People in Guernsey must 'opt-out' of organ donation from 2023

Credit: PA

People in Guernsey will have to 'opt-out' of organ donation, rather than 'opt-in' to donating from 1 January 2023.

The Human Tissue and Transplantation (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2020 will come into force on 1 January 2023.

This means that unless islanders formally register that they do not wish to donate their organs, there will be a legal presumption of organ donation. This is called 'deemed consent', but the family will always be consulted prior to any donation can begin.

In some places, family members of those who have not registered their decision are not consulted and organ donation goes ahead. This is known as 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 nine 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."

Islanders can record their decision whether to donate or not, on the NHS organ donor register.

However, from 1 January 2023 if a decision about organ donation is not recorded for people in Guernsey, 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 a resident in the Bailiwick for 12 months before their death, are excluded from the deemed consent system.