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Thread: LI mom fired after donating kidney to her boss: suit

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexiintoronto View Post
    I'm a kidney donor, so I see this story from a slightly different perspective. Yes, I agree that the boss sounds like a horrible person and an even worse boss. She was given a gift and with that, she should have the common ethics and morals to honour the gift by living each day with the kindness and generosity that she was shown.

    But..

    A kidney donation is just that - a donation, a gift. It should not be given with any expectation of payback in any form. No strings attached.

    I can tell you that living donors go through a rigorous screening process including psychological and social evaluations. Doctors are under oath to do no harm. Taking a healthy person and removing a healthy organ solely for the benefit of the health of another person *is* exposing the donor to harm. The onus is on the *donor* to prove to the transplant team why the transplant team should risk doing harm - possible death - to save the life of a second person.

    You have to prove to the transplant team that you are in the position to take on all of the risks involved in donating the organ. Yes, it's painful. You need time to recover. You need to be financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually in the position to give the gift. And you need to be sound enough if things go wrong. It could be that the transplant fails, it could be that the recipient is an a-hole like this boss.

    She should focus on the good that she did. Nothing should mar that. Then she should find a new job with a better boss and not look back.
    While it's true that ingratitude isn't a civil tort, firing someone because she is disabled may be under the Americans with Disabilities Act. (IANAL) Moreover, you would know better than I, but if it is true that the donor wasn't fully informed of side effects she could expect, she may also have a malpractice claim. (I suspect she was informed and simply didn't understand, but that's an issue of fact to be determined at trial.)

    I agree about the need to move on, but I don't think the donor needs to give up her legal rights to do so.

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  3. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyA View Post
    While it is apparent the boss is an ingrate, and a spiteful one at that, the donor in this piece clearly has her own issues. I’m inclined to agree there is another side to this story still to come out. I just question the thinking – or, rather, the lack thereof – that would motivate a mother to put herself so much at risk for someone she really didn’t know all that well, ie not a close friend or family member, and WHY she didn’t fully explore ALL the potential consequences to her own well-being. She didn't know how long the recovery would be? Really? Come on. She didn’t ask the doctors beforehand? They didn’t fully explain all the possible implications? I call BS.

    Sounds to me like she made the offer on impulse never thinking she’d be taken up on it and then found herself backed into a corner when asked to make good on her offer. I’m all for a desire to help others and donating an organ is one of the most selfless things one can do IMO but this woman comes across to me as the kind of ‘generous’ I’d rather not be beholden to. Something about her reminds me of people who love to play the heroine/victim/martyr and never let others forget that they are ‘owed’ for favours done.
    You may be right. But it's at least as possible that the boss/recipient felt uncomfortable being in the donor's debt and didn't want her around as a reminder. Resenting someone who helps us is also human nature.

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  5. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    You may be right. But it's at least as possible that the boss/recipient felt uncomfortable being in the donor's debt and didn't want her around as a reminder. Resenting someone who helps us is also human nature.
    Resenting someone for helping you would be a very ungrateful side of human nature.
    Just my opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Resenting someone for helping you would be a very ungrateful side of human nature.
    True. But still not uncommon, unfortunately.

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  9. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyL View Post
    she didn't realize she'd be in serious pain? they cut an ORGAN out of her body!

    yeah, I think there's a lot more to this story but I also think the co. should've foreseen that personal issues would arise & one of the women should've been transferred prior to surgery
    Well I think it's possible. Organ donation is clearly something that is not necessary for the donor, so donor might not always think about consequence to him/herself (because if it resulted in bad consequences doctors wouldn't do it, right?). People don't think their own health can be damaged or they could even die as a result. There have been cases of people that died and their relatives are left in shock-they didn't expect that at all and are shocked that donation could even result in death.
    Just my opinion

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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gozgals View Post
    I don't think she expected payback-- just to be treated like a normal person, not to be treated unfairly...

    Goz
    I don't think that the average person fired from a low-level job would sue the company for 'millions' as her lawyer has stated unless there was some expectation of special treatment because of the kidney donation. To me as a kidney donor, it sounds as if this was more of a business transaction than a donation. From the story:

    BBM

    Stevens said that her office and overtime were eventually taken away and that she was demoted to a dealership 50 miles from her home in a high-crime neighborhood that co-workers jokingly called “Siberia.’’ Experiencing mental anguish, she consulted a psychiatrist. and her lawyers wrote a letter to the company — after which Stevens was quickly fired, the papers state.

    .....

    Yesterday, her husband, James, told a reporter the claims were “far from the truth’’ but declined to say how. “She didn’t fire anybody,’’ he only said.

    AAG also did not return a request for comment.


    Stevens’ lawyer, Lenard Leeds, said he plans to file a discrimination lawsuit against AAG, and would likely seek millions of dollars in compensation.
    Millions?! And why bring the kidney 'donation' into a wrongful dismissal/discrimination lawsuit? To me it sounds as if she bartered her kidney for job security.

    ETA: Goz, I'm not directing my angst against you. The 'donor' in this story just rubbed me the wrong way.
    Last edited by Lexiintoronto; 04-24-2012 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Not sure if I came across as a hothead

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  13. #32
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    The boss wasn't worried about the appearance of special treatment when her employee went under the knife on her behalf but SUDDENLY became worried about appearance of special treatment when the donor goes home ill??

    interesting timing on when the boss decided to worry about appearances.

    I agree with LadyL, someone should have seen this one coming. Big potential for personel issues when you involve personal/health issues and work.

    This lady may have a suit but the millions supposedly being sought are ridiculous pipe dream of her attorney IMO. Obviously this attorney is working on contingency.

    What is 33 and 1/3 percent of one million? Bet her attorney knows.
    A MOO MOO here, a MOO MOO there, here a MOO, there a MOO, everywhere a MOO MOO

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  15. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Well I think it's possible. Organ donation is clearly something that is not necessary for the donor, so donor might not always think about consequence to him/herself (because if it resulted in bad consequences doctors wouldn't do it, right?). People don't think their own health can be damaged or they could even die as a result. There have been cases of people that died and their relatives are left in shock-they didn't expect that at all and are shocked that donation could even result in death.
    You're right in terms of the average person's view of kidney donation, but prospective donors are educated by the transplant team as part of the evaluation.

    To become a kidney donor you go through a lengthy, detailed evaluation process. The transplant team would make her fully aware of the risks and I'm certain she signed a number of documents prior to the surgery declaring that she was fully aware of all of the possible risks - including pain, impairment and death.

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  17. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcox View Post
    The boss wasn't worried about the appearance of special treatment when her employee went under the knife on her behalf but SUDDENLY became worried about appearance of special treatment when the donor goes home ill??

    interesting timing on when the boss decided to worry about appearances.

    I agree with LadyL, someone should have seen this one coming. Big potential for personel issues when you involve personal/health issues and work.

    This lady may have a suit but the millions supposedly being sought are ridiculous pipe dream of her attorney IMO. Obviously this attorney is working on contingency.

    What is 33 and 1/3 percent of one million? Bet her attorney knows.
    Given the strong response of another poster to my original post, I decided to put the reins on my inner cynic and do a little further googling about this case, sure enough there are several versions of it out there with further statements by the donor and her lawyer.

    I think I agree that the timing of the alleged victimisation would be interesting if it is indeed true. BUT I also find the donor's timing interesting in that her pursuit of her employers 'for millions' coincided with the imminent expiration of her medical insurance and her seemingly belated realisation that she will find it difficult to obtain insurance because the organ donation leaves her more vulnerable to illness and infections going forward. Like I said before I find it hard to believe that she was not fully informed of ALL the implications to her future health before the procedure went ahead - if she wasn't then her lawsuit should be against the medical institutions involved.

    Further reading has only served to reinforce my original impression that this is an aggravated case of disgruntled fired employee (with donor remorse perhaps) coupled with a publicity seeking lawyer in search of a big payday but since we have heard little as yet from the other side I'm prepared to withhold judgement for now. That said should the reports of this donor now demanding the return of her kidney prove to be true, IMO that would make her as bad as she alleges her former boss to be since the recipient of her kidney is an innocent party in all this. JMO.

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  19. #35
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    Have you signed your donor card?

    While we're on the topic, and I know what brings us together here at WS is concern and compassion for our fellow men....if you could consider signing your donor card and discussing your wishes with your family you could be making a decision that could improve and save lives. Thank you

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  21. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyA View Post
    You appear to be feel far more strongly about it and if I may say so take it far more personally than I do. I'm sorry if I offended you but I stand by my post which is in the end just an opinion based on the ONE side we know of this very one-sided story....subject to change as further facts come to light.
    I am not offended at all Nancy. You are entitled, of course, to your opinion, as I am to mine.
    True, we all need more facts.
    We can also assume she was told all the facts, (the donor) but as stated, unforeseen medical problems came to light as with any surgery. That is just one theory.

    Goz

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  23. #37
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    If there is any reason for legal recourse, that is her right too. If she has fallen ill, then so be it. Once again, more facts are needed.

    Once again, I do take an interest but I am not personally offended nor do I find my reaction as strong as you are making it out to be. Perhaps you have not been a member her that long and are taking one's response as "very strong!" I am just answering a post with my opinions too so no need to curb your answers unless you were notified to do so.

    Goz

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  25. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyA View Post
    Given the strong response of another poster to my original post, I decided to put the reins on my inner cynic and do a little further googling about this case, sure enough there are several versions of it out there with further statements by the donor and her lawyer.

    I think I agree that the timing of the alleged victimisation would be interesting if it is indeed true. BUT I also find the donor's timing interesting in that her pursuit of her employers 'for millions' coincided with the imminent expiration of her medical insurance and her seemingly belated realisation that she will find it difficult to obtain insurance because the organ donation leaves her more vulnerable to illness and infections going forward. Like I said before I find it hard to believe that she was not fully informed of ALL the implications to her future health before the procedure went ahead - if she wasn't then her lawsuit should be against the medical institutions involved.

    Further reading has only served to reinforce my original impression that this is an aggravated case of disgruntled fired employee (with donor remorse perhaps) coupled with a publicity seeking lawyer in search of a big payday but since we have heard little as yet from the other side I'm prepared to withhold judgement for now. That said should the reports of this donor now demanding the return of her kidney prove to be true, IMO that would make her as bad as she alleges her former boss to be since the recipient of her kidney is an innocent party in all this. JMO.
    Do you happen to have a link to these reports? TIA!


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  26. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velouria View Post
    Do you happen to have a link to these reports? TIA!
    Here. I don't think she is serious. Clearly she can't get the kidney back.

    ""You hate me so much, and I'm so despicable -- give me my kidney back!" wailed 47-year-old Debbie Stevens, of Long Island."

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/0...#ixzz1szxNjb00
    Just my opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Here. I don't think she is serious. Clearly she can't get the kidney back.

    ""You hate me so much, and I'm so despicable -- give me my kidney back!" wailed 47-year-old Debbie Stevens, of Long Island."

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/0...#ixzz1szxNjb00
    Thanks, jjenny. The New York Post. I should have known.


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  29. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    You may be right. But it's at least as possible that the boss/recipient felt uncomfortable being in the donor's debt and didn't want her around as a reminder. Resenting someone who helps us is also human nature.
    Hmmm.. That's deep and very possible. I never looked at that angle. Plus if this boss is already insecure and a little paranoid, it would make sense she didn't want people thinking she was "catering" to the donor...


    But COME ON LADY! She wasn't asking for a company car and a $100k raise!
    According to the donor (yes, I know there are 2 sides..can't wait to hear the other) according to the donor she just wanted a little more time off because she wasn't feeling ready to come back.
    A friend of mine gave a piece of his liver to his dad and he was well informed that the donor would have a worse time recuperating than the recipient...

    To me it's just an example how people in this "ME" society take and take and take as long as its in THEIR best interest...
    kinda stomach turning...
    It's just MOO. I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time and it surely won't be the last!

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  31. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Resenting someone for helping you would be a very ungrateful side of human nature.
    And yet we see it every single day in form or another.
    "Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."
    - Kafka
    "Know the right moment."

    What I type here is mostly my opinion.
    I really don't care if my opinions offend.

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  33. #43
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    So the doctors agreed to allow Stevens to donate her left kidney to someone else in the transplant group so that Brucia could move up the waiting list and get her organ from someone else.


    is this even legal? what about ethical from a medical standpoint? seems like pure barter to me... i think these transplant doctors need to be investigated...

    and i agree, there has to be more to this story...
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    a couple of other things i'm confused about...

    1) in the yahoo article linked below debbie stated she was in pain b/c the doctors hit a nerve in her leg... can someone tell me how this is even possible when one's kidney is no where near one's leg?

    2) there is a definite contradiction about job security in debbie's statements if both statements were correctly written by the press (i realize errors can occur)... in the yahoo article below debbie stated

    "I did not do it for job security. I didn't do it to get a raise. I did it because it's who I am."

    http://gma.yahoo.com/n-y-mom-fired-d...ws-health.html


    yet she also stated

    "I don't know what I'm going to do," she said. "I thought I would be at that job until I retired."


    http://www.wlwt.com/r/30947927/detail.html


    i suppose it's possible she assumed she'd have that job for life before the whole transplant situation arose but i would think she would've felt even more secure once the operations occurred...

    i do agree that if she wasn't feeling well she should've been able to remain off work and recuperate... but wouldn't a doctor's note or disability claim have solved this? did she obtain either? if not, why not?

    too many unanswered questions and grey areas for me to take either side right now... !
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  38. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by redheadedgal View Post
    So the doctors agreed to allow Stevens to donate her left kidney to someone else in the transplant group so that Brucia could move up the waiting list and get her organ from someone else.


    is this even legal? what about ethical from a medical standpoint? seems like pure barter to me... i think these transplant doctors need to be investigated...

    and i agree, there has to be more to this story...
    Living donation itself is a bit of an ethical quagmire in many ways. The reason that the medical community in Canada and the States have taken on donations such as unrelated donors, donor chains and exchanges is because thousands of people die waiting on these lists.

    Until a few years ago, if you wanted to donate to your sister (for example) and you were found not to be a match, the process would stop there. Your sister would continue on dialysis until a match turned up or she would die - and dying is more likely.

    So you're a willing, healthy donor who wants to save your sister and they've found that you match another recipient. You might want to save the other person, but wouldn't you want your sister to somehow be saved as well?

    The truth is that yes, someone on the list that has less time than your sister might die as a result of your sister moving ahead of them based on the donation.

    The other scenario is that you deny the donation, and both your sister and the patient who is more ill die waiting on the transplant list.

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