Researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University found that one of the new programs to increase the number of kidneys available for transplantation has disadvantages for candidates with blood type O who are waiting for an organ from a deceased donor. The researchers findings appear in the Sept. 15, 2004, issue of Transplantation.
Through a process called list-paired exchange, a person waiting for a kidney transplant gets a higher priority on the wait list for an organ from a deceased donor when a relative makes a living donation to another waiting recipient. The living donor is not able to donate to his or her relative, usually because of blood type incompatibilities, so the willing donor gives his or her kidney to an unknown person on the wait list.
The researchers argue that list-paired exchanges are unethical because they harm an already vulnerable population. The majority of candidates waiting for kidneys have blood type O. They have the longest wait times. Where list-paired exchanges are permitted, the researchers show, wait-list candidates of blood type O are forced to wait even longer for an available deceased donor kidney.
Katie O’Boyle | EurekAlert!
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