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Organ transplantation: Committee warns against Global Kidney Exchange programme

23 April 2018
Strasbourg, France

Transplantation: warning against Global Kidney ExchangeThe Council of Europe Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO), with the support of the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), has issued a recommendation to the Member States of the Council of Europe, as well as health authorities, hospitals and professionals not to engage in Global Kidney Exchange (GKE) programmes and hence not to consider the inclusion of “financially incompatible” donor-recipient pairs in any kidney exchange programme.

To assist in addressing barriers to transplantation that arise from the difficulties in finding biologically compatible donors for certain recipients, the CD-P-TO called on Member States to support the development of equitable kidney paired exchange programmes that do not exploit financial inequalities between pairs (or countries).

The recommendation, which follows a careful review of such programmes, explains that to base kidney exchange programmes on “financial incompatibilities” is inconsistent with the fundamental principle that “the human body and its parts shall not give rise to financial gain or comparable advantage” and puts vulnerable individuals at risk of exploitation.

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