Former Guernsey patient calls for donation 'opt-out'

Diane Lewis
Image caption Mrs Lewis said apathy lay behind islanders not carrying donor cards

A former kidney transplant patient is calling for Guernsey to adopt an "opt-out" law on organ donations.

Currently, organs taken from islanders who die are available for transplant only following their written consent.

Diane Lewis, who spent three-and-a-half years on dialysis, said consent should be presumed, so as to increase supply.

"The reason there's a shortage of donors is apathy," she said. "People don't bother to carry a donor card. It's not that they don't want to."

"Since 2005, there's been 21 transplants for local patients - 17 from living donors and only four off the waiting list," she said.

Mrs Lewis, who is now a member of the Guernsey Kidney Patient Association, said she recognised that it could prove difficult for Guernsey to introduce legislation independently of any similar move in the UK.

However a consultation by the Welsh government in March showed 52% of respondents in favour and 39% against.

Dr Stephen Bridgman, Guernsey's director of public health, said: "It's something that isn't on our current schedule but something we've thought about."

"I'm certainly in favour that it's considered," he said.

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