Ok, here's the story:

My father has been diagnosed with a disease that is shutting down both of his kidneys. It's no surprise, we've known this since my childhood, but things are getting worse. He's going to need a transplant and several people have tried to donate but were not able to. He is on a waiting list, but chances are he will never receive a kidney that isn't donated from a live candidate. They actually got their pastor at their church to make an announcement to the congregation in hopes someone will come forward that is able to donate a kidney. In the meantime, I have been asked if I would donate if all else fails.

This has got to be the biggest thing that has ever been asked of me. I replied with a no. I don't beleive that with all of my father's other heath issues that it would really even make too much of a difference, It wouldnt really be adding that much time, or even really improve his health enough to make him happy. not to mention I beleive that in this situation, it would seem like a hopeless cause. It also seems kind of weird to me. I guess..it's kind of unatural to think that it is ok to give someone an organ, just so they can squeeze a little more time out of life. Dont get me wrong, as an atheist, I relize that life is precious. it's all we have. But, these people are christian and they are asking such a big thing from me.

Wouldn't their religion comfort them in the fact that he is sort of coming to the point in his life that is supposed to be the most important factor of their faith? I mean..I guess I think that heaven should be seen as the destination here.

This is coming out all wrong...I love my dad and don't want anything to happen to them, but this is so conflicting. To make matters worse, they are making me feel pressured and judged because of my decision.

Pardon the language, but it is making me feel like shit. I feel that just because I am trying to live my own life, I am being selfish. I mean...I already have to do a lot of things for them, I'll have to do even more in the near future. I'll also have to help my mother take care of her father and autistic brother. To top it off...I'm trying to start my "life"...I have a girlfriend who I am planning on marrying, I want kids in the near future and I'm working on trying to find a career.

This is sooo much at once. I wish my parents would actually support me emotionally since I am relatively young and am starting out in life. Instead, all I'm getting from them is pressure.

Any thoughts? Opinions? Advise?

thanks for hearing me vent guys.

Tags: death, life, parents, pressure, religion, transplant

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haha, she's an ex girlfriend for a reason. This was the same girl who listed one of the reasons we broke up was that I was not a christian.
This is a personal decision, in the end. I can't say I know what I would do. In the end, though, that is your kidney. No one can pressure you into giving up an ORGAN. I would have to question their definition of love if they do. Good luck to you.
I think this quote from JS Mill sums up the dilemma you have:
“The utilitarian morality does recognize in human beings the power of sacrificing their own greatest good for the good of others. It only refuses to admit that the sacrifice is itself a good. A sacrifice which does not increase or tend to increase the sum total of happiness, it considers as wasted.” JS Mill, Utilitarianism, 17.

Would this be a wasted sacrifice? I think that is the only question you can ask yourself.


In the end, it is your body that has to go under the knife. Anyone who comes close to making you feel guilty about your decision isn't taking the whole picture into context. I'm sorry to hear about the declining health of your father and I hope whatever decision you make that you are true to yourself.
It's hard for me to put myself in your shoes. If it were my dad, he probably wouldn't want a kidney from me or anyone. If his state of life wouldn't benefit from it drastically, he wouldn't want it. The fact that I put his wishes first is why he gave me power of attorney if he is unable to speak for himself. He trusts me to keep to his wishes and not keep him on indefinite life support as he fears others might. I am of course the only Atheist in the family (at least for now), and although there are some areas where we don't agree, there are many important ones where we do.

It really is your call. But I would say you made a sound choice. If the transplant would lead to many many years added to his life, that would be one thing. But with the likelihood of only a marginal improvement if any, that does add weight to your stance. I'd do everything you can to make your dad's life comfortable now, and maybe discuss the situation. He knows his condition better than anyone else. It could be that he's made peace with his 'fate' but that someone else is the prime mover in this. Like a wife who refuses to take her husband off life support, even thought he would just like her to move on.

I doubt I helped much if any, but I understand what you're saying. All too often the family of the sick can be far too selfish. Good luck. I hope things work out or at least become more tolerable.
I started writing almost the same thing.
Hmm. Better look forward to the future than gaze into the past. I think you decision is the most convenient one. If I would be a father and I would have had a terminal disease and my child has it's own life ahead of him I would accept the idea that I am going to die ( like everybody else ) so that my child can live on. And I am an atheist. Religion induces allot of unnecessary factors.

This is the best rational choice.

This, I must admit, is cold. By the word "cold" I mean it doesn't account for sentimental values. You just think on the cause and effect paradigm. This will disturb you from the inside, this feelings, but in the end feelings do NOT make the better decision. Feelings can alter a decision. People believe that feelings are what makes us human. That is true. But we have to do the best even if it takes from that "human" bit of us. That "human" characteristic is virtual. We just have a pride for humans. The humanist current is all about this. If this goes too far people cannot, as you might know, accept that they are animals. We are animals. We are just animals that developed a very complex conscience. Life is complex chemistry. When someone dies it is like a computer turns off. Every people to whom I said that said: "But that is a computer, we are talking about life!". Life is the same as anything else, it is just allot more complex than anything we ever knew and so we put allot of emphasis on it.

Two choices. Make the best short-term decision and give him the kidney or make the long-term one and politely refuse to donate.
It is better to live considering the long run.

My opinion should not be taken for granted. I do not know allot of factors that come in play into your life. Please take an impartial and reasonable mind to sort out this important problems.

-Lup
You're screwed...
If you don't: the rest of the family will resent you forever. It'll be even worse if he finds a donor then he'll be alive to fuck with you.
If you do: It won't be long before they forget it all together. They will resent the fact that you gave something of such value and do everything in their capacity to ignore it. Sure, they will thank you at first. But after a while they'll roll their eyes at the mention of it. They will forget it, and exert effort to do so.

I spent the better part of the past decade taking care of my grandparents until they died because I was the only one who didn't have "other responsibilities" after they died I spent another year caring for my father while he went treatment for cancer. After he died; I got this bit of thanks from my family: "You spent six years sponging off of your grandparents, and when you were done there you went to go sponge off your father." This is after changing depends, cleaning stomas, changing colostomy bags and changing out IVs. (not mentioning the day to day domestics)


If your family's anything like mine, your better off not. Is this really something your father is asking you for? If it is, I think that's some indication of how he values your well-being contrast his.

Yes... bitter. Sorry for dumping here, but your question hit a raw nerve.

I can tell you this without prejudice, though. Your choice should have nothing to do with belief structure. Just because he and they believe in a life-after-death does not mean that he gets it. The opinions differ between there being a "hereafter", but the reality is that he will be dead. No more. Gone. Finito. You will no longer get the company of your father ever ever again.

My grandparents and my father were good and decent people, despite their leaving behind them a drove of douche-bags. If you were to ask me if would do it again, I would tell you "yes". I wouldn't take it back for anything...

Good luck!

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