If you haven't heard: there's drama. Kidney transplant drama.
After months of speculation regarding why actresses Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa appeared to have had a falling out, we appear to finally have an answer — and it's a rare intersection between the worlds of celebrity news and the deep ethical waters of organ transplants.
Basically, the issue is that back in 2017, Raisa famously donated one of her kidneys to Gomez, whose own kidney had failed as the result of Lupus. And now, according to Raisa's father, Spanish radio personality Renán Almendárez "El Cucuy" Coello, the kidney is coming between them.
Specifically, in an interview with the Spanish show "Primo Impacto" that TMZ recently unearthed, Coello hinted that his daughter had grown increasingly angry with Gomez for her post-transplant activities. Gomez had apparently been drinking, and Raisa, concerned that the alcohol would damage the donated organ in question, became furious at her — seemingly now former — friend.
For what it's worth, we should note that neither actress has given any lip service to Raisa's father's claims. And on the one hand, there's definitely some sympathy to be had for Raisa. Giving someone a kidney is an amazing and difficult thing to do, and if you go choose to go through with it, you'd probably hope that the person on the other end is treating the organ in question with care.
But that said, it's just not that simple.
For one thing, there doesn't seem to be much definitive research to say that moderate drinking post-kidney transplant will cause any serious harm — or any harm at all, for that matter.
Emphasis, however, on moderate. While the UK's National Health Service (NHS), for example, says that anyone who's received a kidney transplant should absolutely abstain from cigarettes and "illegal drugs," which according to the website can cause kidney damage and react poorly with certain medicines, they don't say the same thing about alcohol.
Instead, they seem to take a measured, common-sense approach: you can drink, but avoid doing so every day or in excess.
One South Korean study from 2022 appears to concur, finding that compared to non-drinkers, study subjects who drank before a transplant seemed to handle a low-to-moderate consumption of alcohol just fine afterward. And elsewhere, the National Kidney Foundation doesn't even mention alcohol in its aftercare guidelines, only recommending more broadly that transplantees should maintain a "healthy lifestyle."
And the science of it all aside, there are questions of autonomy here. If you give someone a kidney, it's not really your kidney anymore. It's theirs. And as long as someone stays within the doctor-recommended aftercare guidelines, the lines in the sand are far from cut and dry.
Again, as neither has confirmed nor denied the rumors themselves, no one really knows what went down between these two celebs. Still, their alleged beef is a fascinating study in transplant etiquette and ethics. Hopefully, these longtime pals can resolve their issues soon — and maybe anyone out there sending horrible messages to Raisa should just stay out of it?
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