Altruistic Information Event - Report

The Anonymous Gift – Open Information Evening, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on Thursday 30th April 2015
 
  
Live Donor Kidney Transplantation – The Altruistic Donor
 
Non directed altruistic donation – the donation of an organ from a live donor to a stranger, was made legal in the UK by the 2004 The Human Tissue Act and Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006. Since this time there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of altruistic donors in the UK. Six people donated in 2007 increasing to 107 donors last year. A recent change in allocation practice now means that one altruistic donor can start a chain of 3 transplants between incompatible pairs.
 
Altruistic donors undergo a similar assessment as live kidney donors who wish to donate to a close relative or friend, ensuring that short and long term medical or psychological risks are kept to a minimum. Donors contact the transplant team directly, usually having found out about the possibility of altruistic donation via the media. The reasons that people give for wishing to undergo such surgery range from wishing to ‘give something back to society’ and ‘I have two kidneys, only need one’. Many people coming forward are also blood donors.
 
Donors are counselled pre-donation about the stipulation on anonymity. Whereas the directed donor will see the difference a life free of dialysis makes for their spouse/child/friend, the altruistic donor will receive little information due to confidentiality.  In recognition of this experience, the transplant team in Edinburgh organised an Altruistic Awareness Evening in April 2015 at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. The aim was twofold – increase public awareness and acknowledge the 30 donors in Scotland who were presented a certificate from Mr Oniscu, Consultant Transplant Surgeon. The event received very positive feedback.
 
For further information about Altruistic Live Kidney Donation please email Lothian.LivingKidneyDonation.nhs.net or phone 0131 242 1703/242 3266.

Last Reviewed: 02/12/2015