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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2006 Nov;1(6):1136-45. Epub 2006 Oct 11.

Iranian model of paid and regulated living-unrelated kidney donation.

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  • 1Transplantation Unit, Hashemi Nejad Kidney Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. ghods@iums.ac.ir

Abstract

Since the 1980s, many countries have passed legislation prohibiting monetary compensation for organ donation. Organ donation for transplantation has become altruistic worldwide. During the past two decades, advances in immunosuppressive therapy has led to greater success in transplantation and to increased numbers of patients on transplant waiting lists. Unfortunately, the altruistic supply of organs has been less than adequate, and severe organ shortage has resulted in many patient deaths. A number of transplant experts have been convinced that providing financial incentives to organ sources as an alternative to altruistic organ donation needs careful reconsideration. In 1988, a compensated and regulated living-unrelated donor renal transplant program was adopted in Iran. As a result, the number of renal transplants performed substantially increased such that in 1999, the renal transplant waiting list was completely eliminated. By the end of 2005, a total of 19,609 renal transplants were performed (3421 from living related, 15,356 from living-unrelated and 823 from deceased donors). In this program, many ethical problems that are associated with paid kidney donation also were prevented. Currently, Iran has no renal transplant waiting lists, and >50% of patients with ESRD in the country are living with a functioning graft. In developed countries, the severe shortage of transplantable kidneys has forced the transplant community to adopt new strategies to expand the kidney donor pool. However, compared with the Iranian model, none of these approaches has the potential to eliminate or even alleviate steadily worsening renal transplant waiting lists.

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PMID:
17699338
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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