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The ethics surrounding HIV, kidney donation and patient confidentiality


For live-related kidney donation, the current UK guidance specifies that the donor has a right to know the recipient’s HIV status. This guidance may prevent some potential recipients from asking friends or family to donate, as they do not wish them to know they are HIV positive. Currently, it is felt necessary that the donor should know the HIV status of the recipient in order to give fully informed consent to the operation. However, the specific medical details are not required in order to allow for donor informed consent. This consent requires knowledge of the general expectation for survival of a graft and the specific expectation for survival of this graft in the recipient; it does not require specific knowledge of the recipient’s medical condition.

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