Alderney residents will be part of a new ‘opt out’ system of organ donation adopted throughout the Bailiwick.
The States of Alderney this month voted to back a new Bailiwick law allowing deemed consent for organ donation.
Otherwise known as a ‘soft opt-out’ system, the premise will be that all islanders are prepared to donate their organs when they die unless they have requested to be removed from the organ donor register, either totally or with respect to particular organs.
Guernsey’s States of Deliberation agreed in November 2018 to introduce ‘deemed consent’ and asked for Alderney’s opinion – islanders were consulted and a majority of the responses were in favour.
Earlier this year, Health & Social Care asked if Alderney wished to be included under the Human Tissue and Transplantation (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2020 passed by Guernsey in June.
Endorsing the new policy Steve Roberts said a member of his own family would still be alive if a donated organ had been available.
Louis Jean thought Alderney’s distance from a surgical hospital made organ donation problematic.
‘If you have to try to move people to Guernsey it may be distressing for the relatives. With our transport problems I would say this law is not suitable for here.’
Eight States Members voted in favour of the new law and Louis Jean was against.
The default legal position now shifts from one where organ donation requires specific consent to one where adults who have not registered their preference are deemed to have given consent.
The new law details what can and cannot be done, and by whom, in relation to regulated organ donation and sets out the criteria that must be met in order to proceed with organ donation on a deemed consent basis.
Central to the system will be ensuring that sensitive processes are in place both to enable all islanders to have the opportunity to record an opt out decision clearly and for families to be consulted before any organs are taken.