Bioethics Blogs

National Kidney Month

The California Legislature passed a resolution proclaiming March as National Kidney Month.  

WHEREAS, The Month of March is National Kidney Month, and March 10, 2016, is World Kidney Day; and

WHEREAS, Approximately 50 years ago, kidney failure was a death sentence; and

WHEREAS, In 1972, the United States Congress developed the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program. In doing so, Congress ensured that regardless of age or income, any American would have access to life-saving dialysis care; and

WHEREAS, One in 10 adults in the United States are living with kidney disease; the leading causes are diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family history of chronic kidney disease (CKD); and

WHEREAS, Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Once diagnosed, an individual with kidney failure must either get a kidney transplant or receive dialysis treatment at least three times per week, for three to four hours per treatment, to live; and
   
WHEREAS, CKD is a progressive disease that may lead to premature death or kidney failure; and
   
WHEREAS, More than 26 million Americans have CKD, but most are unaware that they have it, and another 73 million are at risk. Many of them only discover that they have kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), when they “crash” in a hospital emergency room after fainting or suffering from extreme dizziness; and

WHEREAS, Nearly 616,000 Americans have ESRD, and more than 430,000 rely on life-sustaining dialysis; and

WHEREAS, The only treatment options for kidney failure are a kidney transplant or dialysis; and
   
WHEREAS, More than 95,000 individuals are waiting for kidney transplants; and 

WHEREAS, Since 2000, the number of patients who have been diagnosed with kidney failure has increased by 57 percent; and
   
WHEREAS, According to statistics from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three people with diabetes has kidney disease; one in five adults with high blood pressure has chronic kidney disease; African Americans are about three and a half times more likely to develop kidney failure than Caucasians; Latinos are one and a half times more likely to develop kidney failure than non-Latinos; and Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are twice as likely to develop kidney failure as Caucasians; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature proclaims the month of March 2016, and each year thereafter, as National Kidney Month in California; and be it further
   
Resolved, That the Legislature supports programs to increase awareness of kidney disease, work to educate Californians about healthy eating and drinking habits, and encourage individuals to seek early screening and treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure; and be it further

Resolved, That the Legislature encourages health care providers, as they detect and treat diabetes and high blood pressure, to engage in an aggressive program with their patients that includes a treatment regimen that meets and exceeds minimum treatment guidelines; and be it further
  
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of the resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.