Of course, removing money from the transaction doesn't necessarily remove coercion. When a transplant center evaluates a living donor, one of the things it tries to determine is if the donor is really willing. Families, of course, can exert coercion. Here's a recent advice column from the Washington Post...Family plays 'please pass the kidney'
"I would like to know how my sick relative is doing, but I don’t know what to say when I call, or whether I should call.
"In the past they have said horrible things to me because I did not donate my kidney; it seems now that our long friendship is meaningless.
"I still care for her and her family, but how do I let them know that I am thinking about them? I know if I try to call, the woman who is getting the transplant will say nasty things to me. What should I do? --
Amy's reply seems sensible enough under the circumstances:
"DEAR UPSET: If donating an organ is what it takes to get in good with your in-laws, then their standards are a tad unreasonable.
"I assume there are other dynamics at play which created this pressure on you, but if you are eager to reach this in-law but don’t want to risk the verbal backlash, then the best way to do so is through a greeting card.
"When you send a message through the mail, you lessen the opportunity for back talk."
HT: Dr. Scott Kominers