Ethics. Research. Community.

Ethical aspects of living donor kidney transplantation and recipient adherence to treatment.

Progress in transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.). 
[Record Source: PubMed]
Living donor kidney transplantation comprises approximately 30% of kidney transplantations in the United States and is an effective form of renal replacement therapy, with low risk to the donor. Twenty percent of living donors do not have a genetic relationship with their recipients. In the selection of living donors, guiding ethical principles include altruism, the absence of coercion or monetary reward, patient autonomy, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. In order for the benefit of living donor kidney transplantation to outweigh the risk, evidence that the proposed recipient will care for the transplanted organ must exist. Nonadherence to treatment has been identified as a major risk factor for graft rejection. When nonadherence to treatment regimens leads to loss of the graft, the consequences are felt by the recipient, donor, and the treatment team. The decision to transplant an organ to a noncompliant patient from a cadaveric or a living donor raises issues of patient autonomy, justice, paternalism, and benevolence versus nonmaleficence.
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