Law and Increasing Kidney Donation in Australia: Is the Law Complicating Increasing Living Kidney Donation?

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Abstract

Organ transplantation is a medical procedure that requires a generous donation from an organ donor. Admittedly, the number of kidneys donated are inadequate, and the question of how to increase the number of kidney donations has engendered considerable debate. In Australia, the Human Tissue Acts facilitates and promotes increasing kidney donation (KD) however, the legal approach adopted in regulating and promoting organ donation is restrictive as it prohibits any valuable consideration in an arrangement or agreement to donate. In Australia, it has been projected that there will be a 60% increase in the prevalence of End Stage Renal Disease and therefore, there is a need to ensure that there is an adequate supply of kidney donation for transplantation. This paper analyses the relationship between the law and increasing organ donation under the Human Tissue Acts in Australia and argues that law and incentive can be used to achieve the desired increase in KD in Australia. It concludes that there is a need to explore the possibility of using legal and ethical support initiatives to facilitate the increase in kidney donation and the propriety of amending the legislation in a way to foster increasing KD through support initiatives should be considered.

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