The doctor–patient relationship in living donor kidney transplantation


Gabriel M. Danovitch

Purpose of review: A therapeutic and effective doctor-patient relationship and patient-doctor relationship is at the core of all successful medical care. The medical and psychological evaluation of a potential kidney donor serves to protect the long-term health of both the donor and the potential recipient. Careful assessment of risk and donor education is at the core of donor evaluation and the decision to progress with donation requires refined clinical judgment by the medical team and critical thinking by the donor.

Recent findings: Increasing pressure to increase the numbers of living donor transplants and suggestions by some that the process should be commercialized make it timely to consider the nature of the relationship between the doctor and the patient in the unusual circumstance of living donation. A high rate of complications in recipients of purchased kidneys and a lack of knowledge of the fate of paid donors have been reported.

Summary: Commercialization of transplantation undermines the therapeutic doctor-patient relationship and threatens the healthy development of the international transplant endeavor.

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