Passed by the NKF September 1997 (Amended 2008 & Updated 2019)

The National Kidney Federation believes that positive action should be taken to make all patients and their families aware of the possibility of live donation from related and unrelated donors, specifically:

  • Living donation should be part of established renal failure discussion with patients and their families.
  • Hospital staff and GPs should be more active in promoting live donation.
  • A nationwide policy should be set down for renal units.
  • There should be a concentrated national campaign to encourage live donation.
  • Transplantation is an activity which should have no borders of race, age, sex or creed.


Renal transplantation is the best treatment for the majority of patients in established renal failure but the number of cadaveric organs available is insufficient to meet demand. Live donation is an option which could be considered by many kidney families.

Live donation can be between any two people who are a sufficient blood and tissue type match. They may be husband and wife, brother and sister, father, mother, daughter or son, or between two friends. Altruistic live donation is also lawful where the two people are unknown to each other. Operations may be carried out diagonally between two pairs or in even more complex multiples where there is a “pool” of potential donors and recipients.

Modern immuno-suppressive drugs and surgical techniques have made possible the use of live donation from a wider source, and the emphasis placed on tissue type matching is less important.