New Survey Points to Factors That Encourage People to Become Living Kidney Donors

According to a new study on attitudes toward living kidney donation in the United States, two important factors that would motivate more people to become living kidney donors are knowing that their family members could receive a kidney if they ever needed one, and knowing that they would not have to pay medical expenses incurred as a result of the donation.

The study surveyed 802 U.S. adults aged 25–65 on their awareness and knowledge about living kidney donation, willingness to donate, and barriers and facilitators to donation. The results showed that public willingness toward living kidney donation has increased and could increase further through several facilitating factors.

In the survey, 78.7% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that knowing their family members could get a kidney if they needed one in the future made them more likely to donate a kidney. Similarly, 76.3% of respondents said knowing that the donor would not have to pay for donation-related medical expenses would make them more likely to donate.

The National Kidney Registry (NKR) already addresses both these facilitating factors through its Donor Shield and Voucher programs.

Donor Shield, a comprehensive program designed to protect and assist living kidney donors, provides up to $17,000 in reimbursement for lost wages due to time off work for donation and donation-related travel, lodging and dependent care. The maximum Donor Shield reimbursement is nearly three times higher than the government-sponsored program, which limits the maximum donor reimbursement to $6,000.

The NKR also offers kidney prioritization for family members of living donors through its Family Voucher Program. With the Family Voucher Program, donors can donate when it is convenient for them and provide a voucher for up to five family members. In the unlikely event one of those voucher holders ever needs a kidney transplant, they can redeem the voucher to be prioritized for a living donor transplant through the NKR.

About Donor Shield

Donor Shield ( is the most comprehensive program in the world supporting and protecting living kidney donors. Donor Shield is backed by the National Kidney Registry, which is the largest paired exchange program in the world. All donors that participate in a National Kidney Registry swap, Kidney for Life direct donation or donate at a Donor Shield Direct Center are automatically enrolled in the Donor Shield program.

About the National Kidney Registry

The National Kidney Registry ( is an organization whose mission is to save and improve the lives of people facing kidney failure by increasing the quality, speed, and number of living donor transplants while protecting all living donors.

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