What is an altruistic kidney donor?

It is possible for a healthy individual to donate anonymously to a transplant waiting list (non-directed altruistic donation) or to a specific person on the transplant waiting list (directed donation). Altruistic donation has the potential to begin a series of paired exchange transplants and help multiple patients.

Katrina Bramstedt, PhD
Health Education

In reality the motivation for ALL organ donations should be altruistic-- that is the principle. However, the term is often used to mean "living organ donation to a stranger". Another synonymous term is "Good Samaritan donation".

For more information on Good Samaritan donation, read my book, The Organ Donor Experience: Good Samaritans and the Meaning of Altruism.

Continue Learning about Kidney Donation

What are the risks of a kidney donation?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Risks to the donor are small and manageable, but include pain, infection, pneumonia, blood clotting,...
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How is a recipient for a deceased donor kidney chosen?
American Diabetes AssociationAmerican Diabetes Association
Federal law says that kidneys should be given out in a fair and efficient way. In the current system...
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What should I know about living donation?
National Kidney FoundationNational Kidney Foundation
There are a few things you should know about living donation: A live organ can come from a famil...
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Dr. Lloyd Ratner - About Kidney Donation
Dr. Lloyd Ratner - About Kidney Donation

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.