British writer Ian Parker lives in New York and writes for the New Yorker. "The Gift" is the true story of Zell Kravinsky, a real-estate mogul and philanthropist who liquidated his real-estate fortune of forty-five million dollars "gift by gift, keeping the emphasis on public health." After donating most of his material assets to charity, Kravinsky, against the wishes of his family, donated a kidney to a woman he did not know. By the end of the article, he seems ready, too, to give away the other one. Parker's article raises a series of ethical questions about the limits of giving and responsibility.
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The New Yorker. August 2, 2004, p. 54
How much should I give? What, if anything, might limit my giving?What makes a good gift?When I give, what do I expect in return? What do I receive?What do those with more owe to those with less?How do we know what someone needs?How should we respond to people and communities in need?Is my service changing the world or only myself? Is that enough?Is my service effective? How do I know?Should we keep a distance from the people we serve?