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Man Wants to Back out of Donating Kidney to His Ex-Fiancée's Brother After They Broke Up

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Sep. 6 2019, Updated 12:44 p.m. ET

What do you do if you agreed to donate a kidney to your fiancée's brother but then, months into your engagement, you learn that she's been lying to you and you break it off? Do you still donate the kidney? Do you back out of this potentially life-saving surgery? Sometimes, Reddit's Am I the A-hole? truly tackles the tough questions. 

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That's the gist of this story, but let's backtrack a moment to gain some more insight. "Dahlstrommmmm" started off his post by explaining that he dated this girl for five years who, for the purposes of the story, he calls Mia. They got engaged last March and were set to get married next year. But then, two weeks ago, he learned that their "entire relationship was a lie."

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He wrote, "Someone showed me a dashcam recording of her saying that she still loves her ex and she was only with me because I'm the better choice." That's super harsh! He confronted her about it, and she admitted it was true. So he called off the wedding and broke up with her.

That was probably devastating enough. He spent five years with this woman! He thought they were meant to be together. It was brave of him to end the relationship and realize he deserves better. "But there's an issue that has me on the fence," he explained. "I was supposed to donate my kidney to Mia's brother Tom, and now I don't know if I should do it." 

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If you just silently cursed to yourself, welcome to the club. This is one giant pickle. He explains that Tom has ESRD (kidney failure) and needs a transplant ASAP. He's not very close to Tom, but he was going to donate his kidney because he wanted to help Mia's family. He'd been in the picture for five years and thought they were all going to become family. 

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"But now that I know that she was just playing me the whole time, I'm having second thoughts," he wrote. "Organ donation is a big deal, I will literally risk my life to give part of myself to someone, and at this point I don't want to do it for the brother of the girl who lied to me, used me, and made me a fool for five years."

What a conundrum. On one hand, of course he doesn't want to risk his life and go through major surgery for someone who hurt him like that. On the other, if he doesn't donate his kidney, there's a chance Tom won't find another donor in time, and that would be tragic. 

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Commenters were fairly divided on this. One person wrote, "So you broke up with your ex because she was literally using you, and you're wondering if it'd be appropriate to back out of an agreement made while you were being used. Yes, it'd be appropriate. [not the a-hole], your judgment at the time was operating using false information. Keep your kidney."

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Another commenter disagreed, saying he was wrong "for agreeing to this for the wrong reasons to begin with. It's very admirable to be an organ donor and to save a life. However, it seemed you only decided to do this to make yourself look good to your fiancée and future in-laws... Had you went into this with the right reasoning, purely out of the generosity of your heart, your relationship status would have no impact on your decision."

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Someone else made a great point: "You will be reminded of this donation for the rest of your life. If you are having major heartbreak over her, then the operation, recovery, scar, and any medical procedure/complication will remind you of Mia. Your heart may be broken again and again, by being reminded."

Both sides seem to be making sense. Donating an organ is a huge deal. It usually involves lots of talks with doctors and family members. Ideally, the person donating the organ would be doing it with the unconditional will to help save a life. But I also understand that he is experiencing major heartbreak. Most people who donate organs probably aren't donating them to the siblings of the people who just broke their hearts. 

One commenter asked if he'd talked to a counselor when he decided to donate. Either way, it would be beneficial for him to talk to a professional third party about this super complicated position he's been put in. One thing is certain: I do not envy this situation at all.

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