Psychological Reactions to Giving a Kidney

  • Roberta G. Simmons


Kidney transplantation involves the unique resource of donated kidneys. Both living relatives and “newly dead cadavers” can provide this resource, with a living relative donating one of his kidneys to save the life of a family member and with cadavers able to donate both kidneys to persons on a waiting list. Because of immunological processes, the living related kidneys have tended to do better and survive longer;1 in addition, patients with willing related donors are spared the long and uncertain time on a waiting list. However, there is a widespread skepticism about the ability of a relative to make the major sacrifice of a kidney willingly and without significant regret later on.2 The perception is that family blackmail and pressure will be pervasive and will be the major factor motivating the potential donor. Posttransplant, the loss of a body part will engender long-term regret and depression. Thus, at many centers the policy of using related donors is regarded as a major ethical problem.3,4*


Negative Feeling Good Person Psychological Reaction Cadaver Donor Kidney Transplant Donor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta G. Simmons
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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