ability, working together for the collective good and taking what we need.

I grew up watching star trek wink

I don't think it's ever happened though. I can't think of a single communist country that operates according to the ideals of socialism.

TotallyBursar Thu 11-Jul-13 13:43:50

Annie - I used to agree with you and as I said have donated in the past.
If I was still single or DH was in agreement I still would but now there would have to be exceptional circumstances (well my child only pretty much as not a match for DH) for me to risk leaving my family mother and wifeless - the memory of me being a really selfless person isn't going to cut much mustard as my children grow without me.
I am willing to accept that makes me a bad person in some people's eyes.

I carried a donor card all the time I was allowed to. Live donation is a different kettle of fish.

On the flipside I have already made the choice to live on palliative care when the time comes and not accept an organ. So be it, I will not ask of another what I won't ask of myself. If an organ from a deceased person was a match and my children are still young I may reassess but I doubt it.
I am not going to condemn op's DH for his choice - there are lots of variables.

GoodTouchBadTouch Thu 11-Jul-13 13:46:04

Thanks for all the replies, really interesting, and Im pleased we are not completely U.

My husband didn't refuse because brother was a teen wanker, or because he has a tattoo of Che Guevara. Just because they don't have a relationship at all. It started with constant rows about my husband getting a degree and being an elitist, so we left it there when we moved.

He may well be a great guy these days, who knows. But we have different lives that's for sure, and from what we hear, brother is still likely to be offended by ours.

My husband isn't close to his mum really, and has no contact with his father (also quite aggressively communist) but I do take on board how sad it must be for his mother... Bloody hope Im never in that position.

The diabetes is type 2, she is very very overweight so its not hereditary

The reason he says flat out that he wont be tested is because he wouldn't do it anyway and like you say totallyBursar wouldn't want the situation where he could be the one to save him.. if it came to that.

Will look up stats. Thanks again

chicaguapa Thu 11-Jul-13 13:47:20

Yes, YABU to not even consider it.

If having looked into what's involved, he decides that it's a big risk and he wants to put his own family first, fair enough. But to refuse point blank at the outset when his own mother looks set to lose one of her sons is properly shock to me I'm afraid.

If my DH had that attitude in similar circumstances, it would affect our relationship and I would LTB. It displays an inherent level of selfishness that I wouldn't be able to live with I'm afraid.

EldritchCleavage Thu 11-Jul-13 13:50:23

There are reasons other than the estrangement/lack of relationship to be reluctant:

-being unable to donate in future should a child need it;
-the medical risks of the procedure;
-the long recovery time and its impact on family life.

I think the default position for me as a parent of young children would be no, but I'm close to my siblings so that would probably override the default position (definitely for one of them, whose spouse has a life-limiting illness. I would not see their children at risk of being orphaned). DH would tell estranged SIL to go hang, on the other hand, with my blessing.

Holliewantstobehot Thu 11-Jul-13 13:50:28

Do you actually know if his brother wants your dh to donate a kidney - just wondering if it's his mother's idea as she obviously does not want her son to die and the brother is unaware your dh has been approached.

My df died of kidney failure - he was on the donor list but refused to even consider me or my dsis giving him a kidney. That was his choice to make. I would see if your dh would consider meeting with his brother and seeing if they can rebuild a relationship, but make it clear he does not want to donate a kidney. That is his choice to make.

But I think if his brother dies and he has not tried to make peace he may regret it and it would be of some comfort to his mother if the worst happens.

Yes, I think if he had looked into it and decided it was too risky, that's an opinion you have to respect. To just refuse point blank without thinking about it is really harsh.

I think it's even more sad to have rejected his brother all these years when he likely got his communist stance from his father, at that age. It sort of sounds like it's your husband who's the odd one out in the family politically and this is sort of his chance to say a big fuck you.

RoxyFox211 Thu 11-Jul-13 13:55:53

I don't quite understand why him identifying as a "communist" would be a factor in you guys not keeping in touch? :s but I'm guessing this is all entangled in a bigger picture. As its your husbands decision he is nbu to make it I suppose. Will the brother die without it? I think it is a hard decision which would probably require intense thought process...

Mama1980 Thu 11-Jul-13 13:59:26

I do understand his reasons, and respect his position. But to my mind he may be able to save a life, any life the relationship or lack thereof is irrelevant to my mind. I could not be with someone who refused to even consider this.

GoodTouchBadTouch Thu 11-Jul-13 14:04:38

He didn't think about it to be honest, it was not an option for him as they are virtual strangers (the lot of them).

We live as if we don't have any family.. so I understand his reaction completely. I know that in a reverse situation we wouldn't ask.

When our first was 2 he had meningitis and was in hospital for a week, we thought he would die, and didn't think to call anyone. I had 8 weeks with a false cancer diagnosis and he didn't mention that to them either... I cant blame his mother for asking but I dont blame my husband for refusing.

GoodTouchBadTouch Thu 11-Jul-13 14:06:03

Im just amazed at the people who would donate to a stranger! How wonderful and selfless! That's not meant sarcastically!

TotallyBursar Thu 11-Jul-13 14:07:52

I think, like many of these big decisions, we are usually much more keen when it is hypothetical than when faced with the surgeon.
It is easy to be selfless and sure of your choice in the abstract, it is different in reality.

Many people say they would always help or put themselves at risk for another - in life though there are far fewer heroes that broke the door down, went under the bus, jumped in front of the gun or otherwise risked their life than there are onlookers - I wonder how many of those people thought they would freeze or try desperately to keep their head down? We like to believe we are good people, being selfless is a huge part of that. Many of us don't succeed.
Some of us do, some of those people will be the ones sure of their reaction but not all of them, some surprise themselves and the onlookers may have to make peace with the same choice.

The focus shouldn't be on making him change his decision by applying emotional pressure it should be on helping his mother and brother come to terms with it. It's all hypothetical anyway, the chances of him being both a match and a suitable candidate are slim.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 11-Jul-13 14:09:02

my first thought would be what if one of the children needed it. after all it is in the family and you can not be suer (though could research possibilities) whether they are at higher risk.

RoxyFox211 Thu 11-Jul-13 14:10:16

Flatpackhamster! Your ignorance is baffling. It is leaders who recurrently commit the crimes you're talking about, because they are power hungry and bad in the head. Not because of their social, political or religious leanings (although that's often used as a guise and it seems to have fooled you :/). IMO the concept of communism - in principal - is a lot less flawed than the current capitalist system, however I'm not a particular advocate of it just merely stating facts. I'm not "a communist" although I definitely can see where they are coming from. Just like I'm not a Christian or a Muslim, although I can see where they are coming from, and do not brandish them all members of the crusaders or alqaeda. Your logic is ridiculous. Sorry op off topic.

daytoday Thu 11-Jul-13 14:12:06

We are not talking about donating an assert we are talking about a body part. We are made with two kidneys, there seems to be an assumption that one kidney is extra. It is not uncommon for a kidney to fail or start working inefficiently especially in old age. Kidney and urinary affections are very diff when you are functioning on one kidney.

Your husband has no obligation to anyone but himself.

doingthesplitz Thu 11-Jul-13 14:15:10

There's a few gaps in the OPs post. When you say the brother was a 'bit of a wanker' in the past did he do something unforgiveable or was it just the usual 'arrogant young guy who thought he knew it all until he grew up' stuff?

You say he's only seen his mother twice in ten years which seems strange. Scandinavia isn 't that far away.

Was there some kind of a big falling out that explains your husband's apparently cold attitude? Not looking for details but just a bit more context.

KobayashiMaru Thu 11-Jul-13 14:15:46

Communism and communism are not the same thing. Capital letters make all the difference.
conservative and Conservative are also different, as is Liberal and liberal.
Also, btw, Stalin was never a communist. He might have been a Communist, but that is entirely different.

Back to the OP, YABU. Potentially letting a sibling die because you didn't like them as a teacher, man thats cold. I'd give my neighbour a kidney, and I barely know them. I'd certainly give a sibling one without question. wouldn't occur to me not to. And I don't think I'd be friends with someone as harsh as the OP and her husband.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 11-Jul-13 14:17:13

Your Dh is not BU at all in the way that he feels. It is a complicated situation and a completely personal decision. I agree that his mother does not have a right to put pressure on him to be tested even though I feel for his brother.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 11-Jul-13 14:19:28

I actually would consider donating a kidney if someone close to me needed one....I would actually consider doing it for someone who was not that close to me if I didn't have a child myself. But that is my decision and I wouldn't judge someone else for having a different veiwpoint.

KobayashiMaru Thu 11-Jul-13 14:20:51

*teenager, not teacher

8thplace Thu 11-Jul-13 14:22:03

I have an estranged brother, but if him or his DC were ever in this position I hope I would know about it and be able to be tested for them and would happily donate with no quarms.

I might not like what he has done to me in the past, or the way our relationship has become,but he is my kin, and I would want to help.

How would you and your DH be thinking if the situation was reversed?

TheCraicDealer Thu 11-Jul-13 14:23:16

I think "identifies as a communist" was just the OP's shorthand for the brother being angsty about her DH's (and subsequently, her) choices and why they don't have a relationship, rather than as a derogatory term.

pigletmania Thu 11-Jul-13 14:24:12

Yanbu at all really, your dh does not have a relationship with his brother. Would you donate to a toxic family member tat wou no longer speak to, I mst certainly would not. Brother might not die, he will go on the list for a transplant. Yes I am on the organ donor register

GoodTouchBadTouch Thu 11-Jul-13 14:26:15

There's a few gaps in the OPs post. When you say the brother was a 'bit of a wanker' in the past did he do something unforgiveable or was it just the usual 'arrogant young guy who thought he knew it all until he grew up' stuff?

No, not at all, his family have never been close because my husband doesn't share their political views, sounds trivial, but they were very anti-education, and threatened to sabotage his graduation, were actually angry when he got a degree and got married.

His mother has softened a bit since we had the children, and he sometimes sends photos to her, which she is nice about.

8th place - I know my husband wouldn't ask for a kidney, or any other help from his family.

CraicDealer - Yes that's it.

Mollydoggerson Thu 11-Jul-13 14:26:27

What if your husband was the one needing a kidney and his brother refused to get tested, how would you all feel?

I don't think you are being unreasonable as such, just very cold hearted not to even consider the testing.

But to each their own and all that.

greenhill Thu 11-Jul-13 14:32:18

This is an interesting discussion about subjective and objective opinion. If only it weren't RL.

Subjectively your DH's DM thinks " I have two children: one is ill and needs help, the other one should do something about it."

Objectively your DH thinks "I have a brother, he is ill. I don't have a relationship with my original family, it is none of my business."

Neither are wrong, but maybe your DH should have a test to see if he is compatible, as a donor. If he isn't, the problem is solved and his DM can't complain about your DH any longer.

If he is compatible, it is then up to him (and his conscience) to make a decision which may or may not affect your family too.

I'm on the fence as regards to reasonableness or not. Mainly because it doesn't affect me personally. Your DH also thinks it doesn't affect him personally either. His mother doesn't see it that way though, does she?
No decisions are made in a vacuum free from emotion. It sounds like he has some relationship with his DM, but not enough to do this.

How sad and tragic actually that a family aren't close because they don't share the same political views.

Oh well, takes all sorts I suppose.

diddl Thu 11-Jul-13 14:38:11

What's the point in the test if you wouldn't have the op, though?

It's the sort of thing I'd like to think that I would do, but in reality, probably wouldn't.

Would probably be too scared of dying during the op/one kidney not being enough when older.

ENormaSnob Thu 11-Jul-13 14:49:32


I have a biological father and his family that i have never met.

Id be more likely to give a kidney to the bloke over the road tbh.

ReindeerBollocks Thu 11-Jul-13 15:03:30

I donated a kidney (and spoken about the process at length on here). It has to be a decision that you would wholeheartedly stand by, as it isn't an easy thing to do emotionally, let alone physically.

I donated to DH as i could see how much of a detrimental effect diaylsis had on DH. DH has a brother who he gets on with but there was never an offer for testing/request for testing by either DH/BIL. Donating leaves you vulnerable after an op while you recover and also long term only having one kidney. It sounds like it should be an easy decision but thats far from true. I would never judge anyone for not donating a kidney to a family member, ever.

I am estranged from my sister and I have often thought about what would happen if this situation arose. I would be the type who would, despite the fact I cannot forgive her actions, get tested and consider the possibility of donation. However I know categorically that even if we weren't estranged my sister would never consider that for me, as anything that impacts on her life is a no go. Revelations like that help put me at ease over the estrangement. Its completely up to your DH, and now I have DCs I would think twice for their sake about doing it for anyone other than them.

noddyholder Thu 11-Jul-13 16:05:14

This is why organ donation needs to be discussed much more before the need ever arises (and hopefully it never will!) It is highly emotive but teh person who needs the organ is so ill by the time that stage comes that tbh (in my case) I was desperate and didn't ever consider the implications. I have had experience twice and as Reindeer says it is very very difficult decision for both parties. My mother donated a kidney to me when I was late teens and afterwards she acted like it had never happened and said she didn't want to discuss it. I was too young to take that on and it has had a terrible effect. Talk to your families so that everyone is clear. There is nothing wrong with saying no but you need to realise what that means if the tables are turned. You cannot imagine what it is like to really really need it and be kept alive by a machine until you are there so people who say they would be happy not to receive can't really know. And people close to death are not always rational either so the sooner we all talk about this stuff the better.

TotallyBursar Thu 11-Jul-13 16:41:14

Noddy - if that was aimed at me then please don't assume I'm speaking glibly about my decision. Or have not been in a position to have to think about it.
People have different approaches to their mortality, life shapes us all differently. I can see lots of people might feel fear when it is reality, some of us have come to acceptance. These are both ok. The main thing though is people are allowed to change their mind - but if you are sure that you have made a choice that fits with your personal ethics then helping support that choice when the time comes does not necessarily include pushing for acceptance of a live donation against previously held wishes.

If it was just comment proximity, nvm.
I'm sorry you have had to deal with that. I hope you have found resolution to what must have been difficult feelings in a hard situation.

whois Thu 11-Jul-13 16:50:51

If my brother (who I am close to) was to die unless I donated a kidney, I would do so. If DP would die without my kidney, I would donate

No fucking way would I for someone I wasn't close to. I probably wouldn't even donate to my mum and dad despite thinking the world of them, bacause at age 65+ I think my ongoing health is more important than theirs.

Totally, totally not U to refuse in this case.

noddyholder Thu 11-Jul-13 16:51:44

Not directed at anyone just my experience and POV smile

ReindeerBollocks Thu 11-Jul-13 17:27:52

I adore Noddy on MN as she has always been a great source of help and support. But actually she is right that often donation needs to be discussed WAY before it is actually required, so everyone knows where they stand.

I will also say that discussion doesn't always solve other issues — it was absolutely my decision to donate and i pushed quite hard with medical staff and DH to do so. I was concerned DH would die due to the toll of diaylsis. However even discussing it for hours didn't help — DH feels immensely guilty about the donation and never acknowledges it, whereas i'm proud of donating and even more so that DH is stable and well. It causes arguments post donation due to our conflicted feelings.

However i know DH was much happier with those that were straight forward like BIL who was quite honest that he didn't want to donate. They both knew where they stood and no false hopes were raised, which i think Noddy was saying about false hope being devastating for the ill person.

OP — this is entirely your DH's decision but if he is not comfortable and doesn't want to entertain the idea then he should at least be respectful enough to say so outright, so that there are no chances his brother to get his hopes up.

noddyholder Thu 11-Jul-13 17:48:27

Thanks Reindeer smile This subject is so huge and not for the faint hearted (or kidneyed!)

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 11-Jul-13 20:59:25

Your DP is not being unreasonable.

I would not live donate to a stranger,which is what his brother is to him effectively. Live donations to strangers is an amazingly selfless thing to do. I don't have it in me to do it though.

Immediate family I was close to I would donate to.

When I die my organs are there for whoever needs them.

jollygoose Thu 11-Jul-13 22:24:04

I cant believe how fencwe sitting most of you are. The brother needs a kidney so presumably he might die without one. Your husband has two he only needs one what sort of man is he that he would let his brother die without trying to help unfuckingbelievable!

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 11-Jul-13 22:27:49

But what if one of his children needs a kidney in the future and he can't help them because he's donated a kidney to a man he barely knows anymore let alone likes?

Live organ donation isn't just about "matching". The levels of regret and resentment that could follow if the above situation happens or he suffers lifelong health complications because of it are potentially massive.

I didn't sit on the fence. I said in his shoes I wouldn't be tested either.

Morloth Thu 11-Jul-13 22:29:20

Your DH's body belongs to him.

That is the end of the conversation. Either people have bodily integrity or they don't.

There are people I would donate a kidney too, none of my siblings are on that list. I love them, but quite frankly not that much.

timidviper Thu 11-Jul-13 22:33:46

I would not give any part of my body to somebody I did not really really care for. These ops are not totally risk free and do you think his DB would care for your family or help you much if anything went wrong? Probably not.

GW297 Thu 11-Jul-13 22:39:39

I am estranged from my brother too and often think about what would happen if either one of us was in your husband's brother's situation.

eyestightshut Thu 11-Jul-13 22:52:07

Organ donation is a gift. It is not compulsory. It is not something to be emotionally blackmailed into because of a blood relationship. YANBU.

reindeer you are a wonderful person, although you don't need me to tell you that.

Amazing. flowers

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Thu 11-Jul-13 22:57:19

Yanbu, I wouldnt for one of my siblings. He is basically a stranger, of I were to give one to a stranger I would certainly pick someone nicer.

pigletmania Thu 11-Jul-13 23:00:41

Yes reindeer you're amazing ad totally right. To donate you have be e absolutely certain, doubting is nt without its risks to, t does eave the body more vulnerable. Op dh is well within hs rights to refuse, e has a family to cnsifpder too, and those guilt tripping op have no right too, and are being utterly unfair. There is Noway I would donate to family I ve cut off from or estranged from.

olympicsrock Thu 11-Jul-13 23:12:06

I'm a renal transplant surgeon. Mother cannot donate due to diabetes. DH would be able to donate even if not a good match as there are "paired exchange " programs. We even do transplants between diff blood groups now. BIL is likely to need 3 transplants in lifetime - a live donor kidney will last longer, live vs deceased donor is more important than than how good the match is.
But the question is does DH want to go through major surgery, risk death , be unable to help you or DC in the future if you needed a kidney and have a swollen painful testicle for life (happens usually after kidney donation). I personally would not donate a kidney unless i really loved the recipient. But the downside is that DH will have to live with the reality that without a living donor his brother will be lucky to make 50 years old. Personally i think YANBU not to donate.

I work in admin in a renal unit. <<waves to reindeer and noddy who I've seen on 'kidney' threads before>> I've seen what a difference donation can make. I think being a donor is a wonderful and incredibly difficult thing to do. In your dh's case, with I assume a young family to consider too, I certainly do not think he's being unreasonable. It's not something anybody should feel they have to do and I know I wouldn't do it except for my dc at this point - and that's from the pov of having some limited insight in to what renal failure does.
Quite a lot of people have said 'but he could die without it'. It's not actually that cut and dried. Dialysis can sustain life but there is a huge varietion in the quality of life and health that people achieve. Generally over time health falters and overall mortality is much higher in the dialysis population than in the transplant population. However a kidney transplant will not/may not last life long. There are a huge number of factors at play and there are people with transplants that are more than 20 or 30 years old and still going strong. There are also patients who get only a few years or even months or weeks before being back on dialysis. The OP's bil has the best chance at a longer life expectancy with transplant but nothing is certain. Some centres now offer nocturnal dialysis (mostly to patients doing haemodialysis at home) and that too can offer great improvements in health. The OP's dh is not responsible for his brother's illness nor should he feel under any obligation to 'fix' it.

lisad123everybodydancenow Thu 11-Jul-13 23:22:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mymatemax Thu 11-Jul-13 23:29:47

I couldn't say no to a stranger let alone a family.
Life & quality of life is precious.
I don't think YABU but personally I do not think I could sleep at night

lougle Thu 11-Jul-13 23:31:35

<Starting a thread within the thread that is within the thread>

flatpackhamster Thu 11-Jul-13 13:10:44

"Wasn't there that hilarious thread recently where someone posted 'AIBU to not understand what's wrong with Communism' and loads of cretins came out and said that the problem with Communism was that people were too flawed to appreciate its magnificence? I laughed."

Please don't use the word cretin. It is an offensive and pejorative term link.

Mymate - with respect, the world is full of people who have said no and they sleep fine because this is NOT an obligation. It's a gift which isn't for everybody to give and it's not an automatic 'will not regret' situation either. Believe me I do know what quality of life looks like and I still wouldn't do this except for my babies.

Greythorne Thu 11-Jul-13 23:44:54


I think it is sad the family is so fragmented but your DH's body is his.

Forced organ donation? Forced pregnancy? Forced abortion?

No thanks.

pigletmania Thu 11-Jul-13 23:49:28

Mymate and lisa totally unfair, have you even read oympicrocks or nrthernlurkers posts! Why should op dp risk his life, and make himself more vulnerable fr someone he is not close too, it's a very big thing to be a live donor

pigletmania Thu 11-Jul-13 23:50:48

Totally agree greythorne

justmyview Fri 12-Jul-13 00:16:42

Quite a few people on here saying that they wouldn't hesitate to donate a kidney even to a stranger. Not so many saying they have actually done so.

KobayashiMaru Fri 12-Jul-13 00:25:18

Well it doesn't really come up that often in real life. hmm

I'm on the bone marrow register, for a start. Are you?

cafecito Fri 12-Jul-13 00:33:22

I was worked up to be a living donor, in the end a cadaveric match was found on the occasions required. I would have done it for my DC, but never for an adult I am afraid, the risks of long term morbidity are enormous. I respect those who do, and if I ever needed to again for a child, yes in a flash, but for an adult in my opinion, no, yanbu.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 12-Jul-13 00:41:24

My sister doesnt speak to me but id give her a kidney if she needed it. I'd be tested for any family member tbh. Its an organ. Its not like theyre asking for a hug and to go on the xmas card list hmm

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 12-Jul-13 00:44:18

I have more than one estranged relative. I'd still get tested. I might be estranged from them, but they're still my blood and I wouldn't wish them dead.

MummytoKatie Fri 12-Jul-13 00:44:33

For those that are willing to donate to a stranger there is a website that tells you how to become an altruistic donor. Because of the large number of people of the waiting list and the (relatively) simple process of matching then I think most people could be matched. Have a look at

Personally I wouldn't be willing to donate to a stranger. I am a blood donor, on the bone marrow list, have had a donor card since I was 14 and am in the middle of being tested for breast milk donation. But a kidney is something that I might "miss" so it is going too far for me.

I would donate without question to either of my children, I can't donate to my husband due to our blood types (but pretty sure I would), probably to my brother. Not sure about my parents as I have 2 very small children and they are both in their 60s so I would have to think carefully.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Fri 12-Jul-13 00:50:43

What Morloth, Greythorne and MummyToKatie said.

And I agree that being tested if he knows he won't do it is not worth while.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Fri 12-Jul-13 01:24:33

Birdsgottafly I know your comment was ages upthread. But are you honestly saying that communist states e.g. China and USSR haven't committed human rights abuse?

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 07:09:32

Lots of eople are saying they would give a kidney, even if they were estranged from the person or fell out with them, really! If it came to the crunch would you! It's very easy to say now, but I wonder if you would actually if it became reality! It does not mean they will die, they will rob ably go on a transplant list, and might get a donor.

Lweji Fri 12-Jul-13 07:37:45

Considering to donate an organ at this stage, when the brother needs dialysis, but is coming to the point when he'll need a kidney, is different than the brother will die within days without a kidney.

Your OH may change his mind then, or not.

A friend of mine got one, which was not a live donation. So, it's possible.

Kidney donation could be dangerous for the donor. It's major surgery and he might need the kidney himself later on.

In contrast, bone marrow donation doesn't have many risks.
And donating organs after death has no implications to the quality of life of the donor.

So, your OH INBU

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 07:40:01

Some on here are making out tat donating a kidney Is easy, like giving blood etc, but if you read the surgeons post up tread it s not! There are risks to the donors health, the donor could die ad leave a fami without a parent, it could make te donors body more vulnerable. It is not something to be taken lightly, and only something I would do to somebody extremely close. Nobody should be made to feel bad because they do not feel they are able to go through all the risk to be a live kidney donor. Op dh has every right to refuse, it's his body, life and kidney atte end of th day. If it was as easy as that I am sure tat most people would become live donors!

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 07:42:51

Exactly lwuj giving bone marrow s totally different, less risky and the body regenerates. You cannot make another kidney! Sometimes a person develops one failed kidney and survives on the other. Op dh woul not be able to do that if his kidneys failed

TheFallenNinja Fri 12-Jul-13 07:48:01

Kidneys and communism and it not even 8am.

Only on mumsnet. smile

ITCouldBeWorse Fri 12-Jul-13 07:50:26


I have two sisters and we joke that we stay friendly in case we ever need a kidney. We also joke that we have punished our lovers too much for it to matter!

I know I would donate to them, as an absolute last possible resort. And vice versa. However, I think we wold all be pretty reluctant to. Surely not a thing to be undertaken lightly.

We did have a comparable situation with dh's sister with her lover, but her continued drinking meant a transplant was not going to be possible anyway. Tbh I think dh would have refused and I would have supported his decision totally.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 12-Jul-13 07:51:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhMerGerd Fri 12-Jul-13 07:51:37

I was estranged from my dad for 20 years. When he was dying we both realised that actually the reasons for our estrangement no longer held significance but that we had slipped into the habit of not communicating ( and therefore an out of sight out of mind way of living) mythologising the last difficult meeting as a good reason not to be in touch.

Don't get me wrong my dad was a difficult and sometimes violent man so I'm not describing an idyllic father daughter relationship gone off the rails during the difficult teen years when we all do and say silly things.

I made the decision to reconcile, if there had been any thing I could donate to make him better I would have. My choice, and I respected my sisters choice to stay estranged. However while I am totally at peace with my dad, our past and his death, my sister is struggling with her relationships with men, her memories of our childhood and the fact that he is gone, she cannot have the discussion, make the peace etc the opportunity has passed. It's for the rest of HER life. He no longer worries about it of course as he is dead.

It really is your husbands choice, only he can know how he will feel in the face of the death of his brother, and his mothers grief and her possible upset.

If he is tested however he can make an informed choice, a definite choice which will leave him with no possible what ifs into the future. Because like my sister it's a decision he will live with for the rest of his life...what anyone else thinks really doesn't matter, it's his internal conversation that does.

Vellimetry Fri 12-Jul-13 07:57:09

It's interesting that on this thread, all the people who have been involved (donor, recipient, medical staff, friends of donors etc) are saying it's emotionally charged and difficult and medically not 100% reliable and takes its toll on both donor and recipient...and yet we're still getting posts like 'I'd do it in a flash for a stranger! I hate my family but I wouldn't hesitate to give 'em both my kidneys if they needed them!' hmm

I'm estranged from my brother - grown apart, he the favourite - and I know my parents would want me to consider donating to him. However, there's simply no way I would do it. I have children who need me. That is it. It would be unfair of them to press the point and if they did, I would consider myself (further) undervalued and dispensible. Years of therapy would ensue etc etc etc. None of this 'Of course I would do this selfless thing for a sibling' life is rarely that simple.

curlew Fri 12-Jul-13 08:04:10

I think people have a perfect right to choose what they do with their own bodies. It was the "I wouldn't donate a kidney to a a communist" that pissed me off.

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 08:07:54

Exactly vellimetry very easy to say in fron of a computer, and in a spur of the moment, but if it became reality, knowing the risks how many would! I personally would donate liver, bone marrow, lung possibly, but kidney I don't think so for someone I was not close to and fell out because of their toxic beaviour. Hats off to those who have, bu for me personally no

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 12-Jul-13 08:09:00

And who are you to tell me what I would or would not do? Do you know me? Speak for yourself please.
Like I said, I have estranged family. We don't talk, but I'd rather they were alive and we dont talk than dead.

belli <hugs> I know where you're coming from totally

velli even blush

Vellimetry Fri 12-Jul-13 08:28:09


Mama1980 Fri 12-Jul-13 08:34:36

Think this is a very interesting debate. I am one of the ones who earlier said I would donate a kidney to a complete stranger, I am actually on the site but sadly my own health now prevents me being considered for anything I'm also on the bone marrow register though. My reasoning is simply that my life and both my sons were only saved by massive medical intervention, dozens of blood/plasma transfusions, drugs and it looked for a while 5 years ago as if ds1 would need a donor organ. I saw children waiting for donor organs and things i never want to see again while in hospital. So short of killing me they can have any part of me they want or need to help anyone who s ever been in the same position.
Only my position of course and I respect anyone with a different viewpoint, it's a very personal decision.

Trills Fri 12-Jul-13 08:36:20

Giving a kidney is not a small thing. Not at all.

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 08:47:17

It is a gift you need to feel you want to do it. I have met people on both sides of the fence.

ReallyTired Fri 12-Jul-13 08:52:17

Many kidney problems are genetic and we have two kidneys for a reason. If a young father gave away a kidney and then developed kidney disease it could leave his children fatherless.

Donating a kidney is not the same as donating blood or even bone marrow.

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 09:03:44

In genetic cases it is rarely suggested ime. I know whole families with polycystic disease and it isn't an option. BTW both my donors are in excellent health absolutely no suggestion that it will shorten their lives at all.(first transplant 30 yrs ago and donor fairly old now and in perfect health) Obviously all cases are different. As I said its choice.

diddl Fri 12-Jul-13 09:08:31

I can understand that the mother is desperate & would mpre than likely do it herself if she could, & I suppose doesn't get that others might not feel that way.

For me though, the thought of one child taking such a risk for the other is awful.

Zara1984 Fri 12-Jul-13 09:13:17

YANBU. It's not like giving blood, it's a major thing that would affect DH's health. His body, his life.

Poosnu Fri 12-Jul-13 09:14:02

I think that your DH would have to be absolutely certain that he wanted to donate. If he is in any way unsure he shouldn't even consider it. It's just an awful situation to be in, all round.

I would donate to my DC and also DH, but probably not to anyone else and certainly not a virtual stranger (which is what the brother is).

OrangeJuiceSandwich Fri 12-Jul-13 09:15:57

I once read a story about a sister who refused and her brother died. It was heartbreaking. If I were the Mother I think, sadly, my relationship with the refuser would be over.

My sister and I aren't close but my God, I couldn't just let her die. Why not at least have the test, he might not even be a match?

Broodymomma Fri 12-Jul-13 09:17:39

I have just been through this with my mum who was in complete renal failure for 7 years. I knew from day 1 I wanted to donate I was scared but never had a doubt. To start she would not hear of if but as time went on we were starting to look at the real possibility she may start to loose limbs.

I went through all the matching process and was only a 4/6 match for her and being different blood types it comics red things.

What did come out was during the process several times they said if there is a shred of doubt in your mind we can rule you out now and say you are not a match and she will never have to know its because you don't want to do it. Just saying because perhaps if there is feelings of guilt at saying no he should know they always give you a get out clause during testing at least they did with me.

However there is also something called a pair exchange where they put you into a pool of people who have a live donor who is not an ideal match and they pair you up so you donate to their recipient and his brother would get their donors kidney assuming its the perfect match.
Perhaps he has other people who are considering doing it that they could look at this? Does not have to be a close relative.

Good ending to our story though 6 days before we were due to be run on the pair exchange my mum got a kidney from some angel who we will be forever thankful to.

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 09:18:09

Saggy I am not telling you what to do, but if it came down to reality would you? That's your feelings does not mean that others feel te same and they should be made to feel bad for not donating a kidney! just because I don't want to donate outside my immediate family does not mean I would want the person dead hmm, that's a horrid thing, of course not, I would hope tat they find a donor ASAP!

PearlyWhites Fri 12-Jul-13 09:19:05

Yabu unbelievably so.

Morloth Fri 12-Jul-13 09:25:32

What would be the point in wasting everyone's time and money in testing?

If he is a match the pressure would be immense.

People's bodies are their own, the only reason he needs to say No is 'I don't wantto'.

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 09:26:28

Gosh some people are so pious. Pearly have you read all the posts from the experts on here or those who have been through it!

I have thought about this before. I also looked into the real risks for the donor. The NHS website is very bland about the risks and I don't think it gives the full picture.

I will only donate to the children. DP already has some health issues that would make recovery harder anyway, so I would not donate to him as the risks to the donor could potentially leave our children orphaned.

passmetheprozac Fri 12-Jul-13 09:40:59

I started reading this thread with YABU, how could your dh stand by and let his little brother possibly die...

However on reading the thread, my view point has completely changed your dh is NBU at all. The possibility of having life risking surgery shouldn't be taken lightly, and there are too many what ifs to justify doing this.

wannaBe Fri 12-Jul-13 09:42:01

So to all those who say they would donate to a stranger and how could anyone not, I assume you have all looked into the real possibility of being live donors then? After all there is a massive shortage of donors in the UK and iirc live donation is something that has been considered as a real possibility. So if not, why not?

At the end of the day it’s a matter of choice. This sn’t a biit of blood or bone marrow we’re talking about major surgery here. And while people can live normal lives with just one kidney, clearly this is not meant to be the case or we wouldn’t have two.

And people place farr to much emphasis on “family” assuming that because someone is family you must automatically have that bond with them. Not all families are close. Not all siblings are close. These siblings haven’t spoken for ten years. This isn’t about someone just having been a twat as a teenager – these siblings grew up together and don’t have that sibling relationship.

No-one should feel obligated to put their own life at risk just because it’s “family”. How far should that go? I would donate to my child, my sister or my sister’s kids or my parents, but what about cousins I haven’t seen or have no relationship with, should I donate to those too? Just because they’re family even though it’s in name only? Of course not. Because in truth if you didn’t have a relationship with that family member before donating, it’s a bit of a romanticised view too think that you might develop one after. If they’re not a nice person, receiving a kidney isn’t necessarily going to change that.

TimeofChange Fri 12-Jul-13 09:42:42

As I said earlier a friend donated a kidney to her brother.
She was a healthy young woman before the operation.
She was off work for 12 weeks and needed a lot of care for four weeks. It took 12 months to recover, but it has adversely affected her hormone balance and personality.

She has severe PMT most of the time.
She ended up back in hospital twice with a major infection in her remaining kidney and on intravenous antibiotics.
She now is unable to drink more than two units of alcohol per week.

Our bodies do not have two kidneys so we can give one away.

You don't just have a kidney removed and go back to work two days later. It is a major op that takes a lot of time to get over.

juneau Fri 12-Jul-13 09:49:05

HIDNBU. For goodness sake, surely its the most basic human right - the sanctity of each person's own physical being? To have the right to say who can enter it, tamper with it, and take parts of it away!

To all of you who say 'How could you be so heartless?' or something along those lines - shame on you. I'm guessing none of you with such cut and dried views have ever been in this position, because those who have are much more understanding of this man's position. He doesn't love his brother, he has no relationship with him - his and the brother's choice - so why should he put his own health on the line (the surgeon olympicsrock details what those considerable risks are)? To say he has two kidneys and he doesn't need both is utterly missing the point. They're HIS kidneys and he can choose to keep them or donate them to someone he cares about and that is utterly his choice, 100%.

This has thrown up some interesting questions for me, I've recently been investigating the possibility of being a live donor for a stranger and I have estranged family. It must be said that the reasons for estrangement are quite significant.
I have come to the conclusion that I would give to a stranger without hesitation. Whereas I would not give to my estranged family members under any circumstances whatsoever. So yes, I suppose I would let them die. That's fucking awful isn't it. I'm not sure whether I would fully be at peace with that decision if one of them actually died, but I couldn't stomach the alternative.
I'm sorry, after this rambling self analysis I still don't know if you are BU or not! But I suppose each of us has free will over our own bodies.

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 09:54:59

Exactly our bodies are our own, they do not belong to anybody else. There is a reason biologically we have two kidneys. Fair enough if people want to donate, that is fantastic, but tey should not make others feel bad because they decid not to

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 09:56:22

Time of change that sounds dreadful for her but is not the norm although am glad to be corrected. My brother and I had the operations on a Wednesday and went home Monday. My brother was out shopping at teh end of the week! In pain but very determined. Neither of my donors was off work for more than 6 weeks. This is why there needs to be more information as medicine moves on all teh time and improves keyhole organ retrieval has transformed donation

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 09:58:01

My donors have no restriction on travel,alcohol consumption etc so obviously I don't know anything about that.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 12-Jul-13 09:58:34

I lost someone I hadn't seen in some time. I let anger and hurt rule my response when she made contact. She later killed herself. If I hadn't turned her away, I could have got her help and she would still be here. I have to live with that guilt. THAT is why I would get tested.

Trills Fri 12-Jul-13 09:59:53

My dad gave my brother a kidney.

He can NOW eat and drink and travel as he likes (no contact sports though).

It was difficult and unpleasant and risky and painful for quite a while, and not something to be undertaken lightly.

Lweji Fri 12-Jul-13 10:02:22

Saggy, don't beat yourself.
She may have made contact because she was tidying things up before she killed herself.
A different response from you might not have made any difference to what she did.

But I agree with not letting anger dictate our responses. Some goodwill and forgiveness may improve the lives of both sides.

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:02:25

No it is a major undertaking and must be done for the right reasons.

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 10:07:26

Well saggy that's good on you, but you are not to judge anybody else. You would feel guilt but does not mean others would feel the same way you do

noddyholder While I do appreciate that improvements are being made all the time to the surgery involved, it will not eliminate the risks entirely, and never will.

Each person must make a decision that is right for them, regardless of whether donating will save someone else's life.

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:10:16

Yes I know but I think all sides must be presented. All surgery has risk. Things have definitely moved on between my 2 transplants though and my last one was 13 years ago this week! So now it is probably even better. But families need to talk about these things as it can happen to anyone sadly and when you are in teh middle of serious ill health and dialysis etc is not the best time

ReallyTired Fri 12-Jul-13 10:11:43

"I once read a story about a sister who refused and her brother died. It was heartbreaking. If I were the Mother I think, sadly, my relationship with the refuser would be over."

That is incredibly judgmental. If I had a mother like THAT then frankly I would not want a relationship with her. I would never give my brother a kidney. The reason for our estrangement is that he threatened me with a knife.

Imagine this senario. Brother gives one of his kidneys to his siblings. The donor then later develops kidney disease and needs a kidney himself. The donor dies and leaves two small children fatherless.

A parent giving a child a kidney is slightly different as we expect our children to outlive us.

I'm with really there. I hope the situation never arises but I'd like to think either or my DCs would at least consider it for the other, however if one didn't feel they couldn't I would be heartbroken but not cut them out, that's picking one kid over the other and if I was losing one I certainly wouldn't want to lose the other.

I am a donor card holder and am on the register. I have weird blood issues so don't donate (in fact someone jokingly asked me not to bother when I went with OH once!). I have made it clear to anyone who may get given that choice that I don't care what their personal views are on it, my organs are to go to donation and I don't want anyone refusing to allow that after my death. Live donation on the other hand is a very scary prospect, and now I have my DCs I feel I have more than just myself to be worrying about.

sameoldIggi Fri 12-Jul-13 10:18:38

I don't think anyone should be forced to donate a kidney. I do think the reasons for not liking the brother are laughable. And the poster who said being a communist is as bad as being a nazi hasn't met many communists, I would imagine!

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 10:19:41

If a family member was vile and nasty to me in the past sorry they would remain in the past, I who uld not feel guilty about not donating, but wish them well and hope they find a donor

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:21:14

Any sort of judgement or feeling like you owe the person etc is very damaging. Talk talk talk before you decide. My brother and I are no closer than my sister and I and he donated to me. My mother finds this very difficult and it has caused issues. She thinks I owe them whereas my brother did it 100% for the right reasons.

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 10:28:07

That sounded wrong sorry! We are close but it has not made me closer to him than my lovely sister.

ReallyTired snap! Mine tried to kill me and my unborn child, and my mother sent him. I know that doesn't mean they deserve to die, but I wouldn't be the one risking my life and health for them.

I wish I could wish them the best and hope they find a donor but if I'm going to be brutally honest I'd feel sad for the person who was making such a wonderful sacrifice for such awful people.

This is largely not relevant to the OP however as the BIL hasn't tried to kill anyone that we know of.

Mia4 Fri 12-Jul-13 10:41:53

YANBU or rather your DH isn't, it really is his body his choice. Honestly myself I would for my siblings but ours is a very different situation in our family bonds. Would i for a stranger? I honestly don't know, I'm not actively on that list though I'm on blood, marrow and organ but if someone contacted me and I was a match, I really don't know. I'd like to say yes but no one knows in that situation.

I know people who've donated to their parents, both are very fit and well and have no issues themselves but they made their own choices there. I know someone born with only one kidney and they're also ok but she has been warned she'll need close monitoring in pregnancy. One of the reasons donatees live longer is also because they get given a full checkup every year so any illnesses, esp serious, are caught more early.

Has the brother even asked for a kidney? Sounds like he isn't even considering your DH anyway.

Personally I think there should be more organ donation at death, we'd not have half the problem we have now if there was and honestly that's the one time that there's no physical or emotional fallout on the donator.

Lweji Fri 12-Jul-13 10:45:15

And the poster who said being a communist is as bad as being a nazi hasn't met many communists, I would imagine!
And lost the argument. wink

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 10:45:25

The decision to donate has to be 100% aulteristic not because the person has been put under pressure or forced into it, that is wrong. Totally agree flank I would do exactly as you would do, some people family or not are hjust left in the past for very good reasons

clucky80 Fri 12-Jul-13 10:45:56

I have had a double organ transplant (one organ was a kidney) and thanks to my amazing (deceased) donor and the incredibly brave decision made by his mum to donate his organs, I now have a fantastic life and am currently expecting my second miracle baby smile
I would say OP though that YANBU. I was 26 when I had my transplant, I was told that I would be blind within a year; my kidneys were failing;, I had heart problems and just generally wasn't in a good way. It was initially thought that I should be listed for a pancreas transplant which after recovery would then be followed by a live donor kidney as the prognosis for live donor kidneys are better than cadaveric statistically. I was adamant from the very beginning that my DB and DS should not be tested. They are both younger than me and at the time had yet to have families of their own. I would have taken an organ from my DM or DF. The decision was actually taken out of my hands as after lots of tests it was felt that my need for a kidney was also urgent so I was listed for the double transplant.

I think it is impossible to say what any of us would do unless faced with the situation ourselves. It is only then that we will really look into possible impacts on life as a potential donor and the subsequent impacts it may have on our families.
Likewise for myself, I still hold the view that if I lose my kidney I will not want my DB and DS to be tested, but then this is easy for me to say now. Maybe if my kidney fails and I have been on dialysis for a few years with rapidly declining health, I may not be so sure? I also think about Reindeer's situation (hi Reindeer!) and how her husband doesn't talk about the transplant and think that I would probably be the same through feelings of guilt and this must be hard to live with too.

FWIW I have also had a kidney removed - I had to have 'open' surgery rather than keyhole which I understand is the usual method to retrieve a kidney from a donor and it is not a breeze by any means.

Please can I now be cheeky here and ask that if this thread has got people thinking about organ donation, please have a look for some more information on the UK Transplant website and join the organ register if you wish to. There are so many people waiting for transplants who cannot have 'live' organs eg. a pancreas must come from a cadveric donor. Thank youx

KobayashiMaru Fri 12-Jul-13 10:47:10

nobody is talking about forcing anyone

Morloth Fri 12-Jul-13 11:01:50

Emotional blackmail is 'forcing' him.

It won't be his fault if his brother dies.

LongTimeLurking Fri 12-Jul-13 11:07:33

I'm surprised at the number of people saying he should 'at least consider it'. Why? He has no relationship with his brother apart from sharing the same parents, it is practically no different to donating to a random man in the street.

"chicaguapa Thu 11-Jul-13 13:47:20
^Yes, YABU to not even consider it.

If my DH had that attitude in similar circumstances, it would affect our relationship and I would LTB. It displays an inherent level of selfishness that I wouldn't be able to live with I'm afraid.^"

Seriously? This isn't like donating a pint of blood! It would involve a serious operation with significant short and long term risks, including death. A long recovery period and unknown future health complications.

IMO It is never 'selfish' to put your own physical or mental health before the needs of others, it is basic human instinct of self-preservation.

KobayashiMaru Fri 12-Jul-13 11:08:36

He hardly ever talks to his mother and has seen her twice in ten years. I doubt there is any scope at all for emotional blackmail

ReallyTired Fri 12-Jul-13 11:12:02

"I'm surprised at the number of people saying he should 'at least consider it'. Why? He has no relationship with his brother apart from sharing the same parents, it is practically no different to donating to a random man in the street. "

Actually if you have a really hideous brother, many people might prefer to donate their organ to someone in the street. Especially as they know that the person will wreck the organ by constantly getting pissed.

sameoldIggi Fri 12-Jul-13 11:48:10

He may not have a relationship with him now, but they grew up together. Years of sharing/fighting/just being together. Hardly a stranger in the street. I think if he had said "I've thought about it but the health risks to me are too great given i have kids etc" then it would be more palatable than an outright refusal, based on not liking him very much.

Morloth Fri 12-Jul-13 11:48:15

So no problem then, he just says no and the matter is finished.

FairPhyllis Fri 12-Jul-13 11:57:51

I'm really astonished that people are being so idealistic and sentimental about the sibling relationship. What OP is basically describing is an estranged relationship with a toxic relative. Why on earth should her DH risk his life and health or at the very least go through some heavy duty surgery for someone like that? There are enough threads on here about toxic families that I would have thought people would get that even if they don't have personal experience of being no-contact with relatives.

FWIW I wouldn't donate to my sister, nor would I expect her to. I wouldn't even be tested.

What OP means I think when she talks about 'aggressive communism' is a situation of someone being wedded to a totally uncompromising political ideology and being obnoxious and dismissive to family members about their life choices because of it. It sounds as though the brother's communism encompasses opposition to anyone having what in our society is a fairly normal freedom of being able to get a higher education, and quite probably a whole lot more stuff which is fundamentally oppressive of individuals' personal liberty. And I say this from personal experience of family members who are/were communists. If you don't have any experience of it, let me assure you it is far from being a fluffy bunny ideology.

KobayashiMaru Fri 12-Jul-13 12:00:44

She didn't say anything about him being toxic, don't be adding in your own baggage.

Plenty of us communists are perfectly fluffy lovely people, thanks all the same. hmm

Morloth Fri 12-Jul-13 12:04:28

Lol I guess it is pretty communist to actually want bits of other people given to you...

Morloth Fri 12-Jul-13 12:05:21

I am happy to give people a leg up, but not an actual leg.

FairPhyllis Fri 12-Jul-13 12:09:32

If you 'constantly row' with your brother because he dared to get a degree and threaten to ruin his graduation because you are politically opposed to higher education, that sounds pretty damn toxic to me.

FairPhyllis Fri 12-Jul-13 12:10:07

Morloth grin

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 12-Jul-13 12:10:48

Piglet I wasn't judging others. My initial response was to Vellimentary. Who was.

KobayashiMaru Fri 12-Jul-13 12:15:47

And also to want to give bits to others, don't forget.

slug Fri 12-Jul-13 12:50:52

If your DH donates a kidney that leaves him with only one. Now living with one kidney is not necessarily an issue (my BIL has only one, lost the other to disease many years ago and gets on OK) However, if your DH subsequently develops kidney disease or has an injury that necessitates the removal of a kidney then he is immediately put in a life threatening situation.

Do you know anything about the reason for the brother's kidney disease? Could it be something genetic? Is your DH even remotely at risk of the same thing happening?

My feelings on live organ donation are analogous to my beliefs about abortion i.e. that adult human beings should have absolute autonomy over their own bodies. Nobody has the right to determine what happens to your body except you. Those who put moral/emotional/societal/legal pressure on anyone to give up this right deserve to be condemned to whichever hell is most appropriate.

ReindeerBollocks Fri 12-Jul-13 13:10:13

Can I clear up some myths flying round on this thread:

Firstly, you don't have to match — so getting tested just in case you match is near irrelevant these days. I had an ABO (none matching transplant) as DH and I had no relevant 'markers'. It still works.

Secondly, it is not a quick 'lets donate a kidney'. It took us a year from start to finish — ECG's, Cat scans blood tests, urine tests and many more. Also the 'big' test — an interview alone with an independent consultant who asks you if you truly want to do it — what if you die, become ill because of donation, what if rhe donated kidney doesn't take etc. It isnt an easy process at all. And if the Human Tissue and Donation Authority suspect any pressure is placed on the donor they won't allow it to go ahead.

Thirdly, it is major bloody surgery — DH recovered quicker than I did. Twelve weeks before i could walk to the shops without collapsing with exhaustion. Also they tore my renal artery during surgery. I had to be given a lot of blood to recover as i nearly didnt make it.

They ask you before surgery — what shall we tell the recipient if it goes wrong. I said tell him nothing as he wont go through with it otherwise, so they didnt say a word.

Finally, it is a huge toll emotionally on both the donor and recipient. I sat in my firsy year check up (as donors get yearly monitoring too) and sobbed like a baby as DH basically worked all the time once well again, to get over his journey of renal failure — he worked very long hours just to escape what he'd been through, which left me feeling so isolated and alone.

We are fine now, and there are no restrictions to my health for travel, food or alcohol purposes. But it reallt pisses me off when people make out that its easy and they'd do it in a heartbeat, as that is so far from my experience of donating.

<waves to all the usual kidney transplant gang> we always end up on these threads wink

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 13:12:15

I agree it is major and the pros and cons need to be out there for all to see

TheDoctrineOfAllan Fri 12-Jul-13 13:15:01

Reindeer, what a moving post.

gemandjule Fri 12-Jul-13 13:15:20

I think it's hard to imagine how you will feel when your brother dies if you haven't actually lost a close relative. My brother died very suddenly 18 months ago aged 42 and I could never had anticipated how much it would hurt. We never had a falling out and did meet a few times a year but I would never have thought of us as especially close. I know for a fact now that if I had any warning of it and could have done anything to prevent it with as good odds as a live donor I would definitely do it. Again seeing how difficult it is for my parents I can't imagine saying to them I wouldn't do it. But that's in retrospect, I have no idea how if I would feel as strongly without that perspective

ReindeerBollocks Fri 12-Jul-13 13:24:47

I agree Noddy but not even the hospital staff wefe honest about it — they told me afterwards that if they were honest less people would do live donations, and live donations are more likely to last than cadaver kidneys.

I would wholeheartedly support anyone who genuinzly wanted to donate — but family relations shouldn't force someone to do so.

ReindeerBollocks Fri 12-Jul-13 13:26:29

Sorry for all the typos, am on my phone.

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 12-Jul-13 13:30:29

Im really surprised at all the reasonable people who can see why my husband refuses. Ill definitely show him this thread. A lot of the things written I know confirm his choice. Thanks for being so honest.

I cant help but disregard the people who "would give a kidney to a stranger" - Sorry but I just don't believe you.. so easy to say. And brother IS a stranger.

We definitely don't want a relationship with him, (or the mother either really) but of course that doesn't mean we wish him dead! Emotional blackmail from strangers on the internet is not going to make him change his mind?
Some of the ridiculous things written just make me laugh. I should LTB? Really? So I should take my children from a wonderful father, because he isn't willing to risk his life for a stranger? If you have such a fragile relationship with your husband I feel sorry for you, and perhaps YOU should LTB.

Also the poster who wouldn't want to be friends with such cold people as us: You aren't the sort of friend we would want, thanks. Same goes for his mother.

Ive said before, but its not "let him die, he is a communist" curlew READ THE THREAD!!

DH and I are 31, and having child number 3. We got married 10 years ago (in Scandinavia) and had our first child there - there was plenty of time for reconciliation then no? All we got was nasty emails with reasons why people like us were to blame for all the problems in the modern world.
Just the fact that he would need to travel and recover abroad is a huge problem, who would help me with the children?

Thanks again for your opinions and stories. Really useful to get the perspective of the experts and people who have had transplants.

noddyholder Fri 12-Jul-13 13:32:04

My brother was amazing he really did just recover super fast. The whole situation with my mother was different and she would never talk about it when I was a teenager. But she has 4 children and sees none of us really and she saw my illness as another inconvenience she had to sort out . The psychological effects are sometimes the hardest sad. Your operation sounds traumatic you are really selfless and brave and I admire anyone who does this as it is HUGE.

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 13:46:03

Oh sorry saggy. Its not to say I am a heartless cow, but a kidney would be different. I would donate to my immediate family, but outside family who I don't see at all, iam not sure, certainly not someone who has been toxic towards me and violent Noway!

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 13:47:58

Good dont feel bad, your dh has every right to refuse

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 12-Jul-13 13:48:40

Reindeer that is both sad and lovely at the same time. I hope anyone who is glibly saying they would donate to a stranger reads it and thinks again.
From what I gather from reading that, it would be almost irresponsible of DH in our circumstances to allow himself to be bullied into anything. It clearly isn't over after the operation.

It sounds like he would fall at the "big interview" anyway. The surgeon would be able to see he doesn't have a fraction of the feelings you do for your DH and that is bound to cause problems.

I imagine if he did it, things would go back to the status quo, and he could be left with ill health, wondering why he did it.

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 12-Jul-13 13:51:51

Thank you piglet. Thanks for all your posts, its so easy to say "Oh but Id couldn't let a relative die" and sit back feeling all holy. I appreciate the honesty

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 13:57:04

Exactly words are so easy to type, but faced with the reality and a very long and testing process, would you?

EldritchCleavage Fri 12-Jul-13 14:19:41

A friend of mine donated a kidney to one of his friends. He was ill for a long time afterwards, including at our wedding. He was slow, tired, in pain and looking prematurely aged. All of that has now improved, but it was very hard.

Even the most close and loving of siblings could not expect another sibling (and parent of young children) to do that for them. Apart from parents donating to their children, donation is always a gift not an obligation. There are many very glib posts on this thread making out it is otherwise.

FairPhyllis Fri 12-Jul-13 14:22:59

Good Obviously you don't need the opinions of internet strangers to decide how you and your DH feel about it, but fwiw I think that not being tested is the only reasonable thing to do here. If he already knows he doesn't genuinely want to do it (for whatever reason), then it is wrong to dangle a possible donation in front of his family, however difficult they have been. They need to rule it out now so they can look at other options.

And all the other circumstances - the estrangement, the health risks, the fact that lots of overseas travel and long recovery are involved - are perfectly good reasons not to want to do it. I can't believe any transplant team would want someone to be coerced into the the transplant process like this.

pigletmania Fri 12-Jul-13 14:30:29

Exactly he should continue to say no

Mia4 Fri 12-Jul-13 15:52:01

OP it's always his body and your choice, people will give their own opinions and see their own situations but this is your DH's decision and so long as you support him then what does it matter which it is.

I think people should donate after death, not living unless they choose to. I really think more people signing up to the organ donation register would lower the need for living donors and would mean less no possible repercussions on the donors.

"I hope anyone who is glibly saying they would donate to a stranger reads it and thinks again."

OP, your DH's decision is his and his alone; I don't judge him for it.

But please don't think I was being at all glib when I said I would give my kidney to a stranger. I wasn't. And reindeer's post hasn't changed my opinion one bit.

Of course I don't expect that a complete random stranger will walk up to me on the street one day and ask for one; I would assume that for me to be asked in the first place or to be aware that someone needs a new kidney, they would have to be someone I know. Nor would I be likely to sign up for a live organ donor register.

But if I were asked, no matter who (repeat excluding evil people disclaimer), I do honestly believe that I would give a kidney if that person would die without it.

How could I live with myself otherwise?

CHJR Fri 12-Jul-13 17:08:08

I would have thought the salient point here is that you have small children, to whom you have a much higher obligation than to a sibling (let alone a stranger). I would feel entitled to object loudly to DH donating a major organ to anyone but one of our children, for the same reason that I gave up my small plane licence when I got pg. When we finally got DC we made them a quite explicit promise not to take unnecessary risks.

WafflyVersatile Sun 14-Jul-13 23:49:23

You'd really rather watch your DP die than ask if any of his family were a match and willing? confused

KobayashiMaru Sun 14-Jul-13 23:59:34

I can't imagine objecting to my DP saving the life of one of his siblings. Esp since I'd do it for them too.
What about their children? Are yours the only ones who matter?

DollyWhite Mon 15-Jul-13 00:04:52

As selfish as it might be, I wouldn't like DH to donate. But I wouldn't stop him either, and certainly not on political grounds shock

pigletmania Mon 15-Jul-13 00:39:09

Yes kobayashi they are the only siblings that would matter, as tey are depending on teir parents to look after them!

WafflyVersatile Mon 15-Jul-13 00:40:42

One kidney doesn't make you incapable of looking after your DC.

KobayashiMaru Mon 15-Jul-13 00:41:49

Er what? I said what about the children of the sibling who might die? And therefore be missing a parent? Do you not care about them?
I'm afraid your response makes little sense to me.

pigletmania Mon 15-Jul-13 00:45:55

If you read therest of the posts from experts and those who have been through it, it is a very risky proceedure, and dies make te donors body more vulnerable. We are born with 2 kidneys for a reason, if one fails we ave a back up

pigletmania Mon 15-Jul-13 00:50:10

Yours does too kobayashi. Op dp s estranged from his brother for a reason, if he under duress agrees to donate, ts a very lengthy proceedure, with testing and a long interview, if it canme out in the interview that he was not sure, and it could the donation would not go ahead. If my sibling was toxic and nasty and as a result I cut off contact, Noway would I donate

KobayashiMaru Mon 15-Jul-13 00:58:36

yes, if one fails we have a back up. But if both have failed, you're fucked, and if you're a member of my family I'll give you one of mine. Even if you're a bit of a knob. I'm not saying at all that everyone should do it, but it does surprise me that someone might want to try and stop someone who wants to do it for a family member.

pigletmania Mon 15-Jul-13 01:04:32

Thats you kobaashi, op dh does not want to do it and op is supporting him, she is not preventing him. Really if someone was toxic towards you, ad violent you would risk your life and give them a kidney, well your a better person than I

pigletmania Mon 15-Jul-13 01:05:57

I am on the Organ donor register and would donate anything else, buta kidney is a huge thing

KobayashiMaru Mon 15-Jul-13 01:06:43

yes, but we moved on from just talking about the OP. I'm clearly responding to a poster other than the OP, no nasty family members mentioned.

olidusUrsus Mon 15-Jul-13 01:23:49

With the best will in the world GoodTouchBadTouch, you left a lot of information out of your OP. It did originally sound like you were being cold and refusing to even consider this because of the brother's political views. Before your updates, I would have said YABU.

But actually, I don't think you are. If I were in your situation I would go through every scrap of information about live donation and tell your DH's family just why you don't want to take this any further, medically and personally, without it sounding like an excuse.

I agree that he shouldn't be tested if he isn't even willing to consider donation, that would be cruel on the brother & his parents.

And I can say that I would not consider being a live organ donor. Once I am dead anyone is welcome to any useful part of me, but while I have a sick husband to care for, a step son to nurture and a daughter to raise, I will never consider live donation. I think it is admirable that some people can say they would commit to it so easily, I'm in awe and a little jealous.

I take it your DH would (rightly or wrongly) feel no guilt if his refusal coincided with a demise in his brother's condition, but I'm wondering how likely that would ever be? Is it likely that the brother won't survive much longer without a transplant? I have to admit, estranged or stranger, if all other routes were explored and I was asked again to consider donating as a last-chance-saloon, I would at least reconsider my decision.

If the brother declined quickly, would the 'what ifs' eat your DH apart? Or is he truly that far separated from his family that he would never feel remorse over his decision?

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 15-Jul-13 02:52:33

I found the poster who said they would not forgive one of their children for not donating to the other very sad.

I love both my children unconditionally. That means I don't place conditions on it.

In the circumstances I think I would hope that one would donate to the other. But even that I'm not sure as the idea of risking losing both of them is pretty major.

hesterton Mon 15-Jul-13 06:47:27

I am generally fairly generous but a kidney of mine would only go to someone I loved or respected highly, be they family or non-family. In my case that would include any of my siblings but only because I love or respect them. It would also include many friends and of course my children.

I think.

I don't know for sure though; how could I? I have never been placed in that situation.

And so I would never judge someone else who is placed in that situation, whatever their circumstances.

I don't believe you should ever, EVER make someone feel guilty for not offering up a kidney for anyone, be they family or non family.

sydlexic Mon 15-Jul-13 07:17:33

I do not believe I could let anyone die if I could prevent it ( with obvious exceptions). I find it sad that so many would.

perplexedpirate Mon 15-Jul-13 07:31:04

I can't get my head round this. His brother could die, and he won't even attempt to help?? confused
How will he feel about their past relationship if/when his brother does die?

pigletmania Mon 15-Jul-13 07:52:07

Perplex have you read the whole thread! It's not as simple as ok have my kidney and away we go. Op dh could die himself, there are risks to him if he donates, if he does, his body could be in a more vulnerable position. It's a huge sacrifice and not one to betaken lightly. The donation probably would not go ahead anyway because his brother is not 100 sure. I could not do this for somebody who was vile and nasty to me, blood or not!

GoodTouchBadTouch Mon 15-Jul-13 23:55:19

I don't know if I would've stopped him. I think I would've been entitled to an input into his decision. But I cant say Im not hugely relieved.

Im pretty sure he wont feel guilty should the worst happen... like people have said, its not down to him and his brother isn't his responsibility.

I think a lot of people saying "I couldn't let my brother die" are having trouble imagining a sibling who they aren't remotely close to. They are probably immediately picturing a brother who they love but have fallen out with, and that argument would all be forgotten in a life or death situation, of course he could have a kidney! He is family!
Well that's just not the case with my husband. Surely its significant that even though the brother is very ill, my husband has no wish to visit/speak to him regardless?

Just reading the posts from Reindeer and the surgeon is all the info I need to justify it to myself really. Like so many have said: its not like giving blood

Morloth Tue 16-Jul-13 00:14:06

There are 3 people in the world I would give a body part to as a living donor.

DH (though we would be having a serious discussion about what was best for the boys, i.e. the risk of both of us dying versus just one of us), and my DS's.

I am fairly certain that I would not accept any body part from my children, the thought horrifies me, I believe I would rather die. I have already had a great time in my life at a young age, there is no chance I would compromise their ability to do so in order to gain a few more years.

My siblings/their children are on their own with this. We are close and I do love them, but I love my children more and their need to have their parent with them trumps most others as far as I am concerned.

Obviously I would not expect anyone to donate to me.

I give blood and am on the register for organ donation if I die.

But while I am still using them, they are mine and I am not willing to share.

formicadinosaur Tue 16-Jul-13 03:37:25

It's sounds like brother was a bit of a tit as a teen. Maybe he was unhappy or attention seeking? He is probably a mature adult now? Brother could die. You are being very hard hearted. What if the shoe was on the other foot? You would want him help your DH live.

invicta Tue 16-Jul-13 03:53:13

You are not being unreasonable. Kidney donation is a major operation.

Hundreds of people need kidney donations. Alot of people said they would donate. Maybe they should be tested to see if any (non related) person matches their kidney, and then they could help save someone's life.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 16-Jul-13 07:04:17

"It's sounds like brother was a bit of a tit as a teen. Maybe he was unhappy or attention seeking? He is probably a mature adult now? Brother could die. You are being very hard hearted."

Brother is a bit of a tit now too actually. He effectively disowned my husband for half baked political ideas. He has had years to pick up the phone and say "Gosh I was a bit of a tit wasn't I? Sorry about that"

Would it be easier to imagine how my husband feels if he had been sneered at for being poor all these years? Or gay? Or for having illegitimate children? or for marrying a non white person? Would that make his decision more understandable to you?

Ledkr Tue 16-Jul-13 07:23:09

My son needs a kidney. I can't donate as I'm have cancer.
He has two brothers. One has offered the other hasn't as he is scared and also has a young child.
Ds totally understands and doesn't want anyone to do it under pressure.
YANBU but if its simply because of what he did in his youth then I think you are.

Ledkr Tue 16-Jul-13 07:29:18

Have to add that my dh (ds step father) is being tested as a match.
It is a big op yes but we have been to lots if seminars and for a young fit person it's ok but bigger op than the recipient.
That wouldn't put me off personally.
I'm sad I can't do it for him.

pigletmania Tue 16-Jul-13 07:46:19

Totally understand Good, just because they are family does not give them a god given right to your organs. Dh brother is in the past for a reason, I am sure if the boot was on the other foot, op would not accept the kidney, however from reading te op, I don't think dh brother would donate to him somehow

WeAreEternal Tue 16-Jul-13 07:51:51

I have several siblings who I have different levels on contact with, some I speak to often, and one who I rarely see or speak to. But I would give them all an organ without question.

I also have an estranged sibling, none if us really speak to them due to (IMO) unforgivable behaviour from their late teen years and their general sociopathic tendencies.
I wouldn't even consider being tested for them, I don't consider them family and wouldn't give them anything.

DeWe Tue 16-Jul-13 10:10:17

Dm has a friend whose son's kidney failed when he was 10yo. Although he was very ill she did not want his sister (only 2 dc in family) to be tested to see if she was a match because she said "at present I have one healthy child, and one very sick child. If she donates a kidney and becomes ill due to that, I have two very sick children, and the guilt that I put her through it."

Her ds eventually found a cousin who was a very good match, but unfortunately the kidney failed after a few years. Dm still didn't want his (now adult) sister tested even though she offered, as she still felt the same way.

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