Several articles related to kidney donation came to my attention recently:
“When somebody offers to donate a kidney to a desperately ill friend or relative, it’s an act of unparalleled generosity. But what happens if they later change their mind? The ramifications for the two individuals involved, and their broader family or social network, can be huge.” Jane McCredie in MJA Insight (MJA = Medical Journal of Australia) explores this issue in an article entitled, “Change of mind.”
This article raised the question for me of how this is handled in Canada. The Kidney Foundation of Canada provides the following information:
Choosing not to donate. If a potential donor chooses not to donate, the healthcare team will support and respect this decision. They will also help the person communicate the decision to the potential recipient and family members in such as way as to preserve harmony.
Changing your mind. The donor can change their mind at any time during the evaluation process and the decision will be supported by the healthcare team.
– See more at: http://kidney.ca/page.aspx?pid=381
“When it comes to kidney donation, deciding you want to go through with it is actually the easy part. Most Americans couldn’t donate a kidney even if they wanted to, finds a new study presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week conference in Philadelphia.” Author Mandy Oaklander of Time reminds readers of this article that the number one priority of doctors is to preserve the health of the potential kidney donor. Consequently, many people who would like to donate are not able to do so because of a disqualifying health condition.
3. Pregnancy and Kidney Donation
Two articles in the Toronto Star and the London Free Press, respectively, reported on a study concerning the risks associated with kidney donation for women who might later seek to become pregnant. Notice the difference in the headlines for each. Evidently, the writers chose to emphasize different elements of the study. The bottom line: although there were some increased risks, “there was no change in more serious outcomes: death, pre-term delivery, c-section and low birth weight. No donor or baby in the study died and most women had uncomplicated pregnancies.”
3. a. “Kidney donors face higher risks during later pregnancies: Study,” by Helen Branswell, in The Toronto Star.