A few nights after the ice cream discussion, C & I were watching a French program that was following around this French couple. The wife had end-stage kidney disease, and her husband had decided to donate one of his kidneys to her. My first thought was "Oh, that's really sweet" and then I didn't think anything more of it, but C's reaction (along with everyone else on the program) was more so along the lines of "Is he crazy?" Apparently organ donation is a fairly rare occurrence in France - and it's true that once I started thinking about it, I couldn't ever remember hearing about anyone doing it.
Then again, the laws in France also complicate the matter somewhat. Up until a few years back, you could only donate to your parent, sibling or child. In 2004, they finally changed it to include grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins or spouses - but it's still illegal to donate to a friend, co-worker, etc. All of this has acted together to make organ donation a lot more rare in France. So I was explaining to C how it worked in MN, and even brought out my drivers license to show how you could check on the back of the box if you wanted to be an organ donor and he was really surprised.
But getting back to the show - I could not believe that the rest of this woman's family refused to donate an organ to her - some of them wouldn't even get tested to see if they were a match! The general consensus was "But if we give one kidney to her, we'll only have one left, and what if something happens to that one?" Even her parents said they wouldn't give one to one another. And then it was my turn to be flabbergasted - I couldn't believe that people would actually prefer to let their daughter/sister be on a wait list (and potentially die) than donate an organ.
It's obviously a bit too early on to be asking C whether or not he would donate a kidney to me, so I asked if he would donate one to his mother or his sister - and he was so shocked I had even asked. He said he never even thought about it before and that he wasn't going to think about it because it wasn't a choice he currently had to make. But here I was thinking that it was important to have considered this kind of stuff, because
it might happen some day.
It's funny though, because it also made me think about how most of the Frenchmen I know in Paris are just as Americanized as Fab was (if not more). And C has so many sides that aren't typically French, but every once in a while, I get caught off-guard by just how French he really is. I guess it's going to keep me on my toes, but it does make me wonder if we're not in for some interesting discussions (arguments?) ahead.
Though for the sake of our relationship, it has already been decided that the "No, peanut butter is not any worse than nutella" argument is officially off-limits.
Labels: C's follies, Dating and Mating