Would you tell the family? - page 2

by MedicalZebra 1,728 Views | 13 Comments

My cousin was in a serious car accident and was put on life support. After four days, the decision was made to shut off the machines, and my cousin's blood was drawn for tissue typing to see if she could donate a kidney to me...... Read More


  1. 0
    I am so sorry for your loss. I would not tell the family anything other than was stated by the physician. HIPPA mandates this and why cause more pain and suffering.
  2. 0
    So sorry, Sadie.

    A couple of ideas--I am not certain--you are probably more up on this than I am--but isn't the same blood type just a very small part of tissue typing? Aren't there other factors that might have made your cousin's kidney incompatible with you, and likely to be rejected? That is, a poor match?

    I am betting that your cousin had Hepatitis (probably C) as well, if she was a drug abuser--that alone would have made her kidney unusable for transplant.

    I think the doctor was probably trying to be as kind as possible, and leaving her mother with only good memories of your cousin (her daughter) by not elaborating on the whys of incompatibility.

    I pray that you get your donor. We all proved incompatible donors for my own cousin--and then, her lifelong best friend from high school (they are both in their late 40s now) got tested--on a whim--and was a perfect match! My cousin got her new kidney from her last year, and is doing great.
    Last edit by stevierae on Mar 22, '05
  3. 0
    I'm very sorry for your familys' loss.

    I honestly don't think that the doctor would say that it wasn't a match just to spare the mothers' feelings.

    Also, I don't think that telling the mother about her drug use will do anything except make things worse. Some things are better left untold...and what you don't know won't hurt you.
  4. 0
    Quote from MedicalZebra
    Here is my question: If you were in this situation, would you tell the parents the truth? Or would you feel that the parents already had enough to deal with?
    It's very paternalistic for the MD to decide to withhold info in order to protect the family. I don't think this is OK.


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