Plans to make organ transplants legal underway

| 12/09/2010

(CNS): The government has backed a private member’s motion to begin the process of passing legislation that would allow the removal, storage and use of human organs and tissues in the Cayman Islands. The motion was brought by Ellio Solomon, backbench MLA for George Town, who said that at present the law does not easily facilitate donation either by living or dead donors and the subsequent transplant to patients, even though Cayman has many people in need. Despite warnings from the North Side member that Cayman does not yet have the necessary facilities or expertise to carry out transplants, the Minister for Health said government planned to move towards establishing a law for organ donation.

While local people in need of transplants are on waiting lists in other jurisdictions, there is no way for them to receive transplants from people here or to have the surgery in the Cayman Islands at present. Government will now need to amend a number of laws as well as introduced new legislation and regulation to facilitate the medical procedures in future.
 
The mover of the motion spoke about the pressing need for legislative change to address the existing medical needs of many people in Cayman and to allow the medical procedures and recovery process to take place here, but Health Minister Mark Scotland revealed another motivating factor for accepting the motion.
 
“It will also fulfil an undertaking that was given by the government upon signing the agreement for the proposed Cayman Narayana Health University project,” he said. “As members will recall this proposed long term project, which is poised to become the catalyst for the creation of medical tourism as a third pillar of the economy, will provide tertiary care to persons from overseas for much reduced costs and in a timely manner. It is envisioned that a component of the care will be of a transplant nature.”
 
He said creating this legislation would see the project take another step forward. Scotland said that a committee was being established to examine the need for legislative changes as well as the other needs to facilitate organ transplant. Scotland said that government was examining the possibility of having those who wished to be organ donors indicate their desire on drivers licences, as they do in the US.
 
The motion was supported by all members in the chamber at the time, but Ezzard Miller warned that there were still problems associated with tissue transplant and its regulation around the world and Cayman had to be careful about facilitating tissue harvesting without proper regulation as the practice was moving from more thoroughly legislated states to those with less regulation.
 
He also pointed out that Cayman’s medical facilities as well as medical expertise had a long way to go before it was capable of harvesting, storing and transplanting human organs. He agreed that government should introduce a living will and allow local people to donate but he said the procedures should be conducted in other jurisdictions until local medical facilities were equipped to deal with the procedures.  
 
Miller said there may be doctors here who think they can undertake the procedure and they may well be capable of doing so in some circumstances, but he said patients needed to know that back up medical facilities were here for when things went wrong.
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Category: Health

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is just another change in the law to set up for the Shetty project.

  2. Anonymouse says:

    Well! Lets see. Our grandparents and parents sold all the land leaving us yung uns to hate the expats, so, why dont we yung uns just sell our organs. That way we diversify our economy from Real estate to human organ sales.

    When criminals break into our homes they will leave our money and take our organs instead.

  3. Anonymouse says:

    I dont see any problems with this proposal. Drs. Elio and John John stand ready to perform the transplant operations as soon as this becomes reality.

    Talk about thinking outside the Box!!!!!!!

  4. S. Stirrer says:

    What an excellent opportunity for a new black market operation. The Numbers game was getting boring anyway.

  5. Anon says:

    I knew that last week’s tourism update with the amphitheatre, restaurants, megayacht facilities had that, "Look!  It’s Halley’s comet!" and "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" feel.  Shetty’s hospital ain’t happening, folks. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    After the law passes they can harvest a heart AND a brain for the Tin Mac.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Operations such as organ transplants require a huge blood bank for patients.  Cayman does not have a blood bank with enough stock for transplants for its own population – how will it provide enough blood for Shetty’s hospital?  Especially considering they won’t accept blood from anyone who has been to the UK.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just saw that movie REPO-MEN so COUNT ME OUT!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey, this should clear the way to donate your pension to your employer!  The could write the law so you could give it to them, BEFORE you die. 

  10. In conjunction with Medical Tourism and the Shetty Hospital, TRANSPLANTATION TOURISM sounds great in that it promotes the gift of life and health.

    But… lol…and sorry for the BUT… transplantation tourism could lead to exploitation of those who "have not" and violation of basic human rights. Not to sound sinister, but there is a market for trade-in organs that is swamped with crooks who have removed the organs of people on the operation table without their permission. This is thirst for money is nothing new. There are documentaries on this sort of crime, and it has been going on rampantly in places like India and pakistan. 

    I hope our law-makers are prepared for the flood gates of which this law could unleash. Certain laws will have to be put in place to protect people from harm and to ensure medical transparency.

    • Jonathan says:

      Good freakin luck, our lawmakers suck.

    • Anonymous says:

      hadn’t thought of that.  I really don’t think  our lawmakers are up for it.  They couldn’t even stop my neighbor from building his garage right on our lot line.