Under a new legislation, which is set to come into force in September 2006, will allow patients who need kidney transplants will soon be able to receive organs from living donors who are unrelated to them. Currently, live donation is only allowed between people who are genetically or emotionally related.
This news was announced by the by the Human Tissue Authority, which was set up to regulate the use and storage of organs and tissue. They announced that by autumn there will be more flexibility on as to who can donate to whom, which they hope should reduce waiting lists. The new legislation in the Human Tissue Act will allow "paired/pooled" and "altruistic" donation from 1 September.
Paired donation, means the methods of pairing a donor and recipient whose blood types or tissue types do not match with another donor and recipient in the same situation. That is if the donor of one couple matched the recipient of the other, and vice versa, crossover transplantation could be performed. While a pooled donation means involving more than two couples, although this would be prove a bit difficult as all of the transplants would have to take place within the same time-frame. Altruistic donation is the donation of an organ from a stranger, although they believe that there would be fewer volunteers for this.
Baroness Hayman, chairwoman of the Human Tissue Authority, said that the new legislation was set up to increase the number of living kidney transplants by allowing altruistic and paired living kidney donations as these have the potential to save or improve the lives of many people in the UK.
Chris Rudge, UK Transplant managing and transplant director, said there was a desperate shortage of donor organs in the country. He felt that the number of living kidney donors is running at record levels, and by offering the opportunity of paired/pooled and altruistic donation, the Human Tissue Act will offer an exciting new option to people who need a kidney transplant.