February 16, 2007

CARDIN FIGHT TO MATCH KIDNEY DONORS WITH RECIPIENTS IN NEED

Bill to Establish Registry Passes Today in Senate

Contacts: Oren Shur; 202-224-4524

Susan Sullam: 410-962-4436


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate today passed the Living Kidney Organ Donation Clarification Act of 2007, which will make it easier for living donors and compatible recipients to find one another. Sen. Cardin, an original co-sponsor of the bill, has been a longtime advocate of promoting organ donation.

"Today thousands of Americans are on the clock with kidney disease, hoping and praying to find a compatible donor in time," said Sen. Cardin. "So when fellow citizens are willing to put their own health at risk and step up the plate, we should do everything possible to help match them with compatible recipients. Establishing kidney donation registries to help match donors and recipients will save lives in Maryland and across the nation."

The Act would establish registries to help match living donors with compatible patients. Some have questioned whether conducting paired donations would conflict with the ban on the purchase of organs, but this act clarifies the important difference between matching donors to recipients and the selling of organs.

A study by Johns Hopkins University and MIT projected that a strong matching program could generate up to 2,000 additional transplants annually through paid donations. A national matching registry would likely increase the probability of finding a suitable donor for patients already on a national kidney donation waiting list.