The Future of Living Donor Kidney Transplants

May 7, 2022
Currently it is illegal for the donor or donor’s family to receive anything of value in exchange for an organ. The one policy that has not been considered to increase the donor supply and which probably has the most potential is to offer a reward or some other compensation to the donor. The primary argument offered by those opposed to rewarding the donor is that it is medically unethical?

The primary purpose of this symposium is addressing this issue of whether rewarding the donor is medically unethical.
In addition to the medical ethics question, this symposium will have presentations by experts in the field of transplantation on related questions including:
  • The cost benefit question;
  • The risks and safety of donation;
  • Immediate options to increase organ donation;
  • The very recent development of organ sharing;
  • U.S. public attitudes towards rewarding the donor;
  • The experiences of a living donor;
  • The limits of increasing the count of deceased donors.

Target Audience

This activity is designed for physicians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the improvement of the kidney donation system in the United States.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:

  • Assess the limits of the position that rewarding donors is medically unethical;
  • Evaluate the National Organ Transplant Act-induced failures of the altruistic system for organ procurement;
  • Recall the impact of the shortage of kidneys for transplantation, including the preventable deaths as well as the social and economic loss;
  • State immediately available actions to expand kidney donors;
  • Outline the expansion limits of the deceased donor supply;
  • Describe the U.S. population’s attitude towards rewarding organ donors;
  • Identify the potential for government action to end the organ shortage;
  • Compare the potential benefits and costs to patients, society, and caregivers of a government program designed to increase the donor supply by gifting to donors;
  • Consider the beneficial impact of donor organ sharing.
Additional information
ACGME/ABMS Core Competencies: 
Systems-based Practice
For more information, please contact:
CME Coordinator Contact Name: 
Philip J. Held, PhD
CME Coordinator Contact Email: 
CME Coordinator Contact Phone: 
PDF icon Symposium Flyer231.68 KB
Available credit: 
  • 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 3.25 Participation
Event starts: 
05/07/2022 - 9:00am
Event ends: 
05/07/2022 - 12:30pm
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 


Session 1: Ethics of Gifting or Compensation of Donors





Presenter (s)



Time (mins.)




Ethics of Compensating (“Rewarding”) Donors

Janet Radcliffe Richards

World renown philosopher/ethicist. (Oxford). Book: the ethics of transplants why careless thought

costs lives





Questions, Comments, and Recap Session 1

CON: Asif Sharfuddin M.D. FASN FAST PRO: Sally Satel M.D. M.S.






Session 2: Living Donor Transplant Issues



Cost-Benefit Analysis of Compensating (“Rewarding” Kidney Donors

Frank McCormick Ph.D.

How the Government Can End the Kidney Shortage and Save More than 40,000 Kidney Failure Patients Each Year by Compensating Living Kidney Donors. Total economic value to kidney recipients is $76B/yr. Net savings to the taxpayers is $7B/yr.







Current Status and Future Developments in Kidney Exchange Programs

Alvin Roth, Ph.D.

Nobel Laurette

Living donor organs are being increasingly allocated by paired and exchange organ programs; This is the only major technical improvement in transplantation in









Session 2: Living Donor Transplant Issues Cont’d


Decreasing Barriers and Increasing Access for Living Donation

Cody Maynard; Independent Living Donor Advocate (NKDO)

Immediate actions we can take to increase the pool of living donors.








Discussion and Recap of Session 2 (John Fung, M.D, Ph.D.)












Session 3: More Living Donor Transplant Issues

Experiences of a Living Kidney Donor;

Martha Gershun, MBA

Author of a recent book with J.D. Lantos MD: Kidney to Share.





U.S. Public Attitudes Towards Compensating Donors


Thomas Peters M.D.

Two peer reviewed studies show that 70% of US population support compensating donors $50K.





Risk and Safeguards for Living Donors

Arthur Matas, M.D., Ph.D.

Screening donors is essential. Risks are small but not zero.





The Limits of Increased Counts of Deceased Donor Transplants

John P. Roberts M.D.

Ignorance is common: Increasing the Deceased Donor pool is constrained by the limits of brain-

dead donors; <2% of U.S. deaths.





WaitList Zero’s role in Living Donation

Josh Morrison J.D.; Founder of WaitList Zero

“Thanks for helping us, we were lost!” comment by a recipient, pointing to the need for education regarding living donors.



Discussion and Recap Session 3 (Thomas Peters M.D.)





Recap and Summary of the Symposium Glenn Chertow M.D., MPH






Agenda subject to change.


Online Webinar
Chicago, IL
United States
To learn more about transplantation at the University of Chicago, visit our website!

The University of Chicago reserves the right to cancel or postpone this conference due to unforeseen circumstances. In the unlikely event this activity must be cancelled or postponed, the registration fee will be refunded; however, The University of Chicago is not responsible for any related costs, charges, or expenses to participants, including fees assessed by airline/travel/lodging agencies.

ACCESSIBILITY The University of Chicago is committed to providing equal access appropriate to need and circumstances and complies fully with legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are in need of special accommodation, please contact our office at 312-927-7655 or via email at


John Fung, MD
University of Chicago

Philip Held, PhD
Stanford Nephrology
Glenn Chertow MD, MPH
Stanford University
Martha Gershun, MBA
Independent Consultant
Arthur Matas, MD, PhD
University of Minnesota
Cody Maynard, ILDA
National Kidney Donation Organization
Frank McCormick, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Thomas Peters, MD
Sundance Medical Center
Janet Radcliffe Richards, PhD
University of Oxford
John P. Roberts, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Sally Satel, MD
Harvard University
Asif Sharfuddin, MD, FASN, FAST
Indiana University

Disclosure Declarations
As a provider accredited by the ACCME, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine asks everyone in a position to control the content of an education activity to disclose all financial relationships with any ineligible companies. This includes any entity whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. Financial relationships are relevant if a financial relationship, in any amount, exists between the person in control of content and an ineligible company during the past 24 months, and the content of the education is related to the products of an ineligible company with whom the person has a financial relationship. Mechanisms are in place to identify and mitigate any relevant financial relationships prior to the start of the activity.

Additionally, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine requires Authors to identify investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration at first mention and where appropriate in the content.

Physician Credit
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Other Health Professional Credit
Other healthcare professionals will receive a Certificate of Participation. For information on the applicability and acceptance of Certificates of Participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME, please consult your professional licensing board.
Please Note: The credit claiming process will close three months after the conference end date. Requests to claim credit after three months will be subject to additional fees.
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