The need for patients with a chronic kidney failure and on dialysis to embark on a kidney transplant process, poses the challenge to identify alternative and effective surgical strategies to overcome the insufficient number of deceased donors. The purpose is to allow the considerable number of patients on the kidney transplant waiting lists to receive appropriate treatment in time and under the most favorable clinical conditions. Living donation from a significant other is becoming increasingly widespread, on a national and international level. Furthermore, in the last years clinical experience is showing a special kind of kidney living donation: the Good Samaritan donation, i.e. when the donor has no emotional or blood bond with the recipient and decides to become a donor as a mere act of generosity, with no remuneration or reward in return. This article, after a brief analysis of the phenomenon through data obtained from recent international studies, shares the direct experience of the Clinical Psychology Service at IRCCS – ISMETT with regard to the psychological assessment and support throughout the clinical process of a Good Samaritan kidney donor. Sharing our experience and starting a discussion on this issue is the result of the need to define shared guidelines on the psychological approach to be used with potential Good Samaritan donors.
KEYWORDS: Kidney transplantation, living organ donation, good Samaritan donation, psychological assessment, altruism