August 8, 2020

Input sought on Cayman Islands tissue donation and transplant regulations

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The public is being asked for input on regulations being drawn up to govern the Human Tissue Transplant Law so that the legislation can be put into effect.

The law, which was passed in 2013, will allow organ transplants to take place in the , improving the quality of 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 . 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”.

A commencement date for the law will be set 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.

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, P.O. Box 110, George Town, , Cayman Islands, KY1-9000; by email to [email protected]; or in person at the Government Administration Building, Elgin Avenue, . Comments should be submitted by 7 May, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions The Human Tissue Donation and Transplant Regulations, 2018

The Human Tissue Transplant Law was passed in 2013 to regulate the donation of organs and tissues by living persons, as well as the removal of tissues from deceased persons. The Human Tissue Donation and Transplant Regulations have now been drafted and the Ministry of Health seeks public input before the regulations are finalised and put into effect.
 Is there currently a Human Tissue Donation Register? No, there is no register at present.
 When will the register be created and what format will it take? Once the regulations are approved by Cabinet, and the Human Tissue Transplant Law has commenced, the Human Tissue Transplant Council will be appointed by Cabinet. The Council will be responsible for the creation of the register. There is a form in the regulations to be completed by the donor that outlines the information required for a person to register as a donor.
 Why should I register? Persons are encouraged to register because organ/tissue donation can improve the quality of life for others, and give some persons a second chance to live. In addition, if the Cayman Islands has its own donor registry, the territory could become part of an overseas organ donation network whereby patients gain priority on other international registries.
 Who is defined as a donor? 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.
 Which organs/tissues can I donate? The organs that are commonly donated are kidney, liver, heart, pancreas and lungs. The tissues that are commonly donated are cornea, bone marrow, bone, and heart valves.
 Is there a minimum age for donating an organ/tissue? A child younger than the age of 18 may donate an organ/tissue, but only regenerative organ/tissue. This must be done with parental consent. Regenerative tissue, such as bone marrow, is tissue that will grow back naturally after some of it is removed.
 Can a child register as a donor? No, only persons aged18 or older can register with the Council.
 Will transplants be carried out on-island? Yes, transplants are expected to be done on-island.
 Is it mandatory to register? No, it’s not mandatory. People who wish to donate organs and/or tissues must register to be donors.
 If I choose to register, what is the next step in the process? Once you register with the Council, a copy of your registration form will be kept with the Council until such times as the organ/tissue donation is required.
 Is there a fee for donating one’s organs? No, there is no fee to register with the Council or to donate one’s organs.
 If someone did not register before their death, can the organs be removed after death?
No. Tissue/organs can only be removed after death if the registered medical practitioner is satisfied that the deceased person gave consent in writing, during
his or her lifetime, to the removal of tissue/organ from his or her body for the purpose of transplantation to the body of a living person, or for other use such as medical or scientific purposes.
 To whom should I send my comments on the proposed regulations? The Ministry of Health welcomes comments from the public, which should be submitted my mail, email or in person to the contact details below, by 7 May 2018.

Janett Flynn Senior Policy Advisor Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing 5th Floor Government Administration Building Elgin Avenue PO Box 110 George Town Grand Cayman Cayman Islands KY1-9000 Email: [email protected] Tel: (345) 244-2374

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