Mt. st. Anonymous the adolescent living-related donor

HEC Forum 4 (5):314-323 (1992)

Rosamond Rhodes
CUNY Graduate Center
Seventeen-year-old David is a perfect organ match for his younger brother, Ken, who has kidney failure. David understands that the procedure presents some risk for him and that after surgery he may no longer be able to continue playing football. His idols all have been football players and he now plays on his high school's team. Nevertheless, he wants to donate a kidney to his brother and agrees to being a donor as soon as the option is mentioned. He never displays any ambivalence and says, I want to donate my kidney because then I'll be a hero to my family. This close family - of two parents and five older siblings — strongly supports the seventeen-year-old's decision, especially after an older brother, who was also a perfect organ match, is found medically (anatomically) unsuitable.The parents and two of the older siblings could still be medically acceptable donors: their organs are likely to be better grafts (one haplotype matches) than a non-related cadaveric kidney would be, but less compatible than the perfect organ match (haploidentical) that could be provided by David, the adolescent brother. Studies have shown that in the short run there is little difference in the survivability of organs from different classes of donors. After several years, however, there is a significant difference with perfectly matched kidneys being much less prone to rejection than the less ideally matched organs (1, p. 118)
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DOI 10.1007/BF00057626
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