Sunday, 1 March 2009

Kidney divorce: a donated kidney is not property

I posted sometime ago about the bizarre case of Dr Richard Batista and Dawnell Batista from New York, in which Dr Batista sought that the kidney that he had donated to his dying wife some years ago be considered to be property, and that he wanted US$1.5 million for it, and if he could not get the US$1.5 million, he wanted the theoretical return of the kidney. He had an expert value the donation of the kidney, and also note that his donation was a 1 in 700,000 chance, which saved Dawnell's life.

Dr Batista's claim, seen by legal experts as not having a prayer of success, and being without merit and vindictive, was rejected by the court.

"At its core, the defendant's claim inappropriately equates human organs with commodities," Suffolk County Court-Attorney Referee Jeffrey Grob declared in a 10-page ruling[PDF file] .

Grob cited state law making it a felony for people to give or take money for a human organ.

"While the term 'marital property' is elastic and expansive ... its reach, in this court's view, does not stretch into the ethers and embrace ... human tissues or organs."

No comments: