Hoffmann PJ. The Most Altruistic Living Organ Donor: A Best Friend. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2011;111(7):445-449. doi: .
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Living organ donors are growing in number and account for a substantial proportion of organs transplanted. Types of living organ donors include family members, anonymous donors, and friends. Although familial donation is the most common form of living organ donation, anonymous donation and donation among friends are gaining popularity. Society has placed living organ donors at the top of the altruistic ladder. However, one's altruistic motives for living organ donation may be affected by the type of relationship he or she has with the organ recipient. Although family relationships are close, pressure and coercion from family members may make informed consent difficult. Anonymous donors do not have the pressure associated with a familial donation, but psychological and self-worth issues may influence their choice to donate. Friendship incorporates the close relationships associated with familial donation and the freedom associated with anonymous donation. Using Aristotle's definition of true friendship, the author argues that best friends are the only true altruistic living organ donors and therefore may be preferable to family donors or anonymous donors.
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