Only three years ago, the entire transplant system was a’twitter about the ethical ramification of recipients soliciting for a living donor. The issue was so profound that the entire “Frontiers of Ethics in Transplantation” conference was dedicated solely to this one question.
But it’s 2011. Not only has the transplant industry gotten suspiciously quiet on the topic of living donor solicitation, it appears that they’re actually educating and encouraging it.
Exhibit A: Yale-New Haven Transplant Center’s newest brochure. For recipients, of course.
The smarmiest part of this whole thing, is that it attempts to absolve the recipient of any adverse consequences to the living donor. It advises the would-be recipient on how to ask a loved one for a kidney, but then says, “Let them know that neither of you needs to evaluate medical risk or make medical determinations.”
Really? A prospective living donor shouldn’t evaluate the risks to themselves and their loved ones if they die, are maimed or otherwise? A would-be recipient shouldn’t contemplate the sacrifice they’re asking someone to make for them?
Why doesn’t the pamphlet just say “Trust us, the all-knowing and all wise transplant center. Don’t worry your pretty little head about what could go wrong. We’ll take care of everything.”
On the other hand, at least any living donor contemplating using YNH will know where they’re prioritized. And it sure ain’t first.