Ethical issues in live donor kidney transplant: views of medical and nursing staff.Exp Clin Transplant. 2009 Mar; 7(1):1-7.EC
The ongoing development of live donor kidney transplant has generated many ethical dilemmas. It is important to be aware of the attitudes of transplant professionals involved in this practice.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
An anonymous and confidential questionnaire was sent to 236 members of the medical and nursing staff of the West London Renal and Transplant Centre, to assess their views on the ethics of the current practice of live donor kidney transplant.
Of the 236 questionnaires, 108 (45.8%) were returned. Respondents considered live donor kidney transplant ethically acceptable between blood relatives (100%), nonblood relatives and friends (92.6%), and strangers (47.2%). Most respondents were willing to donate a kidney to a blood relative (92.6%) or a nonblood relative or friend (81.5%), and 12.0% were willing to donate to a stranger. Considering themselves as potential recipients if they had end-stage renal disease, most would accept a kidney from a blood relative (91.7%) or nonblood relative or friend (85.2%),while 44.5% would accept a kidney from a stranger. The highest number of respondents (43.5%) believed that the recipient should approach the potential donor. About one-third believed there should be no financial reward, not even compensation for expenses, for donors; 8% favored direct financial rewards for donors known to recipients, and 18% favored rewards for donors not known to recipients. Slightly more than half were in favor of accepting donors with mild to moderate medical problems.
Live related and unrelated kidney donation are considered ethically acceptable procedures, and nondirected donation is gaining support among transplant professionals. A substantial minority favored direct financial rewards for donors, especially in the case of nondirected donation.