Global assembling of Academicians, Researchers, Scholars & Industry to disseminate and exchange information at 100+ Allied Academics Conferences
Mitra Mahdavi-Mazdeh, Iranian Tissue Bank Research & Preparation Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Organ shortage for transplantation remains a worldwide serious problem for kidney patients with end-stage renal failure, and several countries have tried different models to address this issue. Iran has 20 years of experience with one such model that involves the active role of the government and charity foundations. Patients with a desperate demand for a kidney have given rise to a black market of brokers and other forms of organ commercialism only accessible to those with sufficient financial resources. The current Iranian model has enabled most of the Iranian kidney transplant candidates, irrespective of socioeconomic class, to have access to kidney transplantation. The Iranian government has committed a large budget through funding hospital and staff at the Ministry of Health and Medical Education by supporting the brain death donation (BDD) program or redirecting part of the budget of living unrelated renal donation (LURD) to the BDD program. It has been shown that it did not prevent the development and progression of a BDD program. However, the LURD program is characterized by several controversial procedures (e.g., confrontation of donor and recipient at the end of the evaluation procedure along with some financial interactions) that should be ethically reviewed. Operational weaknesses such as the lack of a registration system and long-term follow-up of the donors are identified as the ‘Achilles heel of the model’. Living unrelated renal donation (LURD) is still a hot topic in professional debates around organ shortage for transplantation. The still increasing demand for renal transplantation brings the subject of LURD to the core of medical caregivers’ attention confronting them with a number of controversial aspects of this entity topic, requiring ethical consideration. Transplantation societies and the World Health Organization try to prevent unethical practices by formulating guidelines for the organ distribution and donation of unrelated living kidneys. The declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism 2008 is among the latest common global efforts to convince different countries to agree on a common approach to stop commercial exploitation and stimulation of deceased donation. Socioeconomic differences, as well as differences in cultural values, religious beliefs, legislative barriers, and lack of the required infrastructure between countries, may prevent setting standard international guidelines. In this short review, the positive and negative aspects of the Iranian LURD are discussed.