Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Public opinion sought on Cayman's human tissue transplant law

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday said that it was seeking the public’s input on regulations being drawn up to govern the Human Tissue Transplant Law.

The law, which was passed in 2013 is set to come into effect once the Human Tissue Donation and Transplant Regulations have been finalised after the 60-day public consultation period and approved by cabinet.

Following that, cabinet will appoint the Human Tissue Transplant Council, which will be responsible for the creation of a human tissue donation register

The law is expected to allow organ transplants to take place in the Cayman Islands, improving the quality of life for many patients and potentially saving the lives of others.

“This is an extremely important piece of legislation which will have a profound impact on our people who desperately need an organ or tissue transplant,” said Minister for Health Dwayne Seymour.

“At the moment, patients in the Cayman Islands have to travel overseas for this surgery, which is often inconvenient and sometimes impossible. The ability to have a transplant centre on-island will make an immeasurable difference to patients who face organ failure or require organ/tissue donation,” Seymour added.

Under the proposed regulations, a donor is defined as a person who registers to donate, or donates one or more tissues, whether the donation occurs during the person’s lifetime or after death.

The organs donated may include kidney, liver, heart, pancreas and lungs, while the tissues that could be donated include cornea, bone marrow, bone, and heart valves.

Under the proposals, only people aged 18 and older can register to be a donor, while children younger than 18 may be donors of regenerative tissue, such as liver and bone marrow tissue, with parental consent.

Anybody who is in good physical or mental health can register as a donor, and persons can also give their written consent to have their organs or tissue donated after death for the purpose of transplantation to the body of a living person, or for other use such as medical or scientific purposes.

Public comment on the proposed regulations should be submitted by mail to Janett Flynn, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing.




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