Compensated Kidney Donation: An Ethical Review of the Iranian Model
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 2006 September; 16(3): 269-282
Iran has a program of compensated kidney donation from living unrelated (LUR) donors since 1997. The aim of the program was to address the increasing demand for kidney transplantation in a morally sound manner. The program was successful in terms of increasing the number of kidneys available for transplantation. This paper presents a critical review of the program and its clinical status. Denying organ donors legitimate compensation because of the understandable fear of an organ trade is not morally justifiable, and the Iranian model of compensated LUR kidney donation offers substantial benefits that overcome these concerns. Despite its benefits, the program lacks secure measures to prevent the risk of a direct monetary relationship between donors and recipients, and it must be revised in order to be morally justifiable.
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