History of Live Kidney Donation

Live Kidney Donation

Live-Kidney-DonationLive kidney donation started in 1954 when Ronald Herrick donated his kidney to his identical brother. The procedure was a wonderful success and his brother lived for another eight years after receiving the donation. Live kidney donation is now a commonplace occurrence with thousands of individuals donating their organs every year. Thankfully, most medical insurance companies now carry policies that cover kidney transplants for their patients.  If not, Medicare will pick up the tab.

Renal Failure on The Rise

Over the years, kidney transplants have dramatically changed. What was once thought to only be possible between blood relatives has now been expanded to complete stranger donations. Medical science has discovered that it is no longer necessary to have an exact match in order for a kidney to be accepted into the patient’s body. Additionally, new types of surgery have dramatically changed the process through which a kidney is transplanted or extracted. This in turn has resulted in an easier method for curing kidney failure.

When my own son received a kidney organ donation from his best friend, both recovered quickly and are living a normal, healthy life. The donor, in this case, tells us that he feels fine and cannot even tell that he gave up a kidney. You can watch some videos of True Heroes on this site.

Although there are many different perspectives on the ethics surrounding altruistic kidney donations the facts remain the same: that there are thousands of individuals in kidney failure who desperately need a new organ.  Science cannot continue to stand in the way of live organ donation simply because of ethics that may or may not be applicable.

Regardless of the opinions of the scientific community, new research has suggested that bone marrow implantation into a patient’s body from the potential organ donor may help the patient’s body accept the new organ and might possibly change its immune system. This new research is exciting but has yet to be accepted and approved of by the medical community and the FDA.

As we move forward with advancements in new technology and advancements in the medical community, it is important to remember that ethics play a role in the process. Live kidney donation is a must if we are going to keep people alive. However, it is equally important to realize that lives are on the line and that no one should stand in the way of progress. I wonder how quickly this issue would move forward if a few members of Congress had family members with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?