Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Should doctors encourage people to donate a kidney to a stranger?

Date:
November 15, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
With three people on the transplant list dying in the UK every day, should doctors encourage their patients to put themselves at risk for the benefit of others? Two experts debate the issue.

With three people on the transplant list dying in the UK every day, should doctors encourage their patients to put themselves at risk for the benefit of others? Two experts debate the issue online in the British Medical Journal (bmj.com).

Associate Professor Walter Glannon from the University of Calgary argues that, although living kidney donation is relatively safe, "this does not imply that doctors should encourage healthy adults who are their patients to donate a kidney to a stranger."

He points out that "doctors have an obligation of non-maleficence to their patients" and says: "It is one thing for a doctor to expose a patient to some risk in order to treat a disease; it is quite another to encourage a patient to put his or her own physical health at risk in order to benefit another."

He adds: "There is nothing ethically objectionable about a competent adult initiating this process. But it is ethically objectionable when a doctor initiates it.

Glannon believes that if a patient asks a doctor about living kidney donation, "then the doctor should do no more than provide information about the process in an impartial and unbiased way." But he warns that "encouraging these patients to be living kidney donors violates their obligation not to expose or incline them to a risk of harm."

But Consultant Nephrologist, Antonia Cronin from the MRC Centre for Transplantation at King's College, London believes that encouraging altruistic donation is legitimate and that "living donor kidney transplantation must remain an integral part of the NHS strategy to save lives."

Living donor kidney transplantation has an outstanding record, she writes, and donation to strangers now contributes 3% of the total UK living donor kidney transplant activity. The long term survival of living donors is good, and living donors express high levels of retrospective satisfaction with their decision to donate, she adds.

She acknowledges that doctors do not have a moral obligation to encourage stranger kidney donations, but argues that "encouraging healthy competent adults to voluntarily donate one of their kidneys for the benefit of another by providing them with adequate information about the process involved and recognising the value of their donation is consistent with the ethos of the NHS, which exists for the common good."

The key point, she concludes, is that "if something is not only not wrong to do but actually a good thing to do, then it cannot be wrong to encourage the doing of it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Walter Glannon. Is it unethical for doctors to encourage healthy adults to donate a kidney to a stranger? Yes. BMJ, 2011; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d7179
  2. Antonia J Cronin. Is it unethical for doctors to encourage healthy adults to donate a kidney to a stranger? No. BMJ, 2011; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d7140

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Should doctors encourage people to donate a kidney to a stranger?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115191228.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, November 15). Should doctors encourage people to donate a kidney to a stranger?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115191228.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Should doctors encourage people to donate a kidney to a stranger?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111115191228.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins