Hospitals ordered to do more to protect kidney donors

From the New York Times:

Addressing long-held concerns about whether organ donors have adequate protections, the country’s transplant regulators acted late Monday to require that hospitals thoroughly inform living kidney donors of the risks they face, fully evaluate their medical and psychological suitability, and then track their health for two years after donation.

Enactment of the policies by the United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the transplant system under a federal contract, followed six years of halting development and debate.

Meeting at a St. Louis hotel, the group’s board voted to establish uniform minimum standards for a field long regarded as a medical and ethical Wild West. The organ network, whose initial purpose was to oversee donation from people who had just died, has struggled at times to keep pace with rapid developments in donations from the living.

“There is no question that this is a major development in living donor protection,” said Dr. Christie P. Thomas, a nephrologist at the University of Iowa and the chairman of the network’s living donor committee.

Read the complete story here.

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