Coalition Statement of Principles
The Coalition is a group of organizations joined in common cause to increase living kidney donation. By working together, we hope to accomplish more dramatic change than any one group can achieve on their own. Below is the Statement of Principles that all member organizations agree to by joining the Coalition.
- Deceased donation alone can never end the deadly kidney shortage, and any policy that takes that shortage as given is morally unacceptable.
- Living donation is a noble choice that is not right for everyone, but donors themselves can benefit from the better health of their loved ones and the psycho-social gains to donation. Since studies show the vast majority of living donors do not regret donating, federal policy should presume donation to be a positive choice worth promoting.
- Informed consent must be maintained for every kidney transplant. Any effort to coerce or pressure someone into donating is unacceptable.
- Improvements are always possible, but the current transplant system does an excellent job of ensuring informed consent for the thousands of living donors who give each year.
- Government programs to increase living donation should not and will not impinge on the ability of transplant centers to ensure informed consent and guarantee the absence of coercion.
- Donors should never be worse off for having donated. Government should: (1) guarantee the reimbursement of donor lost wages, (2) provide health insurance coverage to alleviate risks of donation, and (3) devote appropriate resources to ensure long-term donor follow-up.
- Transplant awareness and education should be increased for the public, patients, and their families. All patients and patient families should receive specialized and comprehensive transplant education before they go on dialysis (when possible) and immediately thereafter (when necessary). Access to paired kidney donation should be universal.
We ask that the Health Resources and Services Administration:
- Publicly support the goal of increasing living kidney donation;
- Allow grant funding, including that pursuant to 42 U.S. Code §274f–1(b), to go to projects intended to increase living kidney donation;
- Allocate such funds in rough parity between living and deceased donation projects;
- Include metrics and goals related to the increase of living donation on HRSA’s FY 2016 Annual Performance Report;
- Sponsor a Living Donation Breakthrough Collaborative to disseminate transplant center best practices and ensure that living donation goals are met.
Members of the Coalition may have different views as to the advisability of financial incentives for living donation, but the Coalition believes there are many ways the federal government can increase living donation that do not raise the controversy of incentives, and our campaign is not intended to promote the adoption of incentives.