Reverse Transplant Tourism

29 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2014 Last revised: 26 Dec 2014

See all articles by Kimberly D. Krawiec

Kimberly D. Krawiec

University of Virginia School of Law

Michael Rees

University of Toledo Medical Center

Date Written: November 11, 2014


In this article, we propose a novel form of kidney swap, which we label “Reverse Transplant Tourism.” This proposal has the potential to increase the number of successful transplants in the US at a time of great need, while reducing costs. It also will provide benefits to impoverished international patients with willing, compatible donors who otherwise would have no access to transplantation. Instead of non-US kidney donors being offered money through a black market middleman in exchange for one of their kidneys, Reverse Transplant Tourism would provide a legal and ethical exchange of living donor kidneys through kidney-paired donation. In this way, the donors will not receive money for their kidneys, but rather will receive a transplant for someone they love, while also helping a US pair who would otherwise be unable to transplant due to biological incompatibility.

Keywords: kidney transplantation, organ transplantation, kidney markets, organ markets, kidney swap, transplant tourism

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K32

Suggested Citation

Krawiec, Kimberly D. and Rees, Michael, Reverse Transplant Tourism (November 11, 2014). Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 77, No. 3, 2014, USC CLASS Research Paper No. CLASS14-2, USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 14-4, Available at SSRN:

Kimberly D. Krawiec (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Michael Rees

University of Toledo Medical Center ( email )

Mail Stop 119, HH 3000
Toledo, OH 43606
United States

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