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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Is it possible to have extra kidneys or organs temporarily donated to someone healthy to last untill a recipient is ready?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (13196points) October 23rd, 2017

Could this be used to extend the viability of organs to have them wait in a host until needed? In other words can we use healthy people to extend the few hours that an organ can survive outside the body to infinite? A different question than this one

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3 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No, because the organ undergoes stress even with a well matched recipient. And the new host has to take anti rejection drugs, but even then the organ may be rejected.

There are a lot more potential recipients than there are organs.

CWOTUS's avatar

Even if @zenvelo‘s apt comments can be overcome, the answer is still no.

A doctor – at least in the USA and most of what we consider the developed world – signs onto the Hippocratic Oath before beginning practice: “First, do no harm.”

Cutting into a healthy person’s body – even with good intent for someone indefinite in the future – causes harm. Doctors can absolve themselves of that restriction when they cut into a healthy organ donor (kidneys, in particular, but now also liver sections as well, and mabye more in the future) to obtain a healthy organ for transplant. The thought is that it is a genuine life-saving (or hugely life-improving) operation to aid another patient that is known by the donor, so in this sense it’s a collaboration between the surgeon and the volunteer / donor to save the life of a particular person.

If the proposed implantation was “indefinite” for “no one in particular” and at “some time in the future”, there would be too much potential for abuse. I doubt whether any legitimate medical organization would sanction such operations, ever.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The Hippocratic Oath isn’t relevant. It isn’t binding. It’s aspirational and there are multiple versions of it.

Regardless, there are A LOT more recipients waiting for an organ than willing donors. For example, the average wait for a kidney in the US is five years.

If a living donor volunteers, the wait is zero years. There is no need to keep the kidney in some interim state of storage.

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