Ministry considers introduction of cross-kidney donation
A corresponding law would allow two suitable donor-recipient pairs to exchange the donated organs with each other. So far this is not allowed.
According to a media report, the Federal Ministry of Health is considering expanding the possibility of living kidney donations. So far, the legislature only allows such donations between people who have a personal relationship.
The ministry is currently examining “the prerequisites for an amendment to living donation with a view to expanding the circle of donors in the sense of introducing cross-kidney living donation,” the “Welt” quoted a spokesman for the department as saying.
This possibility has been discussed for a long time. This could benefit people who have a relative or partner who would donate a kidney to them, but whose transplant would fail due to intolerance. The term cross-donation means that two suitable donor-recipient pairs can exchange the donated organs with each other. A hearing in the Health Committee of the Bundestag on this topic is also scheduled for today.
Do not put pressure on relatives
In preparation for a change in the law, the specialist department of the Ministry of Health is currently holding talks with experts from medicine and law as well as with associations of those affected, the spokesman said.
The FDP health politician Kathrin Helling-Plahr told the “Welt”: “For me it is central that there no longer has to be a special close relationship between donor and recipient if a cross-living donation is made between two couples.” It’s about saving two people’s lives. Green politician Kirsten Kappert-Gonther warned: “Law and practice must prevent pressure being built up on relatives or third parties.” Postmortem organ donation rightly takes precedence over living donation because the removal of organs during one’s lifetime is associated with significant health risks.
CSU MP Stephan Pilsinger put the pressure on: In addition to a concrete draft law, the ministry must already create the organizational and technical prerequisites for this, he told the “Welt”. This includes in particular the creation of a data pool and an algorithm that determines the medically suitable crossover pairs.