A man who wants a kidney back from his wife in their divorce settlement is himself a vascular surgeon. While CBS legal expert Lisa Bloom rates his chance of getting the kidney back as “somewhere between no way and no how,” his publicly demanding return of the kidney or its market value would seem to cast a shadow over his own professional integrity.
Dr. Richard Batista acknowledges that the kidney for transplant was a gift made willingly to his wife. But, in light of her allegedly beginning an affair 2 years after the kidney transplant and ultimately filing for divorce, the man wants the kidney back.
In a CBS News interview, 49 year old Batista portrayed himself as a devastated husband and father of 3 seeking justice after being mistreated by his wife. He claimed that he was one of only 170,000 people whose kidney would have been a match for his wife and that she should be required to pay him $1.5 million or return the kidney.
Theatrics and divorce manipulations aside, perhaps the man who wants a kidney back could use a refresher on the constituents of the Hippocratic Oath which would preclude his fellow surgeons from removing his wife’s kidney to return it to him. In its traditional form, the oath requires a doctor to refrain from doing any harm to patients.
Medical ethicists agree with legal experts on this one. Dr. Arthur Caplan at the University of Pennsylvania’s Centre for Bioethics declared the return of the kidney “somewhere between impossible and completely impossible,” according to the Guardian. And Robert Veach of Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics put the proverbial nail in the coffin of the man who wants a kidney back- or its alleged fair value- noting that it is illegal for a human organ to be exchanged for anything of value.
The man who wants a kidney back and who has gone on national television to state his case might be expected to know this, given that he is a member of the medical profession.
As for his devoted father speech, what is the likelihood the man who wants a kidney back had the best interest of his kids in mind when he went public with demands that one of their mom’s kidneys be yanked out of her to soothe his pique.
Sources: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/08/earlyshow/main4707809.shtml; http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_modern.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath; http://www.nowpublic.com/strange/dr-richard-batista-wants-kidney-back-divorce.