Tuesday 10 May 2022
The Human Tissue and Transplantation (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020 will come into force on 1st January 2023.
The Law changes the legal consent mechanism for organ donation from an 'opt-in' system to an 'opt-out' system. This means that, from 1st January 2023, unless you have formally registered that you do not want to donate your organs, there will be a legal presumption in favour of organ donation. This is referred to as deemed consent. However, your family will always be consulted.
In some jurisdictions, the family members of individuals who have not registered their decision are not consulted and organ donation goes ahead. This is sometimes called a 'hard' opt-out system and is not coming into force in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Deputy Al Brouard, HSC President said:
'The law was originally passed by the States Assembly back in 2020. I am pleased that the law now has Royal Assent, and the commencement ordinance will bring the law into force in January next year.
An individual who decides to donate their organs in the event of their death can save the lives of up to 9 people. This is a fantastic gift for those families.
I would urge everyone to speak to their family and friends about organ donation so that their views are clearly understood and register those views accordingly. Organ donation remains your choice.'
You can record your decision to donate, or not as the case may be, on the NHS organ donor register https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/. However, from the 1st January 2023 if a decision about organ donation is not recorded for you (and you are not in a group excluded from opt-out legislation) it will be considered from this date that you agree to be an organ donor.
Children, individuals who lack capacity and those who were not ordinarily resident in the Bailiwick in the 12 months prior to their death are excluded from the deemed consent system.