Transplant council meets for first time

| 30/09/2019 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service
(Seated L-R) Acting Chief Officer Nancy Barnard, Deputy Chair Dr Diane Hislop-Chestnut, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour, Chair Gina Berry, Bishop Nicholas Sykes. (Standing L-R) Policy Advisor Alanis Linwood, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee, Senior Policy Advisor Janett Flynn, Police Commissioner Derek Byrne (missing is member Robert Hamaty)

(CNS): The Human Tissue Transplant Council (HTTC) held its first ever meeting recently, government officials stated in a release on Friday. The council was appointed by Cabinet to give advice to the health minister and ministry on the collection and use of human tissue for medical purposes and to monitor tissue donation by living people as well as removal from those who have died.

This inaugural meeting took place on 18 September, almost a decade after the UDP administration signed the deal with the Health City Cayman Islands, which had requested legislation so it could provide transplant surgery at the facility. Government began the process of creating legislation following a private member’s motion submitted then UDP backbench MLA Ellio Solomon.

The process has been a long road and no registry yet exists for people to become organ or tissue donors.

Officials did not detail what took place at the council’s first meeting but said it has developed a draft framework that creates the criteria and guiding principles for transplants and collection. This framework will facilitate the regulation and supervision of human tissue transplant centres approved by the council, ensuring they adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety, they stated.

Chairperson Gina Berry and Deputy Chair Dr Diane Hislop-Chestnut said the next steps will include seeking input from regional experts who have already developed successful transplant centres in their jurisdictions.  The council also plans to co-opt local physicians who have expertise and knowledge in the area of tissue transplantation, the release stted.  

Berry said decisions would be guided by the law and regulations as well as the international guidelines that are already established. “Our role is advisory and to ensure that the transplantation system is grounded in best practice,” she added.  

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour, who joined the meeting, thanked the members, who are all volunteers, for agreeing to serve.

“While they continue their hard work, the ministry is committed to engaging with the public to change cultural attitudes and fears towards the donation of human tissue,” Seymour said. “Any of us could one day be a recipient of this life-saving measure. I encourage the community to start having the conversations about tissue donations and becoming a donor.”

The ministry will continue to keep the public informed and advise once the forms for donor registration become available, the release stated.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Donate my organs to those who could use them

    The rest to research

    Then cremate my remains and spread them among the trees so that my molecules can return to nature.

    Matter cannot be created or destroyed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many people live happily ever after after an organ transplant? Do they? Taking medicine for the rest of one’s life to prevent tissue rejection is not my cup of tea. But may be there are thousands who can say I am wrong and know nothing?

    • Anonymous says:

      Having met a number of kidney, liver and heart transplant survivors over the years I think it’s a case of how determined you are to live out a full life. At the end of the day they’re no different from cancer patients and a whole bunch of other people with severe medical conditions who accept that continuous medical intervention is the only way to stay alive. I’ve now reached the age where I can accept a medical option like this with, ‘Thank you but no thank you,’ but for younger people I’d say, ‘Good luck to you.’

      Where I get concerned is when doctors start to push the boundaries. Face transplants, hand transplants and now talk of head transplants? This is straight out of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s great they met but as usual too little too late. Nothing will ever come of it and people will continue to die. This should have been enacted years ago but as usual the island is way to far behind the times. Island time is great for some things but not so good for others.
    Wake up Cayman.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Why is it too late? Put another way, at which point is it too late to do the right thing?

      Yes, we should have, but this is us, here, now. I applaud this council and support them in wading through the legal quagmire before them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The same idiot that made a joke about Gay-pril is on the committee?! Well….we’re screwed. Can he even read?!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Trolls everywhere on this site…

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s about time! In Cayman too many human organs which have value to others are buried or cremated!

    Organ donation is an honourable thing and a great gift for any suitable donor to leave!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see they finally have some skin in the game.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How about detrimental effects of the Dump, Minister of health? Shouldn’t it be a priority over everything else?

  9. Anonymous says:

    What possible contribution can be expected from a pastor.
    It is upsetting to see how religious fanatics try to prevent this country to socially develop.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is heartening to see that, despite the anti-religious fanatics, religious people are still trying to push Cayman forward by supporting things like organ transplants.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I am unaware of Bishop Nicholas Sykes’ political leanings, nor his degree of fanaticism. Please do us all a favor and express your inside information. We need to know if there is a problem, but we shouldn’t automatically assume that a religious person is diametrically opposed or uneducated in the sciences.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What does Nicholas Sykes, practicing a version of Christianity from the 15th Century, contribute to the Human Tissue Committee?

    • Anonymous says:

      What have you ever contributed? We are waiting with bated breath to know.

    • SSM345 says:

      He will provide valuable insight into what an Atheists vs Believers organs will do to a recipient of either?

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I confess, I was unaware of the man, however it is my nature to discover.

      Well, well, well!!!! “Bishop Sykes has taught science, mathematics and religious education for over 20 years in public schools and a teachers’ college throughout Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom. In 1980 he became Chairman of the Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica. Ordained as a priest since 1976.” He is also an author, and a member of the Human Rights Commission.

      A man of science and the beautiful arts — mathematics. I am SO glad I took the time to look a bit further than my preconceptions.

      I am not personally happy with Bishop Sykes’ stance on LGBT, as I don’t believe it is his purview to judge ANYONE, but I do believe that he is likely a man of substance that can be reasoned with.

      We will see.

    • Anonymous says:

      Got to ensure there is no cross contamination

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