Editorial for 21 March: Kudos for transplant law

We tip our hat to the members of the Legislative Assembly
for approving crucial legislation that legalises organ donation in the Cayman
Islands.

Passage of the law was unanimous in the House, which proves
our lawmakers can and do agree on important matters.

The bill makes illegal trading of human body parts a crime
and establishes an oversight body to review the process of tissue donation and
transplants, including inspections of any animal tissue imported into Cayman
that would be used during transplant surgery.

The issue has been a topic since 2005 but came closest to
the attention of MLAs when George Town legislator Ellio Solomon filed a private
members motion in 2010.

While we now have the law, which is great, there is still
much work to be done to establish rules and regulations.

How will people let first responders know whether they are
willing to donate their organs when they are dead or approaching death? In many
parts of the world organ donors are identified on their driver’s licence or
with an organ donor card that is kept in a wallet.

There will have to be some way for people to sign up to be
an organ donor. Will the law make online registration via the Internet legal?
And at what age will a person be allowed to make the decision of whether to
become an organ donor?

In the past, mention of organ donation within the borders of
the Cayman Islands was taboo.

But some of those same people who in the past would have
shunned the idea of organ transplants have had their own lives saved because
someone in another country agreed to be an organ donor.

Allowing legal organ donations and transplants in Cayman
will mean a cost savings for those who in the past have had to travel overseas
for transplant procedures.

The tissue and transplant bill was among lots of legislation
green-lighted Friday evening. Legislators are due back this Friday, just a few
days before the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. Now we would like to
see such agreement on the National Conservation Law.