back to article US doc demands $1.5m for donated organ

A US doctor is demanding his ex-missus stump $1.5m after she ran off with their three kids and one of his kidneys, the New York Daily News reports. Richard Batista, 49, donated the organ to his wife Dawnell eight years ago in an attempt to salvage their foundering marriage. She'd already suffered two failed transplants when …


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  1. Andrew Moore


    "She took my heart...

    ...and my kidney"

  2. Mike

    I for one

    Hope he wins and the sorry bitch has to give the kidney back. You save someones life, you own it.

  3. Jim McLachlan

    Somehow, this sounds vaguely familiar

    Anyone else see "Lost" in this? Jack and his ex? Locke and his dad?

  4. Mike Crawshaw

    Black Belt in Nursing?

    That'll teach them uppity SEALs not to mess...

  5. Chris

    Don't tell me what I can't do!

    He should get Sawyer to sort her out.

    (Mine's the one with the Dharma logo)

  6. Chris Thomas

    But lets all be honest

    whilst we all think that these things should be given without attachment, she used her new lease of life to betray him and run away with another man and withhold access from their three daughters, all of this in repayment for him giving part of his body to save her and she totally shits all over him like that.

    most people are cynical enough to say that well, just because it's your kidney, shouldnt mean you have control, or influence of that person's freewill, that would be like imprisonment, cmon now, she didnt act in any way respectably, she shit all over the guy in the worst way and now he probably feels like maybe he should have kept the dammed kidney and let her die and keep his dignity AND his family, now because he was a nice guy and saved her, he's lost everything.

    What a bitch, totally deserves to lose just on principle alone nevermind if she actually broke any laws

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    as a doctor he should know better. organ trade is neither legal nor in the best interest of public health. it kinda makes me sad to see how far the yanks have come. lets just hope the the court tosses this out right away.

  8. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: But lets all be honest

    I knew the lice would come crawling out for this one. Look, people have affairs and leave their partners regardless of how much they've been through before. She'd had two failed transplants and was pretty ill. And er, it was four years previously. She didn't recover and then do an immediate runner shouting "HA ha!". It's a bit of a stretch to conclude she's some evil swine from the details given.

    You lot don't half worry me sometimes. Yesterday it was a model who'd been bottled in the face and subsequently abused online by some nasty little git who was a terrible bitch. How is it that you manage to jump to this conclusion every time?

    Alrighty then, someone say something patronising to me about my housework, and I'll be on my way.

  9. jon

    not a chance

    The kidney was given the wife with no other implications. If he wanted something more, then he should have sorted out a contract at the time.

    Believing in people and feelings is a failing point of many (business) relationships. If you expect something but it isn't in the contract, then you can't reasonably be expected to receive it. He should have slapped it in as an amendment to his marriage contract :)

    Life is emotion, but money is business.

  10. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: not a chance

    Well yes. You can't really do something selfless to save someone's life and then demand reparations later. I do feel very bad for the guy, though, before anyone starts accusing me of being a great big feminazi.

  11. thefutureboy

    @Sarah Bee

    Don't worry, most of the blokes on here have never spoken to a real live woman face-to-face...

  12. raving angry loony

    yay Sarah

    Nice to see at least one of the El Reg team has the balls to stand up and be heard in the comments section, rather than bitch and moan in email. And, of course, it's a woman. Well done Sarah.

  13. Colin Millar

    Re: Re not a chance

    You're not a great big feminazi??

    Another fantasy goes pop!

    Anyone who read that linked report wouldn't have much sympathy for the guy - he needs to be slapped repeatedly in the face while having "stop blubbering you big girls blouse" shouted loudly at him.

  14. Hollerith

    I'm with you, Sarah

    You don't own the life you save. The person who has been saved might feel an eternal debt, but being owned? Needing to do what the other wanted, forever? No, I don't think so.

    Let's turn it around. Chap with failing kidneys is saved by his loving wife, say, a nurse. His life returned to him, he studies medicine and martial arts, and finding himself, four years later, falling for his physiotherapist. Because he's a doctor, when he separates from his wife, he gets custody of the kids. The wife, feeling betrayed, sues him he the value of her lost kidney. She feels that giving up a kidney should demand longer thoughts about loyalty from her soon-to-be-ex. He doesn't see it this way: he's grateful, but what's he going to do? Stay in an unhappy marriage forever? Do what she wants forever?

    Does he sound like a right bastard, like someone who needs sorting out, punished, because he shit over her in the worst way? Would your comments have been the same had you read this version of the story? Yeah, sure.

    I am always amused when feminists are called 'man-hating', in the face of vicious, knee-jerk woman-hating comments like this -- straight from that little dark space in the brain, eh, guys?

  15. Bassey

    Why no kids

    I have no idea what the deal is in the US but why has he not seen his kids in months? Over here he would have access rights (unless he had done something particularly bad). It seems like two separate issues. Him giving her a kidney has nothing to do with her having an affair and walking out on her marriage. Some people are just unpleasant - donated Kidney or not.

    But to take his kids away and not give him access, unless there is some unreported reason, is pretty disgraceful. I'm not sure trying to get 1.5M for the Kidney is the answer though.

  16. Chris

    Re: not a chance

    Well Sarah, all you have to do is take the test, after all there's a 1 in 700,000 chance you could help the guy out! I won't be volunteering though, mine are both worthless.

  17. Thomas

    He's acting like an idiot

    But I guess he's quite emotional right now. Hopefully the courts will slap him about over the kidney thing and give him access to his kids.

    @Sarah Bee - housework starts with an 'h'. Can you say 'h'?

  18. michael

    @ sarah bee


    LOVE IT!!!!!

  19. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: He's acting like an idiot

    >housework starts with an 'h'.

    That's funny, so does 'hurt'.

  20. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: yay Sarah

    You're too kind. I mean, literally - I only come in here and chat ze shit because I'm moderating. The other staff have far too much to do in the main and are not going to grub about in the gutters if they can help it. I think you'll notice that when they do they're pretty gracious, witty and righteous, though.

    No, they're not looking over my shoulder right now.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Probably just using it as leverage to gain part custody of his kids.

    It's rather off to "run off" with them, however I wouldn't be too suprised if there are other things at play here, doctors tend to be a bit power hungry in a similar way to police officers. What's to say the guy wasn't a grade A dick, got home every day expected his dinner done, house clean, kids in their rooms and a good nob sucking before getting down to an evening of beatings and religious TV.

    O well. All in a hard days work I suppose.

    Course he could be a great guy, whose just rubbish in bed and his old lady just prefered the bronzed musccly hero of a karate instructor instead...

  22. Sam Turner

    Namby pamby wishy washy limp etc.

    Take back her kidney? What's wrong with just stoning her to death? I mean ... she's had the audacity to survive an illness and leave her husband ... unprecedented bitchery. Burning is too good for her.

    Good grief.

  23. Niall

    First of it's kind in New York State

    so... Not the first of it's kind in the US?

  24. Jason Harvey

    kidney aside... custody battle from hades?

    now the kidney issue may become a leveraging tool to get custody of the kids (or at least good visitation).

    And of course there's the issue of "she wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for his selfless act back then". There should be at least some gratitude, even today, on her part.

    However, we all know that should and will are two entirely different motivations.

  25. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down


    While I feel sorry for the guy's heartbreak, he frankly has no right to demand payment for the kidney. He's missed the key word in the process - he DONATED his kidney.

    It's probably the "first case of it's kind" because nobody else has been dumb enough to presume they can subsequently charge for a gift.

  26. Kae Verens

    charge for a donation?

    This guy should look up the definition of "donation". You can't give someone something and then say years later that you want payment for it.

    It's even worse than the "this is my ball and I'm going home with it" thing - it's like "this ball, which I gave to you years ago, was originally mine, and I'm going home with it".

    I think the girl could've arranged to have the divorce papers given to him at a less life-saving time, but that's no reason to be a big baby about it.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Assuming the best of folks?

    Erm, what I'd read (elsewhere) was that el doc was using his kidney donation as an example of what a good partner he was, and how hard he'd worked at saving the marriage. Plus being supportive of his missus' 'outside interests' - and look where that ended up.

    Despite having some degree of contempt for the US-based medical profession (although I appreciate it's the system, not necessarily the folks in it), I really hope that the Doc gets the dough. Not because of the kidney, (silly man), but because of the lack of access to the kids, plus the patent stupidity of 'er indoors presenting the divorce papers to hubby in the middle of an operation. Heck, I hope the patient concerned (or their family) gets a good old ambulance chaser and also sues the ex-Mrs Doc for reckless endangerment (or whatever, I'm sure a suitably oily attorney can find something suitable).

    I realise that this might not endear me to the female Reg watchers - or worst still - cause me to suffer the wrath of El Moderatrix...

  28. david wilson

    Lack of information.

    Though it's easy to understand why the guy is pissed off (as are many people when other relationships fail), there isn't much information about exactly why the marriage broke down, just that it was in trouble before the surgery, let alone before the wife met the therapist.

    Given that lack of information, it's also rather hard to square the knee-jerk image of the caring guy who *gives* a kidney to his wife with the knee-jerk image of the strange person who'd waste his time trying to bill her for it later, when all he was likely to gain was ridicule.

    One wonders about the quality of legal advice he's geting.

    There seem to be all kinds of things that could make the transplant/marriage situation tricky, even if the marriage hadn't already been in trouble.

    Might it just be a bit weird living with your donor, especially if they were a surgeon?

    Is the kind of person who'd issue a bill later the kind of person who might possibly just not let someone forget they were using 'his' kidney?

    Even if that thought never entered the donor's head, is it not possible that even quite innocent enquiries into the wife's health might appear as annoying reminders when things aren't going well?

    The idea of giving a kidney to save someone's life I quite understand, but giving one even partly to help save a marriage does rather seem like there was some kind of payback expected, if only in gratitude, which is hard to square with the idea of 'donation'.

  29. Mike

    Divorce ploy

    That is all it is. Remember, she's about to take half of his stuff and demand alimony payments on top of that. Just some legal maneuvering, don't read too much into it..

  30. Andy Bright

    Sell it again

    Why didn't he just sell the sob story rather than try to match her in the dickhead stakes? Marriages work, or they don't, but on the face of it all they are is a glorified boyfriend/girlfriend deal with a bunch of legalese to back it up.

    Promises to stay faithful, true and supportive for the rest of your life is more or less setting yourself up for failure 50% of the time (hence the divorce rate). He stuck to his side of the bargain, she didn't. Big whoop, have a cry, write some bad poetry, sue for the kids (believe me you want the kids and not the child support payments) and split the record collection in half.

    The kidney thing should be nothing more than an anecdote to your decentness (yes I know this word doesn't exist). Saying you wouldn't have donated it if you'd known she'd be unfaithful sort of negates this. Either you are a decent person and would sacrifice for your wife, without condition, or you won't.

    Don't expect many people to agree with that point of view, but I know I would sacrifice a kidney if it would save my wife's life, regardless of whether she remained faithful to me for the rest of our lives, because the two things aren't related in any way.

  31. Dick


    I think it should be "unirenal" not "demirenal".

  32. Law

    RE: Re: He's acting like an idiot

    Hey sarah, you know what else starts with H..... Hoover.... now off you pop love, these plain chocolate digestive crumbs on the floor won't hoover themselves, and while you're up, pop the kettle on and make us a brew will ya, ta! ;)

    Flames.. because if my pregnant wife saw this, she'd burn me alive, but if I suggested I be the one getting a year off to sit about the house and play all day while SHE worked, that would just be unfair! :p

    PS - my view on the story - finders-keepers losers-weepers... he should man up and just sue for access to the kids, nothing more.

  33. Dave

    Re: yay Sarah

    Presumably they're not looking over your shoulder because they're rather tied up at the moment?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    >Alrighty then, someone say something patronising to me about my housework,

    You do housework too? If I wasn't already married I'd be down on one knee already.

  35. Anonymous John

    He's a doctor.

    Hard to see how the Hippocratic Oath covers asking for $1.5m for his donated organ.

    Mine's the white one with the stethoscope.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    He should have

    Should have let her die and just gotten a younger one as replacement.

  37. The Mysterious Panda


    Well done that chap, tackling these uppity women and putting them back in their place! It makes a change from most contributors obsessing over making the Bee with two backs.

    Congrats on the impending little one. I tried pointing out to my wife when she was expecting that pregnancy highlights typical differences in behaviours - men just crack on and get their part of the job done in a few hours. Women have to drag the whole thing out for months. She took it quite well, and the sofa is quite comfy after a few weeks. It was even better when I was allowed to bring it back in from the garden.

    Perhaps they could organise some kind of access to the kidney? He could have visiting rights every other weekend. Take it to the park, McDonalds, then pump it full of sweets to make it hyperactive just before returning it to his ex-wife.

    Heart icon, because if you tilt your head and squint, you *might* mistake it for a kidney, providing you have no idea what a kidney looks like. If you have no idea what a kidney looks like, then tilt your head and squint at the icon - it *might* look something like that.

  38. Mike Hocker


    Isn't that supposed to be half pissed off? He only has one kidney left after all.... can't get the full sustained volume up like he used to.

    Yes, I'm going now.

  39. Heff

    house hstarts with hbanhammer.

    Wait, so the guy is arguing the court case is because he feels ashamed and humiliated and whatnot? so, a court case to draw attention to said humiliation is a good idea because?

    "Hi, I saved my ex-wifes life and now I want my kidney and 1.5m dollars" = Best Shit Custody case evar.*

    outside of collossal levels of self-inflicted stupidity, I cant see a reason why he'd go forward with this, unless its a one-two hit of Gimme some money Im crazy / I have no money and Im not fit to take the kids.


    *not featuring drugs, incest, or murder.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Renal failure

    I thought kidneys were supposed to take the piss.

    @ Chris W

    "You do housework too? If I wasn't already married I'd be down on one knee already."

    Did you by any chance "donate" your other knee when you got married?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Doctor from article

    "...To be betrayed that way, humiliated - I can't even begin to say."

    But you just *did* begin to say!

  42. Daniel

    Re: Why no kids

    Because the US is totally fucked up, that's why. In most (all?) states on this glorious union, either parent can pack up the children and run off with them and it's not child abduction unless there is a standing court against it. At this point, the children are with that parent, and generally remain with that parent until either a) they relent, or b) a court issues an order otherwise, which can take months unless the parent they are with is a clear and present danger to the children. What is best for the children during those months is generally ignored. It's disgusting.


  43. Daniel


    "You lot don't half worry me sometimes. Yesterday it was a model who'd been bottled in the face and subsequently abused online by some nasty little git who was a terrible bitch. How is it that you manage to jump to this conclusion every time?"

    Just because the nasty little git was a terrible bitch doesn't mean that the model deserved to win that case - US law and standards are pretty clear on public figures and libel. I do agree that the nasty little git was a bitch, though.

    On this article, however, I agree with you completely. Anyway, back to the kitchen with ye! :)


  44. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    I don't know if you're deliberately getting the grammar in a twist there, but if you're not, that rather tells its own story.

    What I meant was that the commenters leapt on the chance to, well, blame the victim in the model's case (calling *her* a terrible bitch, not the blogger), or at least fling more shit at someone who's had way enough shit flung at them already. And that this seems to happen with worrying reliability in the threads. See? No? Oh, whatever.

  45. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    Also, I never suggested I thought the model had a case (so you've got me even wrong in about as many ways as you could). That doesn't mean she isn't worthy of basic sympathy. Why do people have to be so absolutist about these things?

  46. Nick Askew

    Oy vey

    If there is any justice the judge will tell the guy forget the money take the kidney back! But only the kidney and not one drop of blood.

    I'm sure there is a story in there somewhere, oh wait!

  47. Daniel


    Ah, I wrote several paragraphs here, and then decided what the hell, there's really no point in arguing with the moderatrix, especially when I don't really disagree with her that much. Besides, I really do believe we're talking past each other.

    You're a fine Lady, Ms. Bee! Keep up the good work, and try to keep us civilized.


    P.S. I do apologize for incorrectly assuming you thought the model had a case. That was a mistake on my part.

  48. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah

    Aw, and there I was gearing up for a scrap. Let's call it a draw. And yes I don't think we do disagree, I was just taking issue, y'know, it's what I do.

  49. rhidian

    scrap away ...

    Kinda feel sorry for the lot of them as it's all turned so nasty...

    We only have one side of the story (prob less than half of one side) and taking the kids away and denying access doesn't usually sound like some thing some one would do with out good reason.

    If she doesn't have good reason then I hope he gets to access to the kids. As for the 1.5 ... Yeah right, bluff and bluster.. (theres my knee jerk reaction to the story :) )

    Onto other things ...

    Now, it's Friday, it's lunch time and my coffee mug is full. I needs a new Keyboard, monitor and a reason to get the Reg to buy them for me.... So ... Where the hell is the "Bastard Operator From Hell" ?? It's the first (hopefully for most) Working Friday of the year.. Some poor sods have done a full 5 day week... they need there shots! We need to know How long the BOFH will last in this years attempt being nice to Luser!!

    And on a side note, in an attempt at humour... We all know the BOFH would have put a remote on / off swich on the kidney involved O.o

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "and taking the kids away and denying access doesn't usually sound like some thing some one would do with out good reason."

    You've obviously never been through a divorce. ;)

    Never underestimate the venom, spite and vindictiveness that can surface during a divorce.

  51. david wilson


    >>"Never underestimate the venom, spite and vindictiveness that can surface during a divorce."

    ...sometimes even without the assistance of lawyers.

  52. Steve Lubman

    Never mind the Kidney

    How will they divide the contents of their trailer and who gets the Chevy pickup thats up on blocks on the front lawn?

  53. Meph

    Maturity and the human condition

    First let me agree that asking for money for the kidney is a little out of order.

    Ok, now we're past that, lets have a look at the rest.

    Relationship breakdowns happen, however some maturity seems to be lacking from both sides. She possibly should have separated from the guy *before* having an affair, and should also possibly be allowing access to the kids.

    He should probably feel good that he saved someone's life, accept that the relationship is over and move on.

    Regrettably, humans are generally incapable of this, and I predict that it will end up very messy for all concerned.

  54. Fred Mbogo

    Fallout 2

    If he actually expects sympathy from his former consort, he is mistaken. She did act like a ***rag but she is certainly allowed to do so according to the law.

    Their children being isolated from him, on the other hand, is a genuine complaint.

    My advice to this emotional and angry gentleman would be this: Accidents happen guv', particularly those involving high velocity ordinance...

  55. The Mysterious Panda
    Paris Hilton

    @ Sarah Bee

    "Why do people have to be so absolutist about these things?"

    Not all of us. I'm only provisionally absolutist.

    We should be careful judging a person during a state of distress, it is one of the things that strips the humanity away from the animal.

    On the other hand, it's a good thing he wasn't caught cheating. He might have come home to find her dumping all his stuff on the lawn - "Here's your stupid ring back... and your stupid flowers... and all your stupid clothes... and... UUUGGGHHHHErrrrrr... here's your stupid kidney back too!"

    Paris, because they'll always have her...

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