Nurse donating kidney to dialysis patient

  1. Did anyone read this story of a dialysis nurse donating one of her kidneys to a dialysis patient? The operation was performed earlier this month, & one of the nurse's conditions was that the patient commit to taking the antirejection meds for the rest of his life. It's posted on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/condi....ap/index.html

    While it is wonderful that this patient has a chance at a healthier life, this situation makes me cringe. It seems like this crosses a line over a professional relationship. Call me selfish, but I couldn't do this for a patient--close family member, yes.

    What do you think? And has anyone heard of a nurse donating an organ to a patient before?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   BeckRN
    I read this the other night. I definitely think it smacks of boundary crossing. What I couldn't get over was the woman's cavalier attitude about it and the way she said "she knew" that eventually she'd give someone a kidney.

    As if she's picking up a box of donuts. I don't know, I think its strange. I've been very emotionally attached to some of my patients, but I'd never give them an organ.
  4. by   Dixielee
    Good thing she didn't work in a heart transplant unit!
  5. by   LPNer
    I also think it is crossing the line.
    Keep a separation between personal and professional.
    Donating a kidny is very personal and not in the nurses best interest!
    How many other ways can I say this?
    Dumb move!
  6. by   shel_wny
    I think it's kind of cool.
    I've thought about donating one of my kidneys before.
    It's a very personal decision.

    Shel
  7. by   Aneroo
    How is that different than one deciding to get on a bone marrow transplant list? I feel that some people just have this feeling (a call, if you would like to call it that), that this is something they should do. However, I do see how someone could say that this has crossed a boundary of sorts. I think I like it though with someone she knows, and can keep checks on, rather than some random person. -andrea
  8. by   grentea
    I don't at all intend to spark an argument by saying this but who are we to judge if it is or is not in the nurse's best interests? I think it's a wonderful thing for one person to do for another person, and the fact that she is nurse donating a kidney to a patient makes it no less of a compassionate act. I really don't think the whole boundary crossing thing applies here. Let's look at the situation a different way. What if instead of facing end-stage renal disease, this patient was in the way of an oncoming car and within arms-length of his nurse who was also crossing street but off duty. Before pulling her patient out of harm's way, do really think the nurse would think to herself, "Well I have to take into account that I need to respect my own mental needs and not be concerned about my patients while I'm off duty, so I'm not going to do anything." If someone definitely has the power to save a person's life and chooses not to for whatever reason, that is surely the bigger ethical slip-up than "crossing the boundary". I realize that making the decision to donate an organ is a very personal and not right for some people, but I feel that what this woman did should not be lumped into the same category as health care professionals who do things like sleeping with their patients.
  9. by   LPNer
    Quote from greentea
    I don't at all intend to spark an argument by saying this but who are we to judge if it is or is not in the nurse's best interests? I think it's a wonderful thing for one person to do for another person, and the fact that she is nurse donating a kidney to a patient makes it no less of a compassionate act. I really don't think the whole boundary crossing thing applies here. Let's look at the situation a different way. What if instead of facing end-stage renal disease, this patient was in the way of an oncoming car and within arms-length of his nurse who was also crossing street but off duty. Before pulling her patient out of harm's way, do really think the nurse would think to herself, "Well I have to take into account that I need to respect my own mental needs and not be concerned about my patients while I'm off duty, so I'm not going to do anything." If someone definitely has the power to save a person's life and chooses not to for whatever reason, that is surely the bigger ethical slip-up than "crossing the boundary". I realize that making the decision to donate an organ is a very personal and not right for some people, but I feel that what this woman did should not be lumped into the same category as health care professionals who do things like sleeping with their patients.
    I think your comparrison is to generic for the giving of a kidney. If she were so moved to donate her kidneys to the general public, she would have done so already just as she, you or I would pull someone out of the path of an oncomming vehicle.
    Donating a kidney is much more than just pulling someone out of the path of an oncoming vehicle.
    Wow! I missed the post about sleeping with a pt, that is way out of line in this conversation! One has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the other!

    As nurses we have to set a limit on what we will do for our pts, we should not make it routine to disrupt our personal lives for an individual pt. That is not to say a LTC nurse, for example, should not pick up a hershey bar for a pt, that is not what DISRUPTING personal life means.

    So, you think just because I, for example, would be a perfect match for some pt on dyalisis I am not fullfilling my ethical responsibilities if I do not donate one of mine?

    Examples to think about:
    • Who will pay my wage while I am recovering?
    • Who will care for my family while I am recovering?
    • Who will care for me and cover the costs if, down the road, when I have kidney damage from taking Celebrex with only 1 kidney to handle everything? What? not take the Celebrex? Stop working?
    • Who will cover my lost wages, etc etc etc.

    There's a lot more to think about than just handing a kidney over today. Donating an organ is a life-long commitment! And doing it for a pt, or anyone you really don't know on a personal level is not appropriate, it can too easily come back to bite you in the butt and make you very sorry. Then, not just you but your whole family must pay for it!
  10. by   baby&mommynurse
    It's a personal decision to decide to donate any of your organs and donating her kidney was this nurse's personal decision. She should be praised, not criticized. What does it matter if you are a health care worker, a family member or just some unselfish person wanting to save another individual's life? The key word here is "unselfish". There are many men, women and children out there still waiting for life saving transplants. The patient receiving the kidney was truly blessed to have even found a donor.
  11. by   LPNer
    Quote from greentea
    I don't at all intend to spark an argument by saying this but who are we to judge if it is or is not in the nurse's best interests? I think it's a wonderful thing for one person to do for another person, and the fact that she is nurse donating a kidney to a patient makes it no less of a compassionate act. I really don't think the whole boundary crossing thing applies here. Let's look at the situation a different way. What if instead of facing end-stage renal disease, this patient was in the way of an oncoming car and within arms-length of his nurse who was also crossing street but off duty. Before pulling her patient out of harm's way, do really think the nurse would think to herself, "Well I have to take into account that I need to respect my own mental needs and not be concerned about my patients while I'm off duty, so I'm not going to do anything." If someone definitely has the power to save a person's life and chooses not to for whatever reason, that is surely the bigger ethical slip-up than "crossing the boundary". I realize that making the decision to donate an organ is a very personal and not right for some people, but I feel that what this woman did should not be lumped into the same category as health care professionals who do things like sleeping with their patients.
    As much as I have said it is a mistake on the nurses part, you are very right in saying that it isn't for us to judge! It is her choice, I can only state my own humble opinion about it. MY opinion may not be right for her, I have to admit, I am guilty of judging someone instead of judging just the idea of "a nurse donating an organ." We are wrong to judge her and if she happens to read any of my posts, I am sorry, I went where I should not have gone.

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