Woman Who Refuses To Donate Her Liver To Her Estranged Father Gets Disowned By Family

Who's the bad guy here?

family sitting around man in hospital bed DC Studio / Shutterstock

A 25-year-old woman took to Reddit with a moral dilemma that she had been facing with her family. In a post that has since been deleted, the woman explained that her father was dying and in need of a liver donation, for which she was a match.

She refused to undergo surgery to donate her liver.

The woman explained that she is the oldest child, and her father left when she was only 10 years old, taking one of her brothers with him. In addition to his less-than-ideal presence in her life before leaving their family behind for a new woman, she revealed that “he was an alcoholic, and was drunk and abusive.”


Chronic alcohol abuse can sometimes lead to cirrhosis of the liver, which the Mount Sinai Health System describes as the final stages of alcoholic liver disease. Liver transplants are typically reserved for those with severe complications from liver disease, and the Mayo Clinic notes that there are far more people waiting for a liver transplant than donor livers available from deceased donors. For this reason, people sometimes opt for liver transplants from living donors.

Opting to donate your liver is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly, as with all surgeries, the process isn't without its risks. And for this woman, she took into account her father's treatment of her into account when making her decision, noting that after he left, splitting up her and her siblings, her mother had a difficult time raising two children on her own.


“My mom was a wreck after he left, she was heavily depressed for so long,” she wrote.

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Her father reached out only recently.

Only two years before his liver failed, her father reached out to her and her siblings, attempting to apologize and reconcile with his estranged children.

From the sound of it, his daughter probably chose not to meet with him that day. According to her brothers, who did decide to meet up with him, she learned that “he said he was sorry for what he did to us and he was going to AA and rehab or whatever.”


Sp when they got a call saying that their father was in the hospital, at first, they thought he was just drunk because he had been found wandering around outside, confused. Drunk or not, they found that the situation was much worse when they arrived at the hospital, the daughter writing that “the doctors said he had last stage liver failure and needed a liver transplant.”

Jack, the second-oldest sibling, volunteered right away but turned out not to be a match. Meanwhile, her other brother had cancer, so he could not donate. That left only her. After the entire family pressured her, she reluctantly agreed to do the tests to see if she’d be a match, which she was.

After learning that his daughter was a match, her family assumed that she would donate her liver.

She wrote, “The doctors came to me and said they’d heard the good news, and wanted to get started on the surgery right away, and I had to sign some stuff.”

She would soon be going under the knife if she did not speak up, so she clarified to the doctors that she refused to give her father her liver. This is when her family came in, shouting at her and trying to guilt her into donating, until she spoke up, saying, “I have no bond with my him, I feel no love for him, I don’t consider him family. I don’t care if he lives or dies, I’d actually prefer if he died.”


After that, both sides of her family shunned her almost entirely, with only a few messages saying that they were disowning her and that she was “cold-hearted."

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People on Reddit overwhelmingly supported her decision.

Many commenters pointed out the negligence of the doctors, questioning their ethics.

"The doctor violated quite a few ethical rules surrounding donation, too," someone wrote. "They're not supposed to pressure you or allow you to be pressured by other people, and it's obvious in the situation you were."

Other commenters pointed out the unfair standards she is held to when compared to her dad.


"I find it odd that your family forgave your father for abandoning his family of 3, but they are unwilling to forgive you for just 'abandoning' your father?" someone said, calling out the blatant "double standards."

As one person noted in the comments, liver donation is "not a minor thing."

The American Transplant Foundation notes that living donors need to be intellectually, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually ready to donate.

"This is not you agreeing to meet up with him or kick a few dollars to a GoFundMe. This is major surgery, life changing surgery, that comes with expense and recovery time and all kinds of potential side effects," they wrote. "They have no right to demand that of you after all he did to you."


We can only hope that her family finds the perspective to understand and forgive her; although, there’s no guarantee that she’d want that after they revealed their true colors this harmfully.

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Amanda Hartmann is a writer and editorial intern at YourTango who writes on news and entertainment.