Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1364–1368 | Cite as

Commercial living non-related organ transplantation: a viewpoint from a developed country

  • Peter F. HoyerEmail author
Editorial Commentary


In developed countries, the use of living unrelated donors is restricted to purely altruistic donors who have a close and emotional relationship with the recipients. By law, commercial transplantation is illegal. Increasing shortness of donors, the excellent results of kidney transplants from spousal and living unrelated donors as well as the very low risk for the donor has been used as an argument for paid organ donation. Arguments in favour are the relief of donor-organ shortage, short waiting times for renal transplantation, economic benefits for the donor as well as the economic benefits for society by reducing the costs of dialysis by more transplants. Major arguments against are exploitation of the donor, coercion, and a growing black market. Despite the fact that different societies have different norms or reproaches that we are failing our patients and accept the death of thousands, kidney trade has created an environment of corruption and commercialisation, which brings even the cadaver transplant program into disrepute. However, denying the existence of paid organ donation does not contribute to solve the problem. A public discussion about consequences of changing ethics and human rights, rather than pragmatic solutions, is needed.


Living unrelated Commercial Paid Organ donation Transplantation Ethics 


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinic of Pediatric NephrologyUniversity Clinic EssenEssenGermany

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