Friday, January 9, 2009

Kidneys & Blood Suckers

This amuses me...

A US man divorcing his wife is demanding that she return the kidney he donated to her or pay him $1.5m (£1m) in compensation...But divorce lawyers say a donated organ is not a marital asset to be divided.

But it also a rather intriguing point.

If one believes in the concept of self ownership, or sovereignty of the individual (video below), then an organ of mine is very much my property. But if I choose to donate my property - whether a car, money, or iPod - then it is no longer my property because gifting it is akin to selling for £0 - a voluntary transaction.

However, for the purposes of marriage a large degree of property is deemed to be shared, and division of that property is usually on an equitable basis. So if I had donated, or gifted, my kidney to a stranger out of goodwill, it could properly be considered a gift, but in a marriage situation does that remain the case?

This man's wife has essentially received a gift of enormous value, which he was prepared to write off due to love, etc, but now that he is sticking needles into voodoo dolls of the bitch, he wants to call up the value of that gift as part of the total assets under consideration - i.e. he wants his kidney counted as an asset of $1.5m, leaving him, presumably, with the majority of the rest of the material assets (house, car, etc).

One could say that the same rules of organ donation apply whether gifting to a stranger or a spouse - i.e. it ceases to be the donor's property and becomes the new property of the donee. I tend to agree with this conclusion, in that once the transaction has been made, the kidney ceases to be the donor's. If I give a Christmas present to somebody, I can't ask for it back several years later. I ceased to have claim over it from the moment the recipient received it.

Take a look at the video below, and let me know what you think.


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