A New York surgeon who has been involved in a long and bitter divorce battle is telling his estranged wife to either return the kidney he donated to her or give him $1.5 million US in compensation.
Dr. Richard Batista's move is a last-ditch attempt to force a settlement in his four-year-old divorce case, says his lawyer, Dominic Barbara.
"We're asking for the value of the kidney that he gave his wife. In theory, we actually asked for the return of the kidney."
Batista says he has no regrets about donating the kidney to Dawnell Batista in June 2001.
"She was my wife," he said at a news conference this week. "My priority was to save her life."
However, after she filed for divorce in 2005, he accused his wife of infidelity. He hopes the kidney demand will convince her to come to final terms on the settlement.
Lawyers for Dawnell Batista did not return phone calls about the demand.
The couple has three children, who are now aged eight, 11 and 14.
But a problem I see in his argument over the kidney is this:
#1 - it was donated/given..... you can't take back a gift legally unless there was a contract agreement with conditions that allow for this to occur.
#2 - Once you are married, in the eyes of the law you are considered one person (Which is why a spouse can not be forced to testify against the other.) So therefore, the Kidney at the time of the operation was both of theirs...... so at the most, he can only have half of the Kidney back.
#3 - Removal of the only Kidney she has would be a death sentence and as a surgeon, his oath prevents him from taking this course of action. (Do no harm)