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Donating a kidney

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by mooninjune, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Hi there
    I do have another TES account, but I have set up a new one to discuss this.
    As far as I know, neither myself nor anybody in my family have had any kidney problems, but one of my good friends has. She has had her life transformed however by a kidney donation and I have seriously considered donating a kidney because of this. I wondered if anyone had any experience with this?
    Thank you.
  2. Hi there
    I do have another TES account, but I have set up a new one to discuss this.
    As far as I know, neither myself nor anybody in my family have had any kidney problems, but one of my good friends has. She has had her life transformed however by a kidney donation and I have seriously considered donating a kidney because of this. I wondered if anyone had any experience with this?
    Thank you.
  3. There's a reason why you have two. Two is the optimal working system. Even leaving aside the possibility that one of yours might go to sh1t at some point and leave you in a very sticky situation, randomly passing one on to someone else leaves you very vulnerable.
    By all means make it extra clear to your next-of-kin (who can still legally over-ride your wishes) that you want your kidneys donated after your death. Do indeed make a huge personal urgent sacrifice for a very definite stated someone you really love. But please don't just casually discard one in a fit of very commendable public-spiritedness.
    You need two. That's why you've got two. Gazillions of years of biology won't have got this wrong.
  4. I think that's why I want to do it. If it was me, or a loved one, I'd hope that someone would have donated a kidney for their use.
    I'll look into it very carefully. I won't do it if there was a good chance my remaining kidney was to fail, but as things stand I am in excellent health and feel I badly want to help people like my friend. x
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    This seems to me like misplaced altruism born of an emotional respose to your friend's illness. But I suppose as it's your kidney you can probably do what you like with it.
  6. Twinkles

    Twinkles New commenter

    It's a very generous thought to want to help some unknown individual but I wonder if you've thought about how you would feel if someone close to you were to need a kidney at some time in the future and you were a perfect match but unable to help them?
    I also agree with Lily that there is a reason why healthy people are born with two kidneys and you might possibly be jeopardising your own health in the future.
    I'm sorry your friend had to go through such a difficult time and hope that she's recovering well.
  7. I have thought about this and the obvious response is that everyone is close to somebody. If someone close to me needed a kidney in the future and I was unable to help them, I'd be praying that some unknown stranger could and it's that gift I hope to be able to give to somebody.
    Aside from this I only have one surviving parent who is fairly elderly, I am single and have no children. Perhaps if I had children I would feel differently although I doubt it. I do feel it's something I could really give to somebody, and while everything said above is doubtless true I can't help but think of how my kidney could save somebody's life - it doesn't get bigger than that.
  8. No, just don't, right? For all you know, the loss of the kidney that is going to kill you is going to some assfaced drug addict who will just go and waste the one you've given. That sort of person is bottom of the list of the post-mortem donation list. Save it, look after it, cherish it, and leave it to someone (make sure your GP knows and carry a card stating contact GP when you die) who deserves it.
    Ask yourself, would I donate my liver to George Best?
  9. Do you have brothers/sisters/neices/nephews?
    Have you considered registaring to donate bone marrow instead? It grows back!
  10. I have one brother.
    Suppose he did have a kidney disease and I wasn't a match? Wouldn't I then want someone to have donated their kidney? What about my friend, who is a young mum? Her family weren't a match for her either. [​IMG]
    Having read around the subject, kidneys from deceased people are quite rare as they tend to be people who died very suddenly in an accident.
    It's so hard. I take on board everything you're saying, but it doesn't change the fact that I now know and can't escape from, I could save somebody's life, and I'm choosing not to. I may need my kidney in the future either for me or for a loved one, but chances are I won't. And, if I did, if everybody thought along the same lines I am, there wouldn't be a problem because there would be enough kidneys.
  11. If your brother, or his offspring needed a kidney, and yours didn't match, you are still at that point able to offer a kidney, as there can then be a fourway match saught, you donate to someone elses relative, and they donate to yours. Assuming of course, you still have two kidneys.
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I suppose most of us are in the same position but some of us are more sensible than others. Why are you on here arguing your case? If you want to go and give your kidney away, do it. You don't have to have our permission.
  13. You seem to be missing my point though crabapple - someone (like my lovely friend) right now needs a kidney, while there is a tiny chance my brother could in the future.
    This isn't something I want to go into lightly, which is one of the reasons I am posting on here: I want to have all of the facts and know what I am getting myself in to - but having seen first hand what kidney disease does to somebody and how a kidney transplant not only transforms but saves lives, I feel in a strange way as if I really should be doing this and a relative possibly needing a kidney at some point in the future isn't really a strong reason not to.
    My friend is under 35 with small children and if somebody hadn't donated their kidney, she would be dead - how many more like her are there? If my brother, or dad, or another friend DID need a kidney I wouldn't hesitate, so basically the only thing that's stopping me is that I don't know the person concerned but somebody does and loves them and I feel as if I simply have to help. Yes, it's an emotional response but aren't all acts of giving?
  14. I'm not asking permission. I did post to ask if anybody had experienced it and a number of people have expressed (perfectly reasonable) concerns which I have tried to respond to.
    I hope in the meantime, no one you know suffers from this horrible condition. You may feel, if they do, that you are praying for someone stupid to donate their kidney. I am sure my friend's one year old and three year old will, when they're older, be very happy that someone was very "non sensible" (if that's even a word!)
  15. I may be very wrong, but it is my understanding that live donors can only donate for specific people e.g family/friends and not just 'give up' an organ because they don't want it anymore and it could go to someone else.
  16. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    As you can't unless you at least know the person why don't you become a registered donor or donate blood if you don't already?
  17. Bone marrow's a good one. You can afford to give away bits of that on a fairly regular basis without compromising your health. My brother and I are both on the register. No-one's ever wanted mine but he's donated twice.
  18. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    I agree with Lily. Give blood and go on the Bone mArrow register. Both have saved my life.
  19. Have you looked into donating a bit of your liver (live transplants have been going for some time - children only need a small piece - and yours will regrow. Contact one of the major hospitals in this field such as Kings College Hospital. Even if it is a possibility, they would expect you to undergo serious counselling and this would probably be helpful to you.
    You can only go on the bone marrow register if you are under 40 so don't leave it too late. Blood donors are desperately needed, particularly at holiday times when many regulars are away on holiday.
    I would hang on to your kidneys - as I'm sure any responsible doctor would advise you. Your life is as precious as anyone else's and putting yourself through major surgery and removing one of your vital organs is not a sign of altruism. You may not have been able to make a grand dramatic gesture to save your friend's life but your continued presence and support for her and her children will be of tremendous value over the coming years. Your responsibility is to look after yourself and keep as healthy as possible. That way you will be around to help her when she needs it and be, simply, her friend. It won't make the front pages, but the people who matter will appreciate it.
    You mention having an elderly relative - perhaps you could think about what you can do for them in their final years.

  20. It is virtually impossible to be a live kidney donor for anyone other than close family or friends.
    Your intention is good, but there are often side effects from the operation such as long term fatigue, this creates ethical issues for the doctors who would carry out the operation and the reason it is illegal to bring people from the third world to Britain for them to donate a kidney (it used to happen a lot).

    You would probably do more good for more people if you sign up for the organ donor register and give your organs after death, that way you can donate not just a kidney but

    both kidneys


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