Public input wanted on rules for human organ transplants

| 08/03/2018 | 31 Comments

Human organ transplants in the Cayman Islands(CNS): Almost five years after the legislation was steered through the Legislative Assembly, the health ministry is now working on the regulations for the Human Tissue Transplant Law to enable the legislation to be put into effect. The ministry is calling for public input and comment on the rules that will regulate this important and life-saving medical practice. It is not clear why the ministry has not moved before now to fiinalise the regulations and establish the necessary registry to pave the way for the procedures.

Neither Osbourne Bodden nor Premier Alden McLaughlin moved on the need for regulations while they held the health portfolio. Started under the last UDP administration, the legislation was part of the agreement between Dr Devi Shetty and that government which paved the way for the Health City project and to help local patients in need of transplants.

The hospital has been open now for over four years but no human organ transplants have taken place.

“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 Health Minister Dwayne Seymour, who was part of the post-UDP administration that eventually steered through the law when Mark Scotland was still health minister.

“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 or tissue donation,” Seymour added.

A date for the law to start will be set once the regulations have been finalised after the 60-day public consultation period and approved by Cabinet, officials said in a government release Wednesday. Following that, Cabinet will appoint the Human Tissue Transplant Council, which will be responsible for the creation of a human tissue donation register.

Officials said that 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 draft 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 people 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 email to Janett.flynn@gov.ky; or in person at the Government Administration Building, Elgin Avenue, Grand Cayman; or by mail to

Janett Flynn, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing
P.O. Box 110, George Town
Grand Cayman KY1-9000
Cayman Islands

Comments should be submitted by 7 May, 2018.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    With all the inter breeding past and present, organ donation may lead to mutations of disease we do not yet know about. Tread very very carefully.

  2. annonymous says:

    has anyone really thought about the potential dangers of this? proceed with caution please, for Heaven’s sake.

  3. Anonymous says:

    God Disproves of this.

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    • Jotnar says:

      As the bible was written over a thousand years before it was actually possible to transplant an organ, I am not sure what you are basing your assumption of God’s disapproval on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait, untill it is your time.
      Do NOT decide for other people.

  4. Anonymous says:

    With such a narrow spectrum of qualifying resident blood donors for all of the procedures in the island – including all of Shetty’s elective proceedures using public blood stocks – we’re going to run out of blood products necessary for these procedures long before we run out of qualifying organs. The only way this works commercially is if the public Blood Bank reviews it’s donor criteria and risks a little mad cow or Hepatitis creeping into the supply chain.

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  5. Elvis says:

    So many lives could be saved if only we had an organ donation program,

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    • Jotnar says:

      Well you need a program, sure, then you need donors who were tissue matched to the recipient. With a 60.000 population, the rate of donors dying and the coincidence in finding tissue matches at the same time an organ is needed not going to look like good odds, I would suggest. It may help with elective transplants like kidneys between relatives, and organs being purchased from overseas donors for supply here – though I would have to hope the legislation forbids that.

      • Anonymous says:

        The legislation allows us to participate in the US organ transplant program. If you read it, which you obviously did not, you would see that. As things stand, our people have no access to that program. This will allow us to ship our matches to the US and them to do likewise if they have a match for someone in Cayman. That’s the whole point. Can everyone just read things before they comment? Ignorance is the devil’s playground.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Go Dwayne!!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s high time this legislation and all associated regulations and procedures move forward! Too many valuable organs are being buried or cremated. I hope the general public sentiment quickly supports this. I will be among the first to sign up as an organ donor!

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s an individual’s choice what they want to do with their internal organs upon their death.

      State should never dictate how your remains are used after you die; that should be the individual’s choice ALWAYS.

      Amend the laws, to allow people to have the choice. Don’t force peoples hands by implementing certain legislation.

      Not everyone shares the same belief system, not everyone agrees with the principle.

      Respect for individual choice should always be maintained; of course when it comes to minors, this can be a bit more complex given that parents/guardians are responsible for them until the age of 18. This aspect I will leave for the parents out there to debate, as I don’t have children.

  8. SKEPTICAL says:

    Organ transplant – a wonder of modern medicine – and the donors, alive or Post Morten, are heroes.
    BUT, there is a very dark side to the subject. In very poor countries people, including children, are persuaded to sell an organ such as a kidney for a pittance, so desperate are they for money. Worse still are the cases where organs are taken from people, without their consent, who have been kidnapped, or even murdered.
    The Cayman law must incorporate Compliance procedures which ensure that the source of any organ to be used in a surgical procedure is fully investigated, and verified as absolutely legitimate. The mundane analogy is Financial Services Providers, verifying the source of funds being introduced by a potential new customer.
    The illicit trade in human organs is recognized globally, and Cayman has to impose very strict regulations to avoid reputational damage to our medical industry, and Cayman itself.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s real simple, you only take organs from reputable sources that exceed minimum standards. Including allograft implants: bone, tendons, meniscus, skin, etc.
      ONLY reputable sources and this will not even be an issue. Choose to side-step the reputable supply chains and then you risk receiving donations that are not legit

      • annonymous says:

        Not that simple; what we will we get might be sinister as well.

        Finding people lying in a tub with ice on them, having been sedated and illegally operated on for their organ.

        I say this because everything good here on island that come about goes awry once earning top dollar is involved.

        Thing is, it probably wouldn’t be for use here on island; but for transport to another country.

        One more issue for RCIPS to have to fight. You might even find rogue doctors or non doctor trained only to cut open and remove organs, setting up business here to exploit this; with their team of criminals on the ground doing the dirty work. Sadly locals will be involved as we have many here born and new caymanians just looking to make a dollar no matter how unscrupulous.

        I personally agree that organ donation is a great thing, but mark my word the black market scums will get a piece of the pie.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Let’s try this again 9:32, unless you think everyone and every business is “sinister”.
          Please repeat: only procure through a reputable transplant organization. I trust you would agree they exist.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Don’t waste the public’s time for an opinion, go straight to the source that really matters – ask Dart

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  10. Anonymous says:

    At least for all wheelying dirt bikers and moto-GP contestants.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The for-profit Health City is consuming so much of our public blood bank supplies as it is – already creating terminal problems for people like Lisa Turner when the stocks run dry. We don’t have the blood donors or blood management to make factory-style organ transplant a sustainable business line. End of story.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    This should be a no-brainer! What could possibly be negative about organ transplants? Too many Caymanians have suffered (physically, emotionally, and definitely financially!!!) because of the need to travel overseas for these life-saving surgeries!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Apart from no organ donors, or available for-profit blood stocks to put them in.

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    • Tut alors!. says:

      Unfortunately if the blood bank is anything to go by, there will not be many donations from locals for public benefit.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Make organ donation mandatory, unless a person opts out.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t want some of the organs being used around here. Brains for instance and that other organ they think with.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dude, if something is mandatory you can’t “back” out or “opt” out.

      It’s mandatory for a reason.

      Also, you can’t tell people what to do with their parts! It’s most definitely against any basic human right!

      This is freedom of choice and should remain as such.

      I object not to people who choose to donate, blood or organs. I do however, object to any Government, state or party dictating to the people what they must do with their body parts and/or organs, just to be clear.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It would be helpful if they would provide a copy of the Law, a copy of the draft Regulations and perhaps a general explanatory paper about the Law so that the public can comment. Right now all we know is that they are looking for comments but they haven’t provided us with a copy of what they want the comments on….

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    • Diogenes says:

      The law was passed 5 years ago…
      From my understanding this comment period is for regulations they are drafting within the purview of the law

      Our ever vigilant registered voting public strikes again
      It was also mentioned in the article so, did you actually read it? (it is literally the first line of the article so you clearly didn’t read it)

      Diogenes

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  15. Anonymous says:

    If it saves lives I’m all for it… As long as they aren’t stolen black market organs of course.

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