According to the Human Tissue Authority (HTA)'s Code of Conduct (which can be found here), and is summarised below, there are two basic types of living organ donation:
Types of living organ donation:
1. Directed donation: A form of donation where a healthy person donates an organ (usually a kidney) or part organ (for example liver or lung lobe) to a specific recipient. The recipient could be known to the donor (in the case of genetically or emotionally related donation) or unknown to the donor (in the case of paired donation).
- genetically related donation: where the potential donor is a blood relative of the potential recipient
- emotionally related donation: where the potential donor has a relationship with the potential recipient, for example, spouse, partner, or close friend
- paired donation: where a relative, friend or partner is fit and able to donate an organ but is incompatible with the potential recipient, and they are matched with another donor and recipient in a similar situation, so that both people in need of a transplant receive a compatible organ
2. Altruistic non-directed donation: A form of living donation whereby an organ (usually a kidney) or part organ (for example liver or lung lobe) is donated by a healthy person who does not have a relationship with the recipient and who is not informed whom the recipient will be.
- pooled donation: a form of paired donation whereby the pair are matched with other donors and recipients from a pool of pairs in similar situations, and more than two donors and two recipients are involved in the swap, so that more than two people in need of a transplant receive a compatible organ
A situation like this has never occurred in the UK, and was not allowed by the HTA until now, because it's would encourage the unlawful sale of organs. Thankfully they saw the sincerity of my donation and approved it, making my Directed Altruistic donation the first of it's kind in the UK!