Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A glimmer of hope for German kidney transplants: a discussion of kidney exchange

 Axel Ockenfels (who, along with Dorothea Kubler has been at the forefront of advocating for kidney exchange in Germany) forwards me this announcement (translated from German):

"the German Federal Ministry of Health is organizing a digital symposium on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, from 09:30 to approx. 15:30 on the topic of "Expanding the donor pool for living organ donation - a perspective for Germany?", to which we cordially invite you. Please feel free to forward the invitation to interested parties from your industry.

"An organ transplant is often the only way to save the lives of seriously ill people or to restore their quality of life. In view of long waiting times for a post-mortem organ donation, the question of living donation sometimes arises. Living organ donation has been permitted in Germany since 1997 within narrow limits and under special conditions. The donor and recipient must be "manifestly close in a special personal bond." However, living donation may be excluded in such cases for medical reasons. In order to increase the chances of organ transplantation for patients who are affected by this, some countries have established so-called kidney exchange programs.

"The symposium will take a look at various possibilities for extending organ donation: What are the opportunities and risks associated with cross over donation, pooled donation and so-called non-directed living donation? What procedures are necessary to protect donors? These and other questions will be discussed from a medical, legal and ethical perspective with an interdisciplinary audience. 

"We would be delighted if you could contribute your expertise to the discussion and if we could welcome you at the event on

"Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 09:30 - approx. 15:30 hrs.


"welcome to the event. The invitation is explicitly transferable. 

"If you would like to attend the event, please register by June 28, 2021 at the following link: Event Management Tool link.

Yours sincerely

"Joachim Becker

"Head of the Department of Medical and Professional Law, Prevention

Translated with (free version)"


This seems like a potentially very positive first step, despite (or maybe because) of the fact that it seems to be signed by the Ministry of Health's department of prevention... (Leiter der Abteilung Medizin- und Berufsrecht, Prävention)

A previous post observed that kidney exchange receives popular support in Germany:

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