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Living Donor Transplantation – the Real Gift of Life. Procurement and the Ethical Assessment

Miroslaw Banasik

Ann Transplant 2006; 11(1): 4-6 :: ID: 496932


It has been observed during the past 10-15 years a greater disparity between the supply of kidneys for transplantation and the demand of patients on waiting lists. The number of cadaveric kidneys available for transplantation have not increased in many countries. Countries and their societies are faced with a choice, let patients with the end- stage renal disease stay on, dialysis giving a faster death and a lower quality of life, or decide to introduce the more active living donation program. There are countries, historically Scandinavian countries, the USA and UK, which decided to change medical, social and ethical attitudes to help their citizens and patients on dialysis. For many other countries approval of the new approach of their donation seems to cause difficulties. The main problem for medical staff is the principle Primum non nocere (First do no harm), removal of a living kidney conflicts with this principle. From the other point of view is the human right of an individual to autonomy for donation of a kidney. The donor is completely informed for the risks involved in donation of a kidney to an awaiting recipient. The donors reasons for donation of the kidney must be understood and family pressure excluded. Where is the borderline between the paternalistic approach of the medical personnel preventing the altruistic attitude of the donor? How far is the role of the medical staff to extend in the assessment of the altruistic nature and goodwill of the donors?

Keywords: Living Donation, Ethics, procurement, Altruism

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358