Expanding the pool of available deceased donor kidneys is critical for improving the outcomes of prospective and current renal transplant candidates. A number of interventions have been proposed that may increase the pool of donors in the US. However, these interventions have variable levels of empirical evidence supporting their potential beneficial impact. Proposed interventions include the instigation of policies for presumed donor consent, the expansion of donor registration, increased quality oversight of transplant providers, financial incentives for donors, increased reimbursement for higher risk donors, alterations in organ allocation policies and distribution, and the selective use of donors with potential or known risk for disease transmission. Many of these interventions have contentious elements that may have delayed or impeded their implementation; however, these options should be considered in the context of the diminishing prognoses for prospective transplant patients, given the increasing scarcity of donor organs relative to the population need. In this Review, we outline the proposed interventions and briefly discuss salient issues that characterize the debates concerning their implementation and effectiveness. Ultimately, any intervention must be based on the best evidence available, with consideration of numerous stakeholders and in conjunction with a careful evaluation of long-term and potential unintended consequences.
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