Doctors explore lifting barriers to living organ donation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Living organ donors make up a fraction of liver and kidney transplants. Some doctors aim to change that, exploring ways to lift barriers that can block otherwise willing people from giving.

One hurdle is economic, if donors can’t get paid time off to recuperate. A handful of transplants centers are testing whether reimbursing lost wages might help people who need a kidney transplant cut the wait with a living donor.

Living donation also often is considered the last resort rather than a first option. Some doctors say living donors open transplants to patients who’d otherwise never qualify.

Still, there’s an ethical debate about how high the chances of a successful transplant must be to justify the risk to an otherwise healthy donor.

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