Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scam....Sham....Shake-down ????

I remember hearing those words, "...If something looks too good to be true, it probably is." Being an optimist, I don't usually hold on to that philosophy. I believe that people are innately good. I believe that there is a common brotherhood among men, and that we will strive to do what is right, even when faced with opposition. I know...I have been called Polyanna many times before!

So, how do I take being shaken down for money? It has never happened before, that is until last night.

Dave and I met with our new friend, ("the kidney donor"...I won't mention his name here) out in Riverside to discuss how things were progressing. He showed us his test results, which were stellar! His kidneys virtually function at a 50% capacity on each side, which is a real rarity! Most people have a 60 / 40 ratio, and the donated kidney is of course the lesser of the two. His other results were just as good....a prime candidate to donate a very good kidney!

Then it happened. Something neither of us saw coming. He started talking about money. How a man in NYC had contacted him and was willing to pay $500,000. for the organ. How donating his kidney would adversely affect his health insurance coverage, his life insurance premiums and how he would be worried if he could afford school, should there be a complication. How his dream of being a firefighter would be lost, and how money would at least be something to fall back on.

Stunned, Dave and I just sat there and listened. Of course having second thoughts about donating an organ to another person is normal. We would be surprised if he had not had second thoughts. But the money kept coming up. A lot of money. There was never any talk of money before...in fact he was the guy who said he hated injustice, and that the rich are the ones who can afford to buy organs, and that he was NOT in it for money. We took him at his word.

First, it's illegal for us to buy someone off. Secondly, it just seems a little too strange that all of a sudden there is talk of money....and was this his final offer? Would the amount progressively go up? Should we have brought an attorney into this whole altruistic game? Probably! The weirdest thing was that he told us both his pastor and nephrologist told him not to feel badly about taking money for his kidney. They told him there was nothing wrong with doing that. Now, I may not know what church he attends, but I have worked in the medical profession. There is no doctor that I have ever met or would want to work with who would condone selling one's organs. (Especially a doctor that runs an organ donation program at a leading teaching hospital.) It goes against the very thing they stand for. But even if they did personally believe in it, there is no way they would tell a patient to go to the highest bidder.....no way! I would also assume that most men of the cloth would opt to tell one of their congregants to abide by their sense of right and wrong. Pray for clarity. Maybe steer him towards integrity over asking for a dollar amount. But there are wacky churches out there, so perhaps a pastor did give him the advise to sell to the highest bidder. Who really knows?

The qustion that keeps haunting the two of us is will this man be coming back to us for more money with every health issue or financial issue he ever has? While we would certainly accept responsibility to pay higher premiums on his life insurance or make sure that he has health insurance the rest of his life, we would do it legally. We would owe him a so much, of course! But now we are just worried that this will turn up and bite us, maybe continually for many years.

All we can do at this point is hope that Dave's cousin John is a good match. My brother and I didn't test yet, since we thought "the kidney donor" was a done-deal. So we will do our testing this week. I wouldn't be able to donate until next year, anyway.

Poor Dave. I feel so badly for him. We do have faith that God will get us through this. Better we find out now that there was something strange going on, than the day of the surgery when all is set to go.

Thanks for the prayers. We know God will provide a way.

1 comment:

~D~ said...

Oh Lisa my heart breaks for you and your family!!!!! Maybe he was an undercover cop ;)