Exploring the motives of Israeli Jews who were living kidney donors to strangers

Paulina Kurleto*, Agnieszka Skorupska-Król, Elżbieta Broniatowska, Katrina A. Bramstedt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Non-directed living donors are individuals who donate a kidney to a recipient with whom they have neither a genetic nor emotional relationship. Israel legalized this type of donation in 2008. After this law was implemented, living donations significantly expanded. The aim of this article was to determine the motivations, characteristics, and perioperative experiences of non-directed living donors in Israel. Three online questionnaires (own questionnaire, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), Rushton Self-Report Altruism Scale) were distributed to 180 Jewish kidney donors with the help of Matnat Chaim organization. One hundred and fifteen responses were received (69.3% response rate). The motivation for most donors (60%) was a strong willingness to help and a desire to do good. The majority of donors (78.3%) reported their health status as unchanged after donation; however, 16.5% experienced clinical problems (eg, wound infection, more pain than expected), and 5.2% experienced psychological complications. About 18% reported their health to improve after donation. Most (80%) inspired someone else to also become a kidney donor. This study breaks the myth that Jews do not support organ donation. In fact, their high level of altruism and their positive experience with donation has propelled the practice of non-directed donation in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14034
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number10
Early online date11 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


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