The nondirected live-kidney donor: Ethical considerations and practice guidelines. A national conference report

Academic Article


  • Background. The success of kidney transplantation from a genetically unrelated living spouse or friend has influenced transplant physicians to consider the requests of individuals wishing to volunteer to be a kidney donor who have no intended recipient specified. Representatives of the transplant community gathered in Boston, MA, on May 31, 2001, to deliberate on the experience of live kidney donation from such volunteers, currently termed nondirected donors (NDD). Objective of Conference Participants. The objective of the conference was to recommend ethical and practice guidelines for health care professionals considering the transplantation of a kidney from a live NDD. Conference Participants. This conference was convened under the sponsorship of The National Kidney Foundation, with representation from The American Society of Transplantation and The American Society of Transplant Surgeons, The American Society of Nephrology, The United Resource Networks, The United Network for Organ Sharing, The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, The National Institutes of Health, and The Division of Transplantation of the Health Resources and Services Administration (see Appendix). Conference Report. The suggested content of screening interviews, which provide information regarding the donation process, elicits pertinent medical and psychosocial history, and assesses NDD motivation are presented in this report. Approaches to identifying the center that would evaluate the suitability of the NDD, to performing the kidney recovery, and to selecting the NDD recipient are also proposed. Other ethical issues such as the use of prisoners as an NDD, compensation for the NDD, media involvement, and communication between the NDD and recipient are discussed. Conclusion. The willingness of health care professionals to consider NDD volunteers is driven by the compelling need to provide organs for an ever-expanding list of patients awaiting a kidney transplant. However, the psychological impact and emotional reward of donation has yet to be determined for NDD who may not have any relationship to the recipient or knowledge of the recipient's outcome. Transplant centers that accept NDD should document an informed consent process that details donor risks, assures donor safety, and determines that the goals and expectations of the NDD and the recipient can be realized.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Transplantation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2379173
  • Author List

  • Adams PL; Cohen DJ; Danovitch GM; Edington RMD; Gaston RS; Jacobs CL; Luskin RS; Metzger RA; Peters TG; Siminoff LA
  • Start Page

  • 582
  • End Page

  • 589
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 4