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‘Overwhelming support’ for opt-out organ donation idea

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PROPOSALS for a soft opt-out organ donation scheme will be taken to the States soon, Health & Social Care has confirmed.

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The committee went out to consultation for such a scheme earlier this year, with 688 responses received.

‘There was overwhelming support from the consultation exercise for a soft opt-out system of organ donation,’ said a spokesman.

‘HSC is preparing to present proposals for a soft opt-out scheme in the near future.’

The consultation ended before the States of Jersey approved a system of presumed consent for organ donation earlier this month.

Guernsey’s proposals would mean islanders would need to make their wishes clear if they preferred not to donate their organs after they die.

As part of the public consultation, HSC suggested a soft op-out scheme, where those who have neither opted in or out would be considered to have given ‘deemed consent’. In those cases their family would be consulted prior to donation.

The topic is to be debated in Alderney, but without a resolution, on Wednesday 25 April.

In its Billet D’Etat, Policy & Finance Committee chairman James Dent said Alderney currently had an opt-in scheme, which meant that people who wished to donate in the event of their death needed to make their wishes clear.

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‘This can be by telling family or friends, giving their consent through their driving licence, or joining the NHS organ donor register,’ he said.

‘However, there are many people who, although they do believe in organ donation, have not joined the organ donor register. Without making this express decision, it is more difficult for doctors to establish a patient’s wishes and more difficult for family and friends to honour them.’

He said the initial thinking in Guernsey was to follow Wales, where deemed consent does not apply to anyone under 18, people from Wales who die in another part of the UK and individuals who are not thought to have the mental capacity to make a decision on whether or not to be an organ donor.

‘We would need to consider the need for similar caveats,’ he said.

‘There might, of course, be others that we would wish to incorporate.

‘Members are invited to provide their own views and it is hoped that the debate will encourage wider debate in the community.’

Anna J

By Anna J
Deputy News Editor

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