PRESS RELEASE FROM NATURE CLINICAL PRACTICE NEPHROLOGY
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Regulation of living kidney sales: an obvious step?
Should willing individuals be allowed to sell their kidneys? Yes, according to a Viewpoint article to be published in the November issue of Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology, which argues that failure to regulate kidney sales could be unethical. Abdallah S Daar asserts that the traditional moral arguments against payment for organs are difficult to sustain under close scrutiny.
In the US, 90,000 patients are on the waiting list, of whom 6,000 die every year. In American cities, there is a 5-7-year wait for an organ from a deceased donor, and some patients take matters into their own hands by advertising for a donor on highway billboards or making personal pleas in the media. By contrast, the Iranian model of state-sponsored, noncommercial kidney transplantation-whereby donors are paid by a government-sponsored agency-has eliminated the waiting list completely.
Elsewhere, black markets for kidneys harm both donors and recipients. In a previous issue of Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology, Jha and Chugh documented the poor financial compensation and inadequate postoperative care received by paid kidney donors, and argued that commercial transplantation would encourage rampant exploitation of the underprivileged. But Daar points out that such exploitation is already happening. If regulating the practice will open it to scrutiny, enforce compliance with standards, remove greedy middlemen, and enable fair distribution of transplanted organs, then it can only be of benefit to both donors and recipients.
Abdallah S Daar (University of Toronto, Canada)
E-mail: [email protected]
Chloe Harman (Associate Editor, Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology)
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The Nature Clinical Practice journals
The first four journals launched in November 2004 and a further four in November 2005. This is NPG's most extensive launch programme and the Nature Clinical Practice series is due to extend to 15 titles over the next few years.
Each month the journals filter original research in their field, highlighting the most important research articles, then explaining how the research affects patients' treatments. Content also includes editorial and opinion pieces, highlights from the current literature, commentaries on the application of recent research to practical patient care, thorough reviews, and in-depth case studies.
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