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Clin Transplant. 2008 Nov-Dec;22(6):749-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2008.00870.x. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Web-based requests for living organ donors: who are the solicitors?

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Department of Psychiatry, The Transplant Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Websites have emerged to highlight the plight of patients awaiting kidney transplantation and to match them to potential good Samaritan living donors. Little is known about the patients who choose to solicit living donors online, so we examined the 224 profiles of potential kidney transplant recipients who registered on one donor matching website. The number of patients soliciting a living kidney donor is less than 0.5% of those who are awaiting kidney transplantation in the United States. Other than blood type, region, and gender surprisingly few sociodemographic and medical details were posted with most solicitation profiles. The considerable variability in what information is provided in patient profiles suggests that we know very little about who the solicitors are and further highlights one of the inherent ethical problems with public solicitation of living donors. Specifically, in some instances, a Good Samaritan's pursuit of living kidney donation may be based less on information potentially relevant to transplant outcome and more on the persuasiveness of the appeal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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