Friday, November 17, 2023

Report From a Multidisciplinary Symposium on the Future of Living Kidney Donor Transplantation

 How might we increase the number of lifesaving transplants from living kidney donors? Might we one day be able to reward donors? And what might we do until then, while we wait for something that will eventually replace human organ transplantation?  Here's the published account of last year's symposium.

Thomas G. Peters, John J. Fung, Janet Radcliffe-Richards, Sally Satel, Alvin E. Roth, Frank McCormick, Martha Gershun, Arthur J. Matas, John P. Roberts, Josh Morrison, Glenn M. Chertow, Laurie D. Lee, Philip J. Held, and Akinlolu Ojo, “Report From a Multidisciplinary Symposium on the Future of Living Kidney Donor Transplantation,” Progress in Transplantation  (forthcoming), Online first, Nov 15, 2023  (pdf here).

Abstract: Virtually all clinicians agree that living donor renal transplantation is the optimal treatment for permanent loss of kidney function. Yet, living donor kidney transplantation has not grown in the United States for more than 2 decades. A virtual symposium gathered experts to examine this shortcoming and to stimulate and clarify issues salient to improving living donation. The ethical principles of rewarding kidney donors and the limits of altruism as the exclusive compelling stimulus for donation were emphasized. Concepts that donor incentives could save up to 40 000 lives annually and considerable taxpayer dollars were examined, and survey data confirmed voter support for donor compensation. Objections to rewarding donors were also presented. Living donor kidney exchanges and limited numbers of deceased donor kidneys were reviewed. Discussants found consensus that attempts to increase living donation should include removing artificial barriers in donor evaluation, expansion of living donor chains, affirming the safety of live kidney donation, and assurance that donors incur no expense. If the current legal and practice standards persist, living kidney donation will fail to achieve its true potential to save lives.

Links to videos of the symposium presentations are here:

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