Author Topic: Wow.  (Read 11905 times)

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Trisha

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Wow.
« on: November 06, 2007, 09:17:33 PM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=444238&in_page_id=1770
Man has bone marrow cancer. His sister offered to donate, he went into remission.
Later, he has a relapse. She refuses to donate.

I can see both sides here, but if the sister refused I don't think he should be basically trying to get her to do it through a public opinion campaign.

Oxymoroness

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2007, 09:30:12 PM »
Wow that's rough.

Sibling bone marrow donation is such an emotionally-charged experience it's hard to judge. When a sibling donates and the donation either fails, kills the donee, or succeeds and GVHD kills the donee anyway there's sometimes a massive attack of survivor's guilt, or even severe depression. I can actually see why the sister wouldn't want to donate again especially after the first time it failed.

I can also see the heart-break of the brother's family. (After all, DH's family went through a similar experience with FIL.)

Either way it breaks my heart and it's a shame that the brother is engaging in a public guilt-tripping campaign.

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Akarui Kibuno

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 03:39:34 AM »
The odd thing is that I read the articles as in the sister agreed to be tested to see if she was a match, and when he actually needed her she then refused when she had previously agreed.

It's a pretty sad story and I must say I can understand the "I'm afraid that won't be possible" , but... I guess I probably couldn't have helped helping anyway.
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morgana

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 04:27:51 AM »
To be honest, I cannot see his sister's point of view. She must have been really hateful or really didn't care whether he lived or died. I think I would hate her with a passion, were I the wife of the dead man. Something like this takes an angel heart to forgive.

FoxPaws

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 05:01:20 AM »
To be honest, I cannot see his sister's point of view. She must have been really hateful or really didn't care whether he lived or died. I think I would hate her with a passion, were I the wife of the dead man. Something like this takes an angel heart to forgive.

It's important to remember that we're only getting half the story. It could be that the brother was one of those that never had any use for his family unless he wanted something from them. I think it's very telling that the mother of them both sided with the daughter.

One of the saddest, most compelling letters I ever read in Dear Abby was from a woman who was being pressured to donate a kidney to her sister (surgery that carries considerable risk and potentially serious long term complications to the donor). Her mother told her she would be disowned if she refused.

But the sister who needed the kidney was an alcoholic and drug abuser (the reason her own kidneys were kaput) who never kept her promises to stay sober, and the letterwriter had no reason to believe she'd change once she had a new kidney. I don't even remember what Abby advised, but I thought about that letter for a very long time after it was published, and whenever I come across stories where someone says "they just refused to help me!", it makes me think twice.   :-\
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morgana

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 05:16:32 AM »
I'd agree in the case of the kidney or liver failure due to personal negligence. But this is leukemia. Not his fault. And even if he were a person who only used his family, I would still think he doesn't deserve to die for it. Or his family doesn't.

I agree with you that we're only getting part of the story and I always try to put myself in the other person's shoes. In this case however I keep putting myself in the wife's shoes and ... well ... I get stuck there.

nliedel

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2007, 07:59:22 AM »
Bone marrow donation is now a fairly painless procedure and very easy, these days. Not like it used to be. While I can understand electing not to donate a kidney, or part of a liver, not donating bone marrow seems somehow vicious. I cannot think of another side of the story that would make anyone out to be anything, other than a vindictive person. Even with an extreme fear of needles, which I have.

Although, this does give me an idea for a new short story...
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ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2007, 08:24:16 AM »
I'd agree in the case of the kidney or liver failure due to personal negligence. But this is leukemia. Not his fault. And even if he were a person who only used his family, I would still think he doesn't deserve to die for it. Or his family doesn't.

I agree with you that we're only getting part of the story and I always try to put myself in the other person's shoes. In this case however I keep putting myself in the wife's shoes and ... well ... I get stuck there.

He may not deserve to die for it - but I just cant get behind the idea that she has to donate because she's a match.  She has a family to think about, too.  And for this guy to basically publicly embarrass and harangue her says to me that he's probably not the greatest brother/they didnt have the greatest relationship. I mean, really, to publicly (or privately, for that matter, but publicly is just more vicious) claim that your sister is responsible for your death...That just smacks of emotional abuse right there.  This guy clearly doesnt understand that she is not obligated by any circumstances to donate.  No, not even by the fact that they share DNA.  No thanks, I wouldnt donate either. 

And all the articles I have read say that the family got into some arguments before she changed her mind - I wonder what those were about? It sounds like she had very valid and solid reasons for not donating to him. 
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morgana

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2007, 08:37:23 AM »
I think in such circumstances, the guy just simply was trying anything and everything that might give him a chance. Yes, according to good sense, you should simply just take a bow and say ok, then, I guess I'm going to die now ... well, that's all fine in theory, but put in such a situation where you think there is hope and it is denied to you, when you know you are going to die - not maybe, but certainly - who knows what you/I/anyone might do or try? It may have very well been the instinct of survival and honestly, people have done much worse in order to survive.

And I really hope that the "I won't donate" will not actually ever come to be for any of us.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2007, 09:09:25 AM »
I think in such circumstances, the guy just simply was trying anything and everything that might give him a chance. Yes, according to good sense, you should simply just take a bow and say ok, then, I guess I'm going to die now ... well, that's all fine in theory, but put in such a situation where you think there is hope and it is denied to you, when you know you are going to die - not maybe, but certainly - who knows what you/I/anyone might do or try? It may have very well been the instinct of survival and honestly, people have done much worse in order to survive.

And I really hope that the "I won't donate" will not actually ever come to be for any of us.

That is a good point, morgana, and it could be the media is pushing it and he's just being open about his honest feelings on the situation.  I certainly dont blame him for feeling that way (if it's honest).  I just think she has every right to refuse as well, and just because I may not agree with her it doesnt mean she is morally bankrupt, you know?
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

Oxymoroness

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2007, 09:14:28 AM »
I think in such circumstances, the guy just simply was trying anything and everything that might give him a chance. Yes, according to good sense, you should simply just take a bow and say ok, then, I guess I'm going to die now ... well, that's all fine in theory, but put in such a situation where you think there is hope and it is denied to you, when you know you are going to die - not maybe, but certainly - who knows what you/I/anyone might do or try? It may have very well been the instinct of survival and honestly, people have done much worse in order to survive.

And I really hope that the "I won't donate" will not actually ever come to be for any of us.

That is a good point, morgana, and it could be the media is pushing it and he's just being open about his honest feelings on the situation.  I certainly dont blame him for feeling that way (if it's honest).  I just think she has every right to refuse as well, and just because I may not agree with her it doesnt mean she is morally bankrupt, you know?

I completely agree. I doubt she's morally bankrupt, especially since there is way more to this story than we can tell from 3 articles.

I can understand his desperation, but I can also understand that sometimes even a person in serious need can be cruel and manipulative. Without knowing her side of the story we can't really tell if she seemed justified or not.

Besides, there was no guarantee that her bone marrow would have worked anyhow. The bigger the age difference, the age of the donor and donee and the difference in sex still would have worked against him regardless of the HLA match.

rashea

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2007, 09:37:04 AM »
Bone marrow donation is now a fairly painless procedure and very easy, these days. Not like it used to be. While I can understand electing not to donate a kidney, or part of a liver, not donating bone marrow seems somehow vicious. I cannot think of another side of the story that would make anyone out to be anything, other than a vindictive person. Even with an extreme fear of needles, which I have.
Painless is relative in this situation. To quote"
"Donating bone marrow is a surgical procedure done under general or regional anesthesia in a hospital. While a donor receives anesthesia, doctors use needles to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the pelvic bone.

PBSC donation is a non-surgical procedure done in an outpatient clinic. PBSC donors receive daily injections of a drug called filgrastim for five days, to increase the number of blood-forming cells in the bloodstream. Then, through a process called apheresis, a donor's blood is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm."  http://www.marrow.org/DONOR/When_You_re_Asked_to_Donate_fo/Donation_FAQs/index.html#change

I'm not capable of giving blood. I'd like to, but don't qualify due to low blood iron. So doing the PBSC might not be possible. I don't react well to anesthesia. Giving bone marrow in that case would be difficult. From the same site as above "A small percentage (1.34%) of donors experience a serious complication due to anesthesia or damage to bone, nerve or muscle in their hip region." I already have nerve damage, which increases the risk that I would develop nerve damage in the hips. I'm not sure that would be a good risk for me to take. My point is that we don't know the health of the sister. To try to abuse her (and I count this as abuse) into undergoing a surgical procedure is wrong.

Although, this does give me an idea for a new short story...

Read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. It actually has a similar story line, plus it's a great book.
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sbtier

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2007, 12:16:23 PM »
I working on clinical trials where cancer patients undergo these procedures with few adverse effects (their marrow is removed then retransplanted after chemo).  If they can do it, a healthy person whose brother needs a transplant should be able to do it.  If it were an organ transplant, I'd feel differently, but BMT is no where near that level.

rashea

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Re: Wow.
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2007, 12:40:52 PM »
I working on clinical trials where cancer patients undergo these procedures with few adverse effects (their marrow is removed then retransplanted after chemo).  If they can do it, a healthy person whose brother needs a transplant should be able to do it.  If it were an organ transplant, I'd feel differently, but BMT is no where near that level.

But you are making the assumption that she is healthy. Also, strangers do it voluntarily. There are a lot of thing that I do voluntarily that I would dig my heels in if pressured.
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