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UCLA Kidney Exchange Program


Kidney Voucher

The Kidney Voucher Program for Future Kidney Transplantation


The kidney voucher program is an important innovation in paired kidney donation that enables the living-donor procedure to be uncoupled in time from the recipient’s transplantation. This allows for kidney donation to occur when optimal for the donor, and transplantation to occur at a later date, when necessary for the recipient.

Examples of when an individual may donate to the kidney exchange program include:

  • Before the donor becomes too old to donate (older than 65)
  • Before the donor anticipates major life events (marriage, significant travel, etc.)

"While kidney transplant exchanges help resolve biological incompatibility between donors and recipients, the ‘voucher’ program helps resolve chronological incompatibility.” Read Dr. Jeffrey Veale's story in the Wall Street Journal »

“The 'voucher' concept is fundamentally different from all prior 'advanced donations' (previously called ‘out-of-sequence’), as the intended recipients are not in need of a kidney transplant and may never need a kidney transplant.

Interested donors may contact our program by telephone at (866) 672-5333 or complete a Living Donor Intake Form and fax it to (310) 983-3628 for review by our Living Donor Team.

National Kidney Registry

The kidney voucher program is in association with the National Kidney Registry.

To ensure ethical and efficacious management of gift certificates for future kidney transplantations, the following stipulations should be agreed upon by the intended donor, the intended recipient and the National Kidney Registry:

  1. A renal allograft can only be provided to the pre-determined intended recipient identified in the consent form.
  2. The 'voucher' expires when the intended recipient is no longer living.
  3. The 'voucher' may not be reassigned.
  4. The donor may not withdraw the 'voucher' from the intended recipient after kidney donation.
  5. The intended recipient may only redeem the 'voucher' when transplantation is indicated as a therapeutic modality for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).
  6. If the NKR was to undergo a change of control, the surviving organization must honor all 'voucher' liabilities with the same or better capacity to fulfill all outstanding 'voucher' obligations.

In order to avoid the transfer of ‘vouchers’ for monetary gain, redemption must be limited to the intended recipient as identified in the informed consent document. The intended recipient is required to have government photo identification. To further insure that the patient receiving the ‘voucher’ kidney is the same person identified on the original consent forms, blood typing and tissue typing is confirmed before the ‘voucher’ is redeemed.

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