Living donor transplantation saves lives, often providing the very best possible outcome for the recipient. Utilization of organs from living donors has been an accepted practice since the earliest days of kidney transplantation.
Growing disparity between the number of patients in need of transplantation and availability of transplantable organs has increased interest in living donors. Innovative approaches have been developed to increase numbers of living donors, including use of non-directed donors, paired kidney donation, and immunologic conditioning of recipients to allow the successful transplantation between previously incompatible donor-recipient pairs. At the same time, there is increasing interest in the risks (medical and psychosocial) living donors accept to benefit others, and in ensuring appropriate protection (short- and long-term) for those who choose to donate. Critical issues include:
It is the stated position of AST that “...living donors ought not to profit financially nor should they be financially disadvantaged from donation.” Though the AST remains opposed to direct payment for organs from living donors (consistent with current Federal law), many questions remain regarding the potential impact of financial incentives (or removal of disincentives) on the willingness of potential donors to complete the process. Thus, AST supports careful study, debate, and exploration of these issues in appropriate venues and targeted research.
Approved by the AST Board of Directors on April 13, 2009
Revised and approved by the AST Board of Directors on September 6, 2011
Revised November 26, 2012
Approved by the AST Board of Directors on December 6, 2012
The American Society of Transplantation is an international organization of professionals dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation and improving patient care by promoting research, education, advocacy, and organ donation.