People with kidney failure may be suitable to receive a transplant from a living donor or a deceased donor. In the former case, one kidney is removed from a living donor and transplanted into a patient. This is called living donation. The person who donated the kidney can lead a normal life with one functioning kidney.

Why do we need more living organ donors?

There is a shortage of organ donors which means many people currently on the waiting list may have to wait a long time before they receive one or may sadly die waiting.

A live kidney donation can be the best possible treatment for someone with kidney failure.

In Scotland there are currently 400 people on the transplant list in need of a kidney. The average wait for a kidney from a deceased donor is three years.

Organ Donation Scotland

Many donors know the person they are donating a kidney to; it is often a partner or friend of the recipient. This is called directed donation.

More people are volunteering to donate a kidney to someone on the transplant list whom they do not know. This is called “altruistic” or “anonymous” donation. An altruistic donor registered in the kidney sharing scheme can start a chain of up to 3 transplants.

Why is a living donor transplant the best option?

Studies have shown that the average patient survival at 10 years is 90% with a living donor transplant compared to 75% after a deceased donor transplant. These are both much better outcomes than having no transplant at all.”

Are you thinking about becoming a living kidney donor?

If you would like to volunteer to become a living kidney donor and are considering donating to a loved one, friend, or stranger (altruistic donation), this Kidney Transplant Guide will answer a lot of your questions.

Please email if you would like any more information about living kidney donation.

Looking for more information?

For more information about living kidney donation, please have a look at the following pages. The resources page includes links to relevant websites, leaflets, booklets, and guides.

Want to register your decision for your organs to be used after your death?

Please register by going to the Organ Donation Scotland website. You will be asked to fill in a form with your details and which organs and tissues you wish to donate. Thank you for taking the time to come this decision – it could save lives in the future.

He's joined. Have you?

He’s joined. Have you?

The law around organ and tissue donation is changing in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament passed legislation to introduce an opt out system of organ and tissue donation. The new system will not come into effect for at least 12 months since this was passed to ensure everyone is aware of the change and prepare the opt out system.

For more information about the opt out system, please go to Organ Donation Scotland’s Scotland Law Change page.