The Health department is launching a big campaign next month to try to get more people to sign up as organ donors.
Only about 10% of Islanders are registered – that's more than 20% fewer than on the list in the UK and the campaign is being run to coincide with National Transplant Week which runs from 8 to 14 July.
The department is in the process of carrying out a review of organ donation registration and is working with experts from the UK Blood Transfusion Service and the National Organ Donor Register.
Health Minister Anne Pryke said: “I believe strongly that we need to highlight the issue of organ donation in order to raise awareness and increase the number of people in Jersey who are registered donors.
“This is one of the foremost aims of the review, which will also look at how organ donation is managed in other jurisdictions and consider the potential options available to Jersey. As a result of this review, the States Assembly will be able to make an informed decision on this important but also sensitive subject.”
The review will consider whether or not the Island should introduce opt-outs.
In a number of countries there is a presumption that someone has consented to donate their organs unless they have given specific instructions to opt-out. Spain offers a ‘soft’ opt-out where the relatives of the deceased person can have a say - they can argue that organs should not be donated even if there has been no official opt-out.
Austria is one country that has the ‘hard’ option and unless someone has opted out before they died, their organs are available whatever the views of their relatives.
The Health Minister promises to report back to the States by the end of the year once the review has been completed.
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