Raising awareness of unspecified living kidney donation: An ELPAT

Franco Citterio, Lisa Burnapp, Kristof Van Assche, Annette Lennerling, Dorthe Slaats, David Van Dellen, Nizam Mamode, Willij Zuidema, Willem Weimar, Frank J. M. F. Dor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) is the preferred treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease and unspecified living kidney donation is morally justified. Despite the excellent outcomes of LDKT, unspecified kidney donation (UKD) is limited to a minority of European countries due to legal constraints and moral objections. Consequently, there are significant variations in practice and approach between countries and the contribution of UKD is undervalued. Where UKD is accepted as routine, an increasing number of patients in the kidney exchange programme are successfully transplanted when a 'chain' of transplants is triggered by a single unspecified donor. By expanding the shared living donor pool, the benefit of LDKT is extended to patients who do not have their own living donor because a recipient on the national transplant list always completes the chain. Is there a moral imperative to increase the scope of UKD and how could this be achieved? Methods: An examination of the literature and individual country practices was performed to identify the limitations on UKD in Europe and recommend strategies to increase transplant opportunities. Results: Primary limitations to UKD, key players and their roles and responsibilities were identified. Conclusions: Raising awareness to encourage the public to volunteer to donate is appropriate and desirable to increase UKD. Recommendations are made to provide a framework for increasing awareness and engagement in UKD. The public, healthcare professionals, policy makers and society and religious leaders have a role to play in creating an environment for change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • donation
  • ethics
  • kidney
  • living
  • unspecified


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