The guidelines have been reported in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.
The group formed a steering committee of 12 members to evaluate current practices of living donor transplantation of the kidney, pancreas, liver, intestine, and lung. The committee represented the National Kidney Foundation, and the American Societies of Transplantation, Transplant Surgeons, and Nephrology,
Benefits to both donor and recipient must outweigh donation and transplantation-associated risks.
More than 100 representatives of the transplant community were subsequently assembled at a national conference held 1-2 June, 2000, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
Attendees participated in 7 assigned work groups. Three were organ specific (lung, liver, and kidney) and 4 were focused on social and ethical concerns (informed consent, donor source, psychosocial issues, and live organ donor registry).
Work groups' deliberations were structured by a series of questions developed by the steering committee. Each work group presented its deliberations to an open plenary session of all attendees. Comments of all attendees were recorded, and finally approved by the steering committee for publication.
The statement identifies issues of controversy; however, the wording of the entire statement is a consensus by approval of all attendees.
In summary, the consensus statement remarks, "The person who gives consent to be a live organ donor should be competent, willing to donate, free from coercion, medically and psychosocially suitable, fully informed of the risks and benefits as a donor, and fully informed of the risks, benefits, and alternative treatment available to the recipient."
"The benefits to both donor and recipient must outweigh the risks associated with the donation and transplantation of the living donor organ," it concludes.