Disclosing health and health behavior information between living donors and their recipients

Leslie Mataya, Jacqueline Meadow, J. Richard Thistlethwaite, Didier A. Mandelbrot, James R. Rodrigue, Lainie Friedman Ross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Living donor guidelines—both national and international—either do not address or are vague aboutwhat information can be shared between prospective living donors and transplant candidates, as well as when to make such disclosures and who should make them. This study explored the attitudes of donors and recipients regarding how much information they believe should be shared. Design, setting, participants, & measurements Two Email invitations were sent by the National Kidney Foundation (national headquarters) to its Email listservs, inviting members to participate in an online survey to assess the attitudes of kidney transplant stakeholders regarding the disclosure of health and health risk behavior information. Results From approximately 4200 unique Email addresses, 392 (9.3%) respondents completed part or all of the survey. The analyses were limited to the 236 respondents who self-identified as either donors (potential and actual, n=160) or recipients (candidates and actual, n=76). Overall, 79% (186 of 234) of respondents supported disclosure of general recipient health information that would affect post-transplant outcome to donors, and 88% (207 of 235) supported disclosure of general donor health information to recipients. Recipients and donors were also supportive of sharing donor and recipient information, particularly information relevant to graft and patient survival. There is some reticence, however, about sharing social information. The closer the relationship, themore information they are willing to share. Both donors and recipients wanted the transplant team involved in the information disclosure.Over three quarters of donors (79%) and recipients (78%) did not think the recipient had a right to know why a donor was excluded from donating. Conclusions Both donors and recipients want a significant amount of health information to be disclosed. The opinions of other stakeholders need to be surveyed to determine whether a revision of current policies and practices is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1616
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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