Confidentiality and Consent in Living Kidney Transplantation: Is It Essential for a Donor to Know That Their Recipient Has HIV Disease?
Clinical Ethics 2009 December; 4(4): 202-207
It is now possible for someone with HIV disease to receive a kidney transplant from a living donor, although there is evidence only about the short-term outcomes of such a procedure. A person with HIV disease may not wish to disclose their diagnosis to a potential kidney donor. This paper argues that disclosure of the diagnosis of HIV to the donor is not necessary for informed consent. Concerns about the relationship of trust between the clinical team and the donor hold weight in deciding whether disclosure is essential, though openness about the limited nature of informed consent may facilitate a trusting relationship in the absence of disclosure. In general, the recipient's medical information should be treated as confidential, thereby avoiding any need to distinguish between HIV and other medical conditions.
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