Objective: To recommend practice guidelines for transplant physicians, primary care providers, health care planners, and all those who are concerned about the well-being of the live organ donor.
Participants: An executive group representing the National Kidney Foundation, and the American Societies of Transplantation, Transplant Surgeons, and Nephrology formed a steering committee of 12 members to evaluate current practices of living donor transplantation of the kidney, pancreas, liver, intestine, and lung. The steering committee subsequently assembled more than 100 representatives of the transplant community (physicians, nurses, ethicists, psychologists, lawyers, scientists, social workers, transplant recipients, and living donors) at a national conference held June 1-2, 2000, in Kansas City, Mo.
Consensus process: Attendees participated in 7 assigned work groups. Three were organ specific (lung, liver, and kidney) and 4 were focused on social and ethical concerns (informed consent, donor source, psychosocial issues, and live organ donor registry). Work groups' deliberations were structured by a series of questions developed by the steering committee. Each work group presented its deliberations to an open plenary session of all attendees. This information was stored and shaped into a statement circulated electronically to all attendees for their comments, and finally approved by the steering committee for publication. The term consensus is not meant to convey universal agreement of the participants. The statement identifies issues of controversy; however, the wording of the entire statement is a consensus by approval of all attendees.
Conclusion: The person who gives consent to be a live organ donor should be competent, willing to donate, free from coercion, medically and psychosocially suitable, fully informed of the risks and benefits as a donor, and fully informed of the risks, benefits, and alternative treatment available to the recipient. The benefits to both donor and recipient must outweigh the risks associated with the donation and transplantation of the living donor organ.