Of 195 independent countries in the world, 83 have transplant programs. Some countries (areas) have emphasized living donation; others, decreased donation. As a consequence, rates of living donation vary widely between geographic areas and often between countries within the same geographic area. The major ethical issue in living donation is the risk to the donor. Internationally, numerous guidelines have been developed outlining acceptable donor evaluation and criteria for approval. An ongoing issue is that there remains considerable variation between countries (and programs within a country) in evaluation and in acceptance criteria. A major problem for most countries is the shortage of organs. As a consequence, illegal or quasi-legal unregulated markets have developed in some areas. These markets have not provided protection for either donor or recipient. The transplant community has taken a unified stand against these underground unregulated markets.
- Living donation