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Prog Transplant. 2009 Mar;19(1):64-70.

The living donor advocate: a team approach to educate, evaluate, and manage donors across the continuum.

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  • 1New York Presbyterian Hospital Center, 622 West 168 Street, PH 14, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Living donor transplant has developed as a direct result of the critical shortage of deceased donors. Federal regulations require transplant programs to appoint an independent donor advocate to ensure safe evaluation and care of live donors. Ethical and pragmatic issues surround the donor advocate. These issues include the composition of a team versus an individual advocate, who appoints them, and the role that the advocate(s) play in the process. A team approach to donor advocacy is recommended. Common goals of the independent donor advocacy team should be protocol development, education, medical and psychosocial evaluation, advocacy, support, and documentation throughout the donation process. The team's involvement should not end with consent and donation but should continue through short- and long-term follow-up and management. Ultimately it is the goal of the independent donor advocacy team to assist donors to advocate for themselves. Once deemed medically and psychologically suitable, donors must determine for themselves what they wish to do and must be free to vocalize this to their team. The decision to donate or not affects the donor first. Optimal outcomes begin with prepared, educated, uncoerced, and motivated donors, and it is the team's goal to help donors reach this point.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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