Friday, 9 January 2009

Dr Maleficence Wants His Kidney Back

A New York doctor who donated a kidney to his wife is demanding the return of the kidney, or its' monetary value, as part of a divorce settlement.

Dr Richard Batista still recalls the day after the surgery took place:

"There is no greater feeling on this planet. As God is my witness, I felt as if I could put my arm around Jesus Christ. It was an unbelievable; I was walking on a cloud. To this day I would still do it again." (from

He may be an angry and controlling man and is displaying classic signs of being an abuser. His sense of entitlement is evident in his quotes on the internet :( or or His kidney, his wife whose love he is entitled to forever or else, his children he has a right to see, no matter what the circumstances.

He has accused his estranged wife Dawnell of infidelity, but false allegations of infidelity are common in abuse. He has also criticised her for refusing marriage guidance counselling. Interestingly, this form of counselling is totally contraindicated in abuse, as the abuser often uses it as an opportunity to perpetuate the abuse.

As an MD, he of all people will understand medical ethics and the principle of nonmaleficence (, to do no harm. So he will be acutely aware that his legal manouevre is a nonsense and no doctor practising legally could remove the kidney from his estranged wife. (Not that this has stopped internet misogynists from calling for "the bitch to wake up in a bath of ice without his kidney"). He will also understand that legally, no monetary value can be exchanged for a donated organ, not even in the domain of privatised medicine in the USA. He even admits that he does not seriously expect to succeed, thereby admitting that the purpose of his case is just to harass, humiliate and bully his ex. It was not part of his initial legal response to the divorce citation, so if he is a controlling man, it could represent an escalation in his attempts to control his former partner. That could make him an extremely dangerous man and I sincerely hope that his estranged wife and those around her understand this.

What an ultimate power trip, that she owes him the gift of life and is beholden to him forever. I wonder if he has used that, to control her? How could anyone believe a wonderful man who donated a kidney to his wife, could be an abuser?

I wonder why his estranged wife took up karate? I wonder if, as he says, and if so why she is restricting his access to the children?

He will have undergone extensive counselling and been given opportunities to change his mind, before he was allowed to donate the kidney. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that once the operation took place, the kidney was legally and ethically his wife's. In the initial post-op period, the person who donates is at increased risk of kidney failure and other post-op complications and they are counselled extensively about this, prior to consenting to surgery. After that, the risk of kidney failure in the person who donates is only marginally higher than for anyone with two kidneys. That is why living people are allowed to donate kidneys.

This case has hit the media because the Batistas are wealthy and the doctor can afford lawyers to pursue his ridiculous litigation. But many ordinary women whose cases don't reach the media, are cynically pursued by abusive ex partners who choose to "tie the bitch up in legislation" as a way to extract revenge after separation.

Leaving is a dangerous time for a woman whose partner is abusive. Two women in the UK are murdered every week by partners or ex partners. This is the only time that the cases of ordinary abused women are likely to reach the media. Even then the point is missed, with media claiming that the man lost control, when in fact the problem was that he was too controlling.

I really wish the legal profession and the media would get with it, and stop allowing themselves to be used as tools by abusers.

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