25 June 2019
With less than a week to go before the system for organ donation changes, the Minister for Health and Community Services is urging islanders to have a conversation with their loved ones about whether they wish to be a potential organ donor or not.
From Monday 1 July in Jersey, there will be an assumption in law that adults consent to donating their organs after death unless they state otherwise. The intention of the law, which was agreed by the States Assembly in April 2018, is to make it easier for islanders to donate their organs and potentially save more lives.
In the last six weeks, in the lead-up to the change in law, the Government of Jersey has been running a campaign reminding islanders of the importance of having a conversation with their families about organ donation. As part of the campaign, information has been posted to households as well as on the Government’s social media channels.
Leaflets in English, Polish and Portuguese, which explain the law change can also be found on the Government’s website, gov.je, by searching "organ donation". This week, a ten-second long advert will be shown on the ITV Hub.
The best way for those who do not wish to donate to record their decision is to contact the National Organ Donation Register. People can also contact the Register to expressly consent to be an organ donor. You can contact the Register at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2323.
Latest figures show that as of Friday 21 June, a total of 21,358 islanders are registered on the Organ Donation Register.
The Government of Jersey is working with the National Organ Donation Register to find out how many islanders have registered to opt in and how many have registered to opt out. In circumstances where organ donation is a possibility, medical staff will consult the Register in the first instance to see if someone has registered their decision to be, or not to be, a donor.
Deputy Richard Renouf, Minister for Health and Community Services, said: "With less than a week to go until the law change it is vital that islanders have a conversation about organ donation with their family and loved ones so their views are known.
"Statistically, it is much more likely that you would be a recipient of an organ rather than donate one. We know that hundreds of people die across the British Isles every year while on the transplant list and the hope is that this new law will help save more lives.
"However, we also recognise that organ donation is not for everyone and that is why there is the opportunity for people to opt out if they wish. I would urge islanders to let their families know, while they are fit and well, whether or not they want to be a donor, rather than leaving families having to make that decision following a serious accident or illness."