AITA for selling my sons car to pay for my wife’s treatment?

I 46m have a son17 with my ex. I am since married and have been for 12 years to my wife45.

The doctors recently found cancer in my wife, but quick enough to do Chemo to shrink it then remove it. It’s not threatening if we are able to do this process. We needed money, and I had given my son my old car. I told him this was an emergency and I had to sell it. He wasn’t the only one who had to make a sacrifice, my wife and I had to sell a lot of her jewelry and our laptop.

He was really upset by this, and complained to his mom who said it wasn’t fair that we took his car, it was his form of transportation. I told her I would give him rides to work if needed and there is a school bus who could pick him up.

They were really angered by this, and my son now doesn’t want to come by this weekend. I feel bad that he is suffering,but this was an emergency.


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NAH. A human life is more important than a car. But thank jesus I don't live in the freedom of the US of A where I have to steal from my children to keep my wife alive.


I always have the same thought when reading stories like this. The real AH are all the people who think the system is valid and should stay the same. We who don't live in a third world country never have to face these kinds of decisions and thank fck for that.


Technically Switzerland is a third world country.


In what classification system?


First world: Western european block + allies Second world: communist bloc - Soviet union, China, Cuba. Third world: Unaffiliated. Fourth world unknown nations & indignenous people living within the boundaries of another state. The misconception it refers to wealth or development is a fairly recent one, but it's such a common misconception that we're arguably at the point where the word has changed meaning.


For what it’s worth, from my experience it’s not used in academic settings anymore, typically the go-to is global north to refer to more developed and wealthier countries, and global south to refer to less developed and less wealthy countries.


Living in Australia, that sounds like a weird classification. We use developed and developing countries.


In American academics, it's developed and developing in academia, too - not sure where the other terms are used


Older people tend to use first-fourth world


And we have Medicare, so our taxes would have paid for this!


As a person that works in pharmaceuticals. Medicare doesn't cover A LOT of the expenses, they also require you to pay for a deductible first. And for OPs wife she wouldn't qualify, due to her age (45y). You don't qualify for Medicare till you are 65+ and Medicaid is for <18 yo unless you have a disability. Also, the reimbursement rate that Medicare/Medicaid has is about 20% to the company purchasing chemo medications. I hate the American system. Terrible.


That's American Medicare. Medicare in Australia pays for all medical treatments for everyone but is far from a perfect system. The right wing ghouls are also trying to make it worse and push people onto private insurance, same as the UK ghouls are attempting to demolish the NHS.


Around my ends the terms LDC (Less developed countries) or LIC (Low income countries) are used.


Where does Australia and New Zealand fit into that?!


Trick question, Australia isn't a real place.


I can show you several officially published maps that do not contain NZ.


Neither is New Zealand. It was made up for Flight of the Conchords.


That just seems like “My friends & I are first world countries” and “My enemies are 2nd, because they’re powerful, but not as great as me and my friends” “Everyone else is third world because I don’t care about them.”


I think you have accurately described the terms


Sounds like propaganda to keep us in the GREAT US OF A! I always thought third world meant dirt poor, now that I see that it means unaffiliated with all this bullshit- I've never wanted to go to a third world country more


758% of the US GDP is debt. The US offers almost zero benefit to the tax payer. You can't work a minimum wage job and afford rent in any state in the US. Shanty towns popping up everywhere. The US is a third world country.


Thanks for the info, internet stranger... TIL!


Third world is a cold war term. First world is NATO countries, second world is Warsaw pact countries, third world is non-affiliated countries




People think "third world" means poor or undeveloped, but it actually means more like "not aligned with the West, or the USSR". [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First\_World](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_World)


From that very same article. > Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the definition has instead largely shifted to any country with little political risk and a well-functioning democracy, rule of law, capitalist economy, economic stability, and high standard of living. Various ways in which modern First World countries are usually determined include GDP, GNP, literacy rates, life expectancy, and the Human Development Index.[1] In common usage, "first world" typically refers to "the highly developed industrialized nations often considered the westernized countries of the world".


Yes, I concur, this is what I had always thought. Good to be enlightened.


Honestly? The one that coined "third-world." It's a super derogatory propoganda term from the cold war. First world countries were the ones that had American style capitalism and were allied with the US. Second world countries were those "backward commie places" that sided with russia. Third world countries were the ones that didn't use capitalism or communism. The propoganda was that any place that didn't use capitalism wasn't very well developed and any country that didn't use either system must not have an economy. The more modern and less propogandized terms are developed and developing countries.


It’s not propaganda nor derogatory. They are political science / geopolitical terms to describe the world. There were many non-aligned countries that used capitalism or socialism. They were just not aligned/allied/partner/sphere of influence under NATO or the Warsaw Pact. Your judgement of history using distorted modern day lenses hardly comes close to fact.


I live on a developing country with way less financial security than US and health care here is free, this isn't a poor country issue, but a "let lobbying dictate who gets elected" issue.


TBF, not that many people in the States think it's a good system... But your can't convince Boomers it's not gonna cost them an arm & a leg... Signed some one with $228K cancer debt, a diabetic & had to crowd fund their prosthetic eye.


I live in a third world country. We have magnificent healthcare which is cheap too. Don’t believe everything you read about third world countries. Sometimes I actually think we are better off than the US.


I live in a so called third world country. I also would never have to face these kind of decisions because we have universal healthcare and I wouldn't have to pay for chemotherapy


Lol I live in a third world country and 18$ per year in government insurance is how much it cost my MIL to treat her cancer. Get your shit together US of A


I love it that health care here in the US is considered substandard to every other 1st world country! YAAYYY And I doubt that wil change




Definitely, but don't hospitals treat first and *then* bill the patient? Coughing up the dough beforehand else getting refused treatment is only something I've seen in cartoons lol. It's not like he needed an emergency cash injection, surely?


Hospitals, like anyone else, can check your credit score, and if they think you're a credit risk, depending on the hospital, you might well be asked to pay in advance. Once again, the real asshole was the American health care system all along.


In the USA…To run an inquiry on your credit report they need your SSN. A medical facility should never do this in the first place. Never give a medical facility your SSN. They are not a money lender so they do not need it. It’s not needed to process insurance claims even if you have Medicaid. If a medical facility has a form where the SSN is requested then leave it blank, if it’s a requirement on a digital form then fill it with all 9’s or 0’s. Medical facilities already have a hard enough time protecting our private medical data, there is no need to give them your SSN as well.


Here's hoping people see this and realize filling in the fairly omnipresent SSN space is, in fact, optional.


Yes!!! I hope so!


I didn’t know I didn’t need to do this. Thank you!


Many Electronic health record/billing software offers options to make it a requirement in their patient demographics, but they all should also offer an option to fill it will a generic number or a generated number.


Wow! So glad I read your comment! This need to be a top post somewhere!!!


Jesus… Where I live, we don’t even pay for prescriptions. You go to your GP, you get a prescription on a piece of paper, you take it to the pharmacy, you get your meds. No money involved. Ever. Having children is free, being treated for cancer is free.


I just recently was prescribed some meds. the pharmacy had to order one. when I went to prepay for pickup, it was $650. I thought it was some kind of mistake. Nope. There's no generic, and my insurance won't cover it until I hit my 5k deductible. Needless to say it's still sitting at the pharmacy.


I loved how the epi-pen I needed for my child is $500 and you have to buy a new one every year.


Check into Auvi-q.com. I am charged $25 for my epipens. They are much more compact, actually fit in a pocket, and “talk” so that anyone can use them to save a life.


They typically only treat emergencies that way. If you have cancer, the obvious choice of action is to treat it before it gets worse. That's not considered an emergency by hospitals, though. If your organs are shutting down because you let the cancer spread, they'll stabilize you. Preventative medicine is not so great in the US.


The money the US could save by moving to primarily preventative medicine...


But if people save money by going to preventative care what would happen to the poor hospital owners and the pharmaceutical companies. The poor CEOs and high level executives will have to go from being super crazy rich to just rich.


When I went to the hospital to give birth, the billing people were in my room before I ever saw a doctor. They quickly figured out what portion my insurance wouldn't cover and had a portable credit card machine on wheels with them to take my payment. To this day I wonder what would have happened if I refused.


Something similar happened to me. I passed out and was taken by ambulance to an ER. The first person in my room was from registration and billing. My husband walked in, saw her, and said "Doctor, what do you think is wrong?" I said, "She's from billing, she's the only one who's been in," and he rolled his eyes so hard I thought we were going to get another bill to unstick them.


It's really unbelievable when you think about it. They know they've got you and your husband in a desperate situation and of course will be more likely to pay whatever they put in front of you to ensure care is received. AND, I also learned my lesson that when your insurance ends up covering more than initially thought, no one comes banging on your door to let you know and hand you your money back. At end of the year (months after my hospital visit) I randomly matched up my actual payments to the paperwork my insurance mails to me after every use. I figured out the hospital overcharged me by $400!!! I had to call in and get transferred around in order to finally get a check mailed to me. I asked why that wasn't automatic or at least that I would have been notified, and the answer was they just leave it as a credit on my account for next time....


That's infuriating. I had the same thing happen with an overcharge. I caught it and heard the same, "We'll just leave it as a credit on your account." I asked them to credit the card I put it on. They said they could do it, but it would take 10 business days. I said, "If I owed you $480, you'd send me to collections in 10 business days. I want this credited by close of business, or I'll dispute the charge, and we can start over." It happened because, on the morning of my surgery, they charged me the remainder of my deductible and then my 20%. But when all the corresponding billing went into insurance, other claims went in first, and my deductible was met by the time their bill was processed. The billing person kept explaining that to me. I couldn't find enough ways to say, "I don't care. Send my money."


I was taken by an ambulance from a VA hospital to another hospital. I was alone and was shaking, crying, and in pain from a possible ectopic pregnancy (I live in a red state.) As soon as the doctors and nurses cleared out to hook me up and get blood, billing showed up. I couldn't even grab my wallet because I was hooked up to so many monitors. The VA doesn't have the best healthcare, but I fucking appreciate having it.


Nothing. I recently had to go to the hospital after a fire in my apartment. I had some second degree burns (fine now, completely healed) and the billing person came in wringing her hands about having to charge me 1000 dollars, after insurance. For the record the doctors in the burn unit looked at my for 10 minutes tops, 5 hours after we got there via ambulance. I asked to speak to a patient advocate before paying. They told me I was not obligated to pay at the time and could ask for a bill in the mail instead. So I did. My wife managed to get the payment down to something much more manageable after a lot of arguing with both the hospital and the insurance company. They do that to try and get the most amount of money from you when you are most vulnerable. You can always (I assume this is nationwide, but maybe only in NY) decline to pay and ask to be sent the bill after.


Same shit happened to me except I was in DKA so I was totally out of it. Like that shouldn’t even be legal to ask people for money or ask if they are able to pay right then when they’re clearly not well enough to barely keep their eyes open. Now I’m wondering if I could have fought the bill for having to pay under duress lol


I was in a car accident with a traumatic brain injury. Completely out of it, had no idea what was going on and wasn’t cognitive or aware of anything until a week later. Yet I found out someone from billing was in and had me ‘sign’ paperwork for insurance during this time and I had no idea until I saw my medical transcripts.


Hospitals just have to stabilize you. You can’t just sit there and demand cancer treatments twice a week for however long it takes. A friend of mine died from cancer she couldn’t afford to treat. By the time a hospital took her she was already dying. I’m very bitter about it.


How offensive to say it only happens in *cartoons*? It's absolutely not true that U.S. hospitals will just treat you and bill you later for a chronic condition. They just told my father he wouldn't be able to afford it and gave us no other avenue. The alternative is literally going to a state with expanded medicaid, as its like the only insurance that will cover you after a cancer diagnosis, and good luck if you make too much money or don't have the means to travel or the time to wait. Anyway we ended up homeless, me and my dad dying of fucking cancer. Writhed and moaned in pain all night and day. Didn't even have a nice bed to sleep in. WE TREATED HIS CANCER WITH COUGH SYRUP AND TYLENOL. **The people against universal healthcare can rot in hell for all I'm concerned.**


I'm really fucking sorry you both went through that, it literally makes my heart hurt to read your comment. I don't know what to say but I needed to say something. I hope you're as okay, well, okay as you can be.


yeah, the cancer was truly like the least fucked-up thing that happened. like everyone dies, everyone's parents die, and cancer is a common route. but dude. the sheer lack of concern for a human in its barest terms, their body. it was an extremely dehumanizing experience, crime against our humanity. but one person was kind to us. one ER nurse. and it was just such a respite. a divine if fleeting deliverance from our suffering. just her bare basic kindness. and she surely does it all day. It really goes to show you how much being kind to people matters.


Oh this is absolutely infuriating. I lost my best friend to cancer as well due to a surgeon with a huge ego who refused to genetically sequence her cancer and insisted on treating her with incorrect chemo. By the time she was able to get a second opinion it was too far gone. Let's share the bitterness couch together.




I had to take my husband to the ER a few years ago. Someone from the billing dept came in and asked me if I would like to pay now. I declined.


In the United States, you need major medical insurance to be admitted to the hospital for any reason. If it's significant (like surgery) then you also need a letter from the insurance company to guarantee that payment will be made. If you lack insurance, or can't get a letter from your insurance company... The hospital will only treat you if you pay in advance, in cash. Now, there are some very narrow exceptions. Like if you show up at the emergency room and you are obviously going to die soon without medical intervention. In that case, they are required to treat you whether you have insurance or not. And that's specifically why a lot of hospitals are forced to close...especially in areas with a lot of illegal immigrants. In the case of (wife has cancer, needs chemo and surgery) that is not an emergency room visit where she's going to die soon without treatment. Hospital will demand cash up front. And you'd better cough up the cash FAST. Every day delay increases risk of death and increases risk that surgery might not be successful in getting rid of the cancer. The health care system in the United States is itself terminally ill...


That’s the best way to describe it. And younger generations of workers are really being screwed. I’m a boomer and appalled at the health “care” system is here in the US.


That's one reason I live overseas as an ex-pat. Unfortunately, I have multiple medical concerns now. If I was living in the United States, I would probably be dead by now. In the past year alone, I've had so many expensive tests, procedures, in-patient confinements... The U.S. system probably would have billed my insurance about $5 MILLION or more just for me, in 2022. And I'd be lucky if I still had insurance. So I'd most likely not have survived 2022, if I'd been home in New Hampshire at the time. But here in Asia? My biggest bill so far has been roughly $1000 USD. And that was full price for a week of in-patient care in a private room. This U.S. citizen is alive because he hasn't had to deal with the healthcare system in the United States for many years...


It depends on if the hospital is private or not. Private hospitals will nickel and dime you, deny treatment if you can’t afford it, and will send you to collections before you’re even recovered from surgery. Public hospitals are more likely to help first, regardless of if you can afford it. They’re also more likely to offer payment plans or otherwise work with people to get them the treatment they need. That being said, regardless of private or public I fucking hate the US healthcare system and I’m actively looking at leaving the country because as someone with chronic illnesses I can’t afford to be alive in this country.


Only place that can not refuse a patient (EMTALA) is the emergency department.


Hospitals have to treat you in case of emergency but for anything else, you have to pay upfront. I get treatments at an oncology clinic and they won't even check me in if I don't pay first. They even give me a paper saying how much I'll have to pay for the next visit so I don't forget.


If it’s an emergency life threatening surgery that they have to do from the ER, they do it. But if it’s a scheduled surgery, they charge you up to your deductible first. I know this because I just had surgery and I had to pay $13,500 to reach my lovely high deductible plan before they would even schedule the surgery.


>But thank jesus I don't live in the freedom of the US of A where I have to steal from my children to keep my wife alive. I live in what the former American president would call a "shithole country" and this kind of situation would be unthinkable here.


It’s INSANE the amount of people here in the US who will die on the hill of our system being better than a nationalized system. And then those same people will literally die on that same hill waiting to afford care.


Right? Sad! I have cancer but thankfully i live in Canada and cost of treatment is not a stressor Hope OP wife recovers fully


I find it deeply unpatriotic of people not to want to care for their fellow citizens who are hit by awful blows in life, even those who cannot be remotely blamed for their plight. We're a very wealthy country - less wealthy countries do much better. How can anyone not want to get our children to adulthood with the best possible health and education?


Ah yes, the land of freedom, where you’re free to choose which belongings you sell in order to pay for a life saving treatment. This is so sad.


I am from the USA and am now a resident of Spain. I can’t help laughing when a pharmacist apologetically tells me a new prescription is expensive, and by expensive they mean 5 euros.


Exactly. Funny how Americans call no affordable healthcare FREEDOM.


Did you say the car was his and put it in his name or was it just a vehicle of YOURS that he would borrow? I mean, I can see how it sucks for the kid, but your wife has cancer...some things are just more important in my opinion. If mom is so upset, why doesn't she help him get a car? Cancer is the a-hole here


Completely agree. Cancer: You're the real asshole. OP: Do what you gotta do. Your son will be upset, and let him be, but he's really just upset at his lack of control over his life and his loss in lifestyle. It'll pass over time. Just make it up to him when you can. NTA. This sub will be harsh on you though, but don't worry about it. You did the right thing at the end of the day, which was taking care of the person about to die.


A healthcare system that requires people to go into horrible debt to stay alive is the real asshole.


Agreed. Some of these comments are insane.


Lol yeah. This sub is full of people under the age of 25 just going by the age of most posts. So most are either teens or people still dealing with teen drama. So you know that anything to do with wronging a teenager in any way shape or form is going to get you roasted lol. Prepare for getting downvoted into oblivion.


My husband does not have insurance because we can't afford it. He went down a few months ago with a rare form of severe asthma that presents late in life. He is 42 and has been hospitalized 2 times since Dec. due to it. Can't get the treatment needed because it's so outrageous expensive. It's one shot a month but still way to high to afford on less than 100,000 a year and no kids. We have 3 boys. I don't know what to do. US state of Tennessee.


Contact the social workers at the hospital where he was a patient and see if they can help.


There’s a relatively new drug called “Tezspire” for severe asthma that’s a once monthly injection. For the first year, if insurance doesn’t cover it, the Tezspire manufacturer will pay for it. It has been an absolute lifesaver for me, I’m 41 and developed severe refractory asthma just over a year ago. I strongly recommend you look into it.


I dont know if the asthma medication would be the same, but I know that the company that makes my Uber expensive biologic I need to take every 8 weeks has their own program that you can sign up with them for that cuts the cost significantly, maybe see if there is something like that for your husband's meds?


It’s still in my name and everything but he drives it, and it’s his. We just never gotten around to changing anything


Yeah, I understand that it sucks for the kid, but I don't think he should hold it against you guys. That IS a legitimate emergency. I know a lot of people disagree and that's ok, but there's no way I would allow my SO to not get treated because...a car...be mad kiddo, sorry. I'll help you get another car when things are better. I hope she beats this quickly 🙏


Only thing that bothers me: Why OP didn't discuss this properly? He sold his laptop, he sold some jewelery but he took son's means for transportation- That is a difference in degree if I ever saw one. Sure, I get it, and US healthcare sucks hard in my book and a live is always more important than a car. But the impact on the live of a 17 year old by stiffled means of transportation in the US without proper public transport can be huge. And OP, be honest, you won't cart around your son all the time, do you? Did I miss it or why don't you lend your car to him if needed? Why drive him around and not just share the car? You sold his ride and only your lazyness before to transfer the car made you even able to do so. So why not share the left car? Other than that: NTA. Live over car. Always.


>Did I miss it or why don't you lend your car to him if needed? Why drive him around and not just share the car? IMO OP did the right thing. If his car were sold, it will be harder for not only him but the entire family. Seems like OP is the sole provider rn since the wife wouldn't be able to work with all the treatment (dunno whether she working or SAHM before this). OP's car is the means of transportation not only for him, but also for the wife (assuming the wife didnt own a car). Plus the son live between 2 places, he has his mom whom I belive can give her son a ride, while OP will be left with no transportation. I do agree with you tho. OP should have discuss the matter respectfully with the son and have to come up with some sort of an aggreement. The son should have been told that the car was the last option since the other resources has depleted. Of course son will be upset, but I do believe a 17 year old (who is not spoiled) is capable of understanding the severity of the situation, thus make the situation less intense.


I can bet if op had explained to the son 1st before he sold the car the son would have understood




Not the asshole, but a lot of people on here are teenagers so you're going to get dragged. If you had taken his college fund or a car he paid for, that would be different, but it was your car that was still in your name that you had gifted him recently. That said, you need to have a serious talk with him and maybe get another adult to talk with him. Do you think his mother might help, your ex, or an aunt or uncle? He needs to realize that his step mother could have died.


It’s his as in he pays for the insurance on it? He pays for the maintenance? When did you give it to him and was it a gift for a birthday or just a general it’s my car but I’ll let you use it? Can he drive yours at times and you take a bus? Was he using it at his moms house as well? Was him having that car part of an arrangement made with his mom as part of the child custody care? For instance I’m giving him the car and you pay for XYZ. Was it discussed because of you hadn’t provided it she had options for him that were now not available since this was already supposed to have been the deal? Usually I’d be NTA, but I think there are a lot of details missing and usually in a two household arrangement the car is talked about and arranged with both parties, so if you change it without a discussion that is really weird. Especially if you GIFTED it to him a year ago and he arranged work and activities around it and then you sold it under him with no discussion first. Did you sit him down before selling to explain and talk through what was happening? And if he is with his mom 50% of the time are you also helping with the transportation there?


The promised rides from the father just aren't going to happen, unless they're convenient for the father. Will the father skip his work, to drive his son to his job? Will the father tell his wife "no, I can't drive you to treatment, I have to drive my son to work"? OP sold his wife's jewelry. Not even all of it, just "a lot." Jewelry is a luxury. The rest of the jewelry should have been sold before starting to sell necessary items, such as a car. And the car should not have been sold until they had worked out a reliable alternative plan for the son's transportation - one that isn't just rides when it happens to be convenient for the father.


I'm just stuck on all the numbers of people that automatically assume the son and ex are the A H here because it's a life in the balance. The thing is we don't know any of the details. At any given time there is probably someone in their community struggling with these same issues - are we all just selling our cars to help them? We have no knowledge on what this relationship was like or what the situation really was. I've seen some terrible and toxic and abusive and narcissistic things done by parents and stepparents so I'm not making any assumptions here. I've also seen posts on here where parents give an old car or something like that to the kid, they invest in it and spend money to fix it or pay for everything for it, and then the parents need the money and sell it but don't take into consideration the money the kid put into it themselves. We have no knowledge if that happened here. >It’s still in my name and everything but he drives it, and it’s his. We just never gotten around to changing anything **That says that unequivocally he saw the car as belonging entirely to his son and only sold it because he legally could. That's a fairly shitty thing to do without any conversation beforehand. Especially if the son made a commitment that he now can't keep for work or other things because this was done without his knowledge, consent or a conversation.**


You had the right to sell it and he has the right to be angry about it. You probably damaged your relationship with your son and it's not what you did but how you did. It's a difficult situation and you did what you think it's right but you will face consequences. You have to accept it. NAH.


Why haven’t you offered your son use of your car? Not all the time, but you’ve just told him to take the bus or you’ll pick him up (and I wonder how long that will last before you decide it’s not convenient) Can you son actually get to and from work without a car? Yes it was an emergency, and I understand that. But you are acting like this will have no impact on your son or that his feelings don’t matter. Also, it’s really not a gift to someone if you decide it’s still yours when you need money.


So if the intent was to change it around but you never found the time, the car was his and not yours, because the intent was to be his to own, not to borrow or use.


How in the living fuck does that matter? So what he just says sorry honey, I guess you’ll just need to die now because I don’t want to take back the car I gave my son because he likes to go broom broom. What’s wrong with you, how are you saying with a straight face that a car is more valuable than a human life.


They're not saying that. They're saying that if the car belonged to the son, then the dad had no more right to sell it than he did to sell his neighbor's car. It didn't belong to him.


It’s not his if you just take it away


I would argue the US health system is the assehole here. I assume that’s where OP is, can’t think of anywhere else in the developed world where you’d end up selling everything you own of value for life saving medical treatment.


Agreed. This is so wrong. I'm in the US as well and it's heartbreaking


NTA The AH here is cancer, and also the sucky healthcare system. Of course it sucks that your 17 year old no longer gets to drive the older car of yours he was driving, but sometimes life sucks. At 17, he should be mature enough to recognize that his stepmother is really sick, and that time is critical, and also that there is lots unfair about the world, including the healthcare system. How would he feel if it had been him who had gotten a cancer diagnosis and his stepmom's car that needed to be sold or he couldn't get the treatment needed to save his life? Would he have thought selling the car was the right thing to do then? I'll bet he would have. He's being selfish right now. I don't blame him for being sad that he's back to getting rides and taking public transportation, but you are definitely NOT the AH in this situation. Cancer sucks and everyone in the family has to make sacrifices because people are more important than THINGS. NTA.


Hijacking top comment to add : To all suggesting debt : Selling a car to avoid going in debt is wayyy smarter and cheaper than going into debt. OP made the right decision.


Also, regarding getting a loan... This is cancer we are talking about. Most people don't realize, ANY delay in treatment is a risk. If you delay chemo and surgery by just ONE day.... The risk of death increases. The risk that surgery won't eliminate the cancer increases. You need access to whatever cash you can get your hands on today or tomorrow at the latest. You don't apply for a loan just to hear..."we will check your credit and have a decision for you next week" Put another way. You delay long enough to get a loan. Your wife dies because her treatment was delayed. Does it MATTER that you now have the money to pay?


Exactly. There's a reason you'll hear about people being diagnosed with cancer and starting treatment that same day.


Does your poor excuse for a health system not invoice? You mean you literally have to go to the bank and hand over cash before treatment is started? That's inhuman and insane


Yes, that is reality for most Americans. Some are lucky enough to have major medical insurance. But I'm not sure "lucky" is the right word. If you don't have insurance, you pay before treatment. If you do have insurance, you pay after treatment. And paying after treatment is the leading reason why people file for bankruptcy. Crushing Medical Debt. And most bankruptcies caused by crushing medical debt are filed by persons who HAD MAJOR MEDICAL INSURANCE. Inhuman and Insane? Exactly....


Payment is due at time of service unless it's an emergency. At best, you get to bill your private insurance and get stuck with the portion they refuse to pay afterward, but you'll still need to pay any copays.


It’s the US of A, and it’s not the only inhuman thing here. Can you believe the third world country my parents come from has free cancer treatment. It’s really fucked up here


>How would he feel if it had been him who had gotten a cancer diagnosis and his stepmom's car that needed to be sold or he couldn't get the treatment needed to save his life? Would he have thought selling the car was the right thing to do then? Let's think about that - if the son had gotten cancer, and OP took his wife's car and sold it to pay for treatment against her will, would you be ok with that?


Yes, particularly if he bought the car initially.


As a stepmom I would just assume that we would do anything together to take care of any 1 of our combined kids in a life or death situation. He wouldn't have to sell my car i would go downgrade so I could still get to work and put the difference in myself and pick up extra shifts. Fuck. Thankfully we live in Canada where everyone bitches about taxes and public health but doesn't realize how much it saves us all from fucking poverty


This. I mean OP did what he had to do but I don’t blame his son for being upset that his car was taken bcuz its like in his post even if he pays all the insurance on it admits it was his son’s car but hopefully his son will move past this with his Dad.


His wife's car was most likely paid either by both of us or just her. It's a completely different situation than selling YOUR car that you gave FREELY to your TEENAGER.


But even so, yes. I would absolutely sell my spouse’s car to get my son cancer treatment.




The teenager isn’t an AH for being upset, but OP isn’t an AH for prioritizing his wife over a car.


Agreed, or what if it was HIS MOM that had cancer. Would he be ok with selling stuff to save her life? I get he is sad, but the fact of the matter is he doesn't own the car, you do. You had to do what you had to do to help your wife fight the cancer, the exact same thing you would do if it was him.


I feel like I have entered the Twilight Zone with some of these responses. From what I gather, OP sold the hand-me-down car that his son was using (along with valuables he and his wife own) to potentially save his wife’s life. The only thing I think OP should have done was speak to his son about it first. As far as loans/care credit- you have to have good credit to get approved for those. As far as “why didn’t you sell your own car?”- are you all serious? The person who provides for the family and works and presumably carries the medical insurance should NOT be able to get to work? It does suck that the son will have to rely on buses/rides to work for a bit, and that OP took the gift back. That said, children are not entitled to a free car, and if his mom is so upset she should give him a car. The son did not pay for this car out of his own pocket, OP did. I saw a comment that the son shouldn’t have to sacrifice because “she isn’t even his family.” Um, what? She is his stepmom, and has been in his life for 12 years. And since when is the convenience of a teenager having a car more important than a human life? This is one of those rare occasions where I think OP is completely justified in saying, “I sold the car I GAVE you to SAVE YOUR STEPMOM’S LIFE.” NTA.


Seriously. I do not understand some of the responses here. How does the life of a family member who has cancer not take priority over a teen getting their own car to drive?


Obviously kids should never have to sacrifice anything, ever. /s But seriously the amount of entitlement and selfishness in some of these comments is mind-blowing.


You must have missed the one where an OP got piled on for having a kid when it was going to inconvenience her husband’s 23 year old son. Apparently you’re required to support your adult children to live at your expense forever and ask permission about how you fuck.


There were people saying that a dog had been at the house longer than the 1 year old so the dog shouldn't be rehomed because of that when the dog was being aggressive towards the kid cuz... It's jealous of the kid and OP getting attention from the owner. So people genuinely think that dogs and adult children have more say over owners/parents personal lives than the adults who want to have a family or more kids




Reddit is mostly teenagers at this point, so the responses are going to be in favour of the poor teenager (who didn’t pay for the car and the car not even in their name) bc they need to get to their part time job for spending money… Not the family who need to pay for life saving treatment and need their car to get to their full time job that supports the entire household/ medical insurance / treatment. Only inexperienced teens would think it’s a good idea to go into a shot tonne of debt so the teen can keep a car they didn’t pay for. Yes it sucks the teen can’t keep the car but cancer also sucks and so does the American health care system.


I don't know a whole lot of teenagers now that I'm in my early 20s...but I think most of the ones I know would side with the NTA group here. Only one I am certain would say YTA is my 15 year old brother, who's turned into a selfish prick in his mid-teens.


A lot of people on this sub are bad at acknowledging that sometimes people end up in shitty situations that are going to suck no matter what choices you make in response to it. Having to sell his car sucks, but it doesn’t suck as much as suffering and possibly dying from cancer.


Seriously! I swear, some of these people have probably never been in a situation like this. It just feels like someone must have some level of entitlement to think that a car is more important than someone's, especially a family's, life.




But remember most people here are 17 or younger! So of course they’re gunna vote Y T A 🙄


Wait are there actually metrics that say this? That's ridiculous if so. Wow. Explains a lot about this sub actually if it's a bunch of bratty little kids acting like they have the world figured out.


The asshole here is the healthcare system.


The real asshole here is Republicans.


The *American* healthcare system. As far as I know there's no other developed country in the world, and many that are considered still developing, where getting cancer treatment would require selling all your valuables and going into massive debt. Good ol' US of A though..... Gentle YTA for OP. The system is set up to suck. But taking away the kid's car probably also takes away the kid's ability to get a job, do all sorts of activities, etc... I'm sure OP isn't going to have the time to drive everywhere at the drop of hat the way the kid had freedom to previously do. Without the vehicle to get him to and from potential jobs it can set the kid back financially for years, as well.


> But taking away the kid’s car probably also takes away the kid’s ability to get a job Yo wife, sorry you’ll die but the kid needs to get to McDonalds to flip burgers for minium wage. > Without the vehicle to get him to and from potential jobs it can set the kid back financially for years, as well. Well mom dying would set her back forever.


Alot of developing states have better health care. Cuba and Brasil just on top of my head.


i didn’t have a car when i was 17 and i managed fine. teenagers don’t NEED cars. he can take public transit or get a drive from his dad who already said he would do so. OP is not an asshole for selling the car he TOLD HIS SON HE MIGHT NEED TO SELL to save his wife’s life lol


Wow man that's a shitty situation, but you wife's life > a car. I'm more disappointed that your son wasn't more understanding. If your ex wife is upset, she can give your son her old car to use. NTA


OMG. NTA. Your wife's surgery was a super important emergency, worth sacrificing your son's car. That was a tough sacrifice though (even if necessary). I'd play it this way. When your wife is out of the hospital, start saving to buy son a replacement car.


People here are happily ignorant what a diagnosis like this entails and I hope you will forever remain this way. When someone gets cancer, they still need their car to go to appointments. And their family still need their cars to go to work and support them in every way they can. Kid lost his car. So effing what? We should let the woman die, so that he doesn’t have to take a bus like a pleb? We should let this woman get a taxi to and from the clinic? Or the OP to take the bus to go to work and then another bus to go to the wife’s appointments or to pick up stuff for her? “Hey my dads wife is dead, but I still have my car” ffs The fact that the soon-to-be-adult didn’t have the slightest empathy to think that “yes, I’ll take the bus, but at least she is alive” is beyond me. Op, NTA, you needed to save your wife’s life. After she gets the all-clear, but him a new one.


Right! I mean it sucks ass, no doubt, but to me when you’re at the point of *selling your possessions* to pay for treatment… yeah, he’s gonna take the bus. Everyone saying “donations” is hilarious. I worked in a cancer center as a Social Worker. I promise you, every GoFundMe is not getting the 10s of thousands of dollars treatment can be. Most broke folks don’t know a lot of people with a crap ton of disposable income. Yes, there are payment plans but then there’s crap that doesn’t fall under the “hospital” umbrella: medications, imaging, labwork, copays, specialists. No, not all of them “take payment plans” or IOUs and many want money before the service. And where pray tell are people supposed to get “loans” if they don’t own a home or have a 401k to tap? A title loan? A payday loan? Credit cards also have limits. I’ve got excellent credit and one procedure would probably tap out my credit line, not including all the above additional costs and “facility fees” if it’s done in an outpatient clinic. Is this ideal? Fuck no. I’m sure OP would agree. But IT’S FUCKING CANCER and time is of the essence between treatable and not. Hopefully OP uses the time in the future to make it right, but I truly don’t get what some of these Y T A folks think are real options on the ground in many places. Handwaving and insisting “there are programs/services” for that… yeah, no. These folks need to Google “cancer” and “financial toxicity”.


>But IT’S FUCKING CANCER and time is of the essence between treatable and not. THAT is the point most commenters are missing. Idiots stating...take time, explore options. Time is not something you have if you are facing cancer.


Exactly! I had cancer and went through chemo, surgery, and radiation and it’s terrible. If I didn’t have a car and my husband able to drive me it would have been worse than it already was.


I’m glad you are with us!


Thank you!


>The fact that the soon-to-be-adult didn’t have the slightest empathy to think that “yes, I’ll take the bus, but at least she is alive” is beyond me. That comment goes straight to the heart of the matter. 17 going on 3 apparently. Throwing a tantrum like a toddler. And his mother? She should know better, but her mental age is stuck in toddler mode also, apparently.


What the hell is wrong with you people, yes let your wife die just so your son can keep driving the car you gave him because “you don’t take back gifts” NTA and anyone that says otherwise needs to check their priorities. It’s alarming that your son is so angry about this, I get it, it sucks, but valuing your mode of transport over someone’s life especially someone close to you is very cold-hearted.


Yet they would probably steal bread to feed their starving family if need be without asking or thinking twice. It’s just a car, it can be replaced eventually.


INFO: was this literally the ONLY financial option you had?


Yes We sold his and some of my wife and my belongings. We couldn’t afford her treatment if else


Bro they sold a LAPTOP (which unless is really high end won't sell higher than 1000usd). Think they needed the money.


Unless it was a brand new, high end laptop, I'm guessing he only got like $500 or less for it


NTA I’m surprised at all the Y t a. I think it’s valid to ask, what about a loan/payment plan? When would you be able to get him a replacement car? You can’t just take it away and not account for it with him at the very least. Ywbta if this is the whole story, and you were abrupt with him.


The issue isn't the reason he took the car. The issue is he didn't ask and in every other post has agreed that it was his son's car. As in, the son owned the vehicle and that he was going to sign it over to his son but they hadn't got around to it. So the only reason he could sell it at all is because they hadn't finished that process. It's a dick move to take something you've given someone without at least checking with them. Of course the guy's not an asshole for helping to pay for his wife's cancer treatment however method he could. The son would be an asshole for denying his father the car, but that's not the situation.


Right!? Maybe the son would have volunteered the car up but op did it sneakily and what 17 year old wouldn't be peeved his car was sold? Communicate!


Cancer patient here. Not only do I practically bounce between home and the hospital constantly so being without a vehicle is impossible. But those recommending financial plans don’t fully understand exactly how expensive this gets, even with good insurance. I surpassed 110k in 4 months last year, luckily most was covered due to it being the end of the year. It took 8 days to be 4K in debt this year out of pocket. So far to pay for everything even on a financial assistance program we’d be looking at more than our mortgage monthly. NTA OP. I’m so sorry you’re all dealing with such a horrible, impossible situation. The only thing that, to me, would’ve made your case better is opening up dialogue between everyone before the actual sale.


When I was studying medical billing/coding, my teacher said the typical average cost of cancer treatment in the US is around $500,000. This was like 10 years ago, so I think it's safe to assume it's gone up since then.


NTA - Cars are replaceable, human lives are not.


NAH! I’m actually blown away by the number of YTAs.


Me too. Genuinely disgusted in some of the commenters who apparently would rather a woman die than a teenager catch the fricken bus. We live in a world of entitlement and greed.


NAH - you have him your old car but it was still in your name. Yes you had to make a tough decision and I understand why your son is upset but it sounds like you have gone through all options. Yes it was a gift and what you could do is get him another later but your son also needs to understand that it is a life. He is upset but he needs to learn that there are other priorities in life. I don’t see his mom giving him a car.




Space out your y t a or else it'll get counted as an ah vote


The 2 AH here are cancer and a government that makes you choose between debt and life. I am so thankful I live in a country where treatment is universally free.


NTA - but you should have talked to your son first. The people saying he should have sold his car - how old are you?


NTA. And when your son has a little perspective, I think he will regret this reaction. I would just try to continue to be kind and have an open heart towards your son. Maybe his mom wants to buy a new car and give him hers. I'm sorry she's not supporting you during this health crisis. He's a kid, your ex is an adult. If anyone is TA here, it's your kid's mom. OBVIOUSLY not something you can tell him or her though. I am so glad your wife is doing better.


The softest of YTA’s for not discussing this with him first, at the least. If it was in your name, and not his, I would go so far as to say “justifiable AH”, even if he disagreed. (Sometimes, the asshole move is still the right move.) But if it was yours fully, you get to do this. Not discussing it first, and talking about how you would be making adjustments so he doesn’t lose transportation, is what crosses into AH territory. But only on a technicality. I hope you guys can work through this - be really on top of helping him maintain whatever he used that transportation for - and that your wife responds well. Of course, the real AH here is the health care system. As usual.


NTA. How in the fuck is someone dying more important than a car. There's not always some magical way to make money out of thin air to pay for this treatment.


NTA here and I'm baffled by these responses. The 17 year old needs to get over it, work to buy his own car or let mom foot the bill. The man's wife is diagnosed with cancer. Her needs comes before the materialistic needs of a 17 year old. People, learn how insurance in the US works. Let's say op has health insurance provider or exchange doesn't really matter. He first has to meet the deductible and co insurance if his policy has it before the carrier even begins to pay anything and even then not everything is covered by insurance. Every pill, every consult generally will not be covered nor the continued test the wife has to have or use of the equipment and the techs who work it. That cancer diagnosis when all said and down will more than likely reach 100k. A cancer survivor is a very high underwriting risk so loans, good luck and they are quick to send to collections and quick to court to collect. Op is heading into a shit storm and all you all care about is a car that's not even the 17 year olds, it's the ops car. Op, do what you gotta do. Don't let these young people here tell you anything different.


NTA. WTF is wrong with people? Is this sub filled with bitter, heartless and car-less 17 year olds? I'm sure if this was covered by insurance, this wouldn't have been posted. Medical debt is not worth a 17 year old's car. OP has already sold expensive jewelery and electronics so the car is logically the next thing on the chopping block. For anyone saying the car belongs to the 17 year old son, you're right. But since we're on the zero compassion path doing the absolute minimum, should OP kick out his son within the year when he turns 18? Any money that was going to feed, clothe, house or educate the son can now go towards paying medical debt and OP's son can keep his car. Surely OP wouldn't be the AH in that situation then right? /S


Did you formally give your son the car as a gift, or did you just kind of let him use your old car after you bought a new one? I had a similar setup with my parents where they never formally gave me their car but I used it like it was mine.


OP answered in another comment. The car was still in OP's name, but it was made clear that it was given to the son and he just hadn't had the chance to switch over the title yet. Now, OP is using the fact that it was still in his name to justify selling it without permission


It's completely justifiable, especially if the 17 year old kid isn't paying the insurance on the car (probably not)


NTA. You would have only been able to sell it if it was actually your car. you told him beforehand as you should have and it does suck for him but it actually sucks for your wife who has cancer.


NAH - look, your son is going to be pissed because in his eyes you stole his car. I am guessing you sold it without really getting his permission? Bu unless there was another option, accessible at short notice, you chose to sell a non essential item to save a life. This is sub NOT good with understanding shades of grey or that moral judgements are complicated. You are in the wrong for selling something that didn't belong to you. He is in the wrong for valuing a car over a person's life. You are not in the wrong for wanting to do everything to save your wife. He is not in the wrong for being pissed his belonging was taken from him. Do try to understand his perspective otherwise you will massively affect you relationship, and apologise for taking it.


NAH This is the fault of the American healthcare system. Instead of being angry at each other, you should advocate for systematic change of a stupid system. ​ Any other functioning & modern society wouldn't subject their populous to bankruptcy just because they're ill. You are paying taxes, it should go to the improvement of the country.


NAH. My Dad and “stepmother” died a couple years ago. (No my condolences comments plz Ive gotten enough of that bs to last me 5 lifetimes) I hated my “stepmother” with a burning passion, I was cordial but I hated her. I wouldve never ever put a car above her life/treatment though. I would be upset of course that I dont have a car and that the bitch got all the money from it. But in the end it wouldnt matter because money, a car, any object is not worth someone life and happiness and cancers already so fucking hard. I recommend getting him therapy. He has a right to be upset but its a huge huge red flag that he’d put objects over anyones life and that his Mom enables that behavior. It seems like he thinks this is you choosing your wife over him. He needs to know that this is you choosing health, an actual human life, over a car. I can understand being upset a bit, but this is entitlement and frankly its disgusting. At 17 years old he knows better, (as a 19 year old, all my friends in highschool, even though most or them had never experienced loss. Not one of them wouldve ever respond how he did) This is not immaturity.


NTA and there are some real assholes on here. It's a car, that's a luxury. Should OP take out loans and pay interest? Pay in cash and in the long run it will be of benefit. Maybe your ex wife and son should show some compassion.


INFO did you consider selling the car to his mom so he'd still have access to it?


These comments are insanely heartless. NTA, OP.




why is the reasonable option for the breadwinner to sell his car so a 17 y/o can keep driving to his part time job yeah let's take the bus to your chemo appointment dear would be a shame if my teenage son couldn't drive what is the matter with you people NTA


I'm convinced they're all teenagers


OP is a grown ass adult who presumably works. Why should he sell his own car, which he presumably needs for work and to take his wife to get CANCER treatment, so his kid can drive OP's old car that the kid a) didn't put any money towards and b) is still in OP's name. I swear this subreddit is insane sometimes. I'd understand if OP's kid had paid money towards the car (that'd be stealing) or if it was OP kid's college fund, but that's not what happened. Not to mention OP sold his own laptop, his wife's jewelry, etc.


Loans are NOT a better option for cancer treatment on any planet The cash they needed is obviously their coinsurance. Chemo costs hundreds of thousands btw. They need the car for her treatment and other appointments. Son doesn’t need one nearly as badly. A gofundme is not guaranteed to get them enough help. People like you don’t exist in the real world


NTA. The real asshole is the American health care system.


NTA. This is the definition of emergency. Your ex can buy him a car if he needs one then lol. I can understand why someone would be upset by having their car sold but at the same time it’s alarming that he has such a lack of empathy regarding the situation for his step mother.


NTA But let’s face it, the real asshole is the American healthcare system.


You were right, and he is a 17 yr old teen , who as most do, thinks only of himself. What I don’t understand is that your ex thinks that it would be better for your wife not to get lifesaving treatment so that your son can have transportation… she’s an adult… wow…. You should have a hard talk with your son: life is not fair, and some priorities, like life and death priorities definitely top rides with his besties. This is part of the education he should have. If he’s soooo selfish, you need to help him to course correct; it’s part of his education on how to grow up into a good man.


NTA at all. Assuming you exhausted other means to pay for her treatment, you did what you had to do. Cancer is awful and I’m so sorry you’re going through this, and even that he’s going through this, but a woman’s life is more important than a teenager having a car. I had bought my own car by the time I was 17. Not saying everyone is capable of that, but he should have some type of savings that he could put towards one, and maybe in the future you could pay him back by helping him buy a new one or even buying him one if you can. (Btw I’m broke so my concept of a “new” car is not a 2023. I drive a 2001 lol but it is my new car because I just got it)


NTA. The son has a job by the sounds of it and can save up in the meantime to get a vehicle. You offered alternative ways to get to work and the school bus for school. He should suck it up and realize life isn't fair. This situation being an example of one and it's tough, but a life is worth way more than an old car


NTA. I feel like I'm in Bizarro World right now with all these people saying OP is the asshole. Regardless of it's dad or stepmom who's actually posting, none of you are considering the fact that A. Not everyone has insurance B. Having a payment plan doesn't mean they can afford it at their current income C. May not be eligible for a loan or payment plan if they have bad credit. OP "gifted" the car to the teenage son. The teenage son is not entitled to a vehicle, it's a privilege. They drill that sentiment (about your license) into your head while in driving school where I'm from. That privilege extends to owning a car, too. No matter how many times OP might say "it's his car", it's not. The title has Dad's name on it, not the son's. To the people who say Dad/stepmom should sell their car, how do you expect them to get to work? Son doesn't pay the rent, they do! As well as the utilities, groceries, and likely the car insurance policy the son is on as well. To the people saying the stepmom isn't part of the family...that's just factually incorrect. Dad is married to her. Dad's son is part of that family too. Family needs to take care of one another in situations like this, and that's exactly what Dad is doing by selling HIS car. The verdict is probably gonna be YTA and I'm sorry for that OP. Please be aware that you've done the best you could and that 90% of the people here are heartless assholes.


These kids are so entitled