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'AITA for refusing to give my SIL a kidney?'

'AITA for refusing to give my SIL a kidney?'


"AITA for refusing to give my SIL a kidney?"


My SIL has Type 1 diabetes. She has had ups and downs with taking care of it/herself throughout her life. My wife and I have been together for 10 years. For anyone who has knowledge of diabetes, in that time frame my SIL has been both on and off the pump and needle based.

SIL has knowingly in the past "taken advantage of" her disease by letting her sugars run high, thus allowing her body to use fats as a fuel source and maintain a skinny appearance.

She has vision issues and walks unsteadily. She likely has plenty of other comorbidities as a result of her disease. She has been told she needs a kidney transplant as well as a pancreas transplant (obviously).

It has now come out that I am the exact match for her, blood type wise anyway. My MIL is being tested as a match but my wife and I are spinning at the (likely) possibility I am asked to donate.


My wife is 5 years younger than her sister. She lost her 4 years older sister, 4 years back to diabetes complications. My SIL has always been cold to my wife; she sees her more as a mother figure than a sister. My SIL has flat out said "we're not going to be best friends" following my wife attempting to become closer after the death of their late sister.

This goes far further/deeper but read it as "SIL not nice person" in my opinion. On my side of the family, my dad had 5 siblings; 50% had Type 1 diabetes. To say that it is in mine and my wife's blood is an understatement. We have two kids, 2 yo and a newborn. Their risk therefore of being diagnosed is high.

Long story short: I want to save my kidneys (and anything else for that matter) for the potential needs of my own children. SIL may be on prolonged dialysis/could eventually die with no transplant, depending on wait times.

Thank you for reading!

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


Ok, look, you can pretend to go along with the idea of getting tested to see if you are a match. At some point in the process. when you are alone with the medical professionals, they will ask you if you really want to go through with the donation. Annnd this is when you can tell them “no”, you really don’t want to.

And ya know what? They will tell your family you are not a match. This gets you off the hook with your family and you won’t have the hurt feelings and guilt trips from them.

The transplant people know family members get pressured to donate. What they don’t want is a pressured person getting cold feet and backing out at the last minute and causing a whole ruckus.

They want to know you are fully on board-and if you aren’t? Well, that’s ok. NTA for not wanting to give your perfect good kidney to somebody that doesn’t sound responsible enough to take care of it.


NTA. You don't have to disclose your medical information and you can tell them that you're not a candidate for donation if they ask. If they want more information, just tell them it's personal and refuse to elaborate. If they keep brining it up, just say 'we've already talked about this and you know the answer' and change the subject.


NTA at all. Your wife and child are far more important, and while it may be nice to give SIL your kidney to prolong her life and ensue your wife doesn't have to lose another sibling any time soon... It's also not your job to do so? IMHO.

Also if your SIL has such little regard for your wife and has no respect for her, this wouldn't change her mind. It would hurt for sure for your wife to lose another sister, but her sister also got herself in this situation with purposely not taking care of herself properly.


NTA. I was with my friend every step of the way when she donated her kidney to her dad, so I know the process she went through. Being a perfect blood type match is just step one.

There is further testing and then you have to meet with a surgeon/hospital selected therapist to determine if you are also emotionally a match, meaning you understand the risks, what you can and can't do in the future, special dietary needs, etc.

At any time, you can say you don't want to do this and the medical team will tell the potential recipient that you are not a medical match. They will say that can't comment further because of HIPAA, if they are asked why not. You can even tell them this at step one when you get your blood test.


NTA. And stay with your decision. Its absolutely reasonable that you want to save your kidney for your wife or kids or someone else who is nearer to your heart. If you don’t want to go full confrontational you can ask the doctor to tell them that you are not a match.


NTA. Even if you were a perfect match, "No" is still a complete sentence. There's a reason why organ donation isn't law - even once people pass away - as it's a very personal choice. You have two young kids who need you. It's totally fair to say that you don't want to be cut in half to give away a kidney to anyone. Full stop.


No conflict (yet) but NTA. You are right to save a potential kidney donation for your wife, child, or other blood relative. I've heard of diabetics "letting sugar run high" because they can't afford insulin, but doing that to stay skinny is incredibly foolish.

I agree with others that (if you are in the US) you can tell the transplant evaluators that you are an unwilling donor and they will say you "aren't a candidate". It will be a little sticky since it's come out that you are a blood type match but that's far from the only factor.


Given that your SIL doesn't have access to your medical records -and neither does anyone else - why don't you just do a body swerve of the issue by, if asked, saying that your doctor has said that you are not able to donate for whatever medical reason.

Ask your doctor the next time you see them for a random reason - that's your excuse. Just shut the conversation down with exactly the same phrase every single time. Your body, your choice. NTA.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

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