‘Psychological evaluation required for organ transplant programme’

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.

HEALTH and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.


Tribune Staff Reporter


PEOPLE looking to participate in the government’s National Organs Transplant Programme will undergo psychological evaluation and counselling first, according to Health Minister Dr Michael Darville, who said some local nurses have already been trained for the programme and draft legislation is complete.

The Davis administration allocated $1.2m for the programme in the 2023-2024 budget.

Dr Darville said an ethics committee will be established for the programme.

“When you transplant organs, you need to make sure that everything is above board,” he said. “There’s no selling of organs. You need to make sure that we have watchful eyes; people are not being coerced to give organs.”

 “Let’s say you had kidney failure, and your mother needs an organ; sometimes, the pressure in the house almost makes it seem as if you have to do it. When you start psychological consultation, some of the people who are donating say they feel pressured.” 

 Dr Darville said a few nurses sent to the United Kingdom for training completed their courses.

 “We already have a list that is necessary to ensure that the Princess Margaret Hospital has the technology for the transplant,” he said. “And we are now in the process of finding an administrator and other support staff in order for the transplant programme to be effective.”

 Dr Darville said a temporary location off the Princess Margaret Hospital premises has been selected for the programme because the hospital lacks space.

 However, he said the programme will ultimately be operated from a new hospital in New Providence.

 He noted that organ transplants can involve living donors or corpses, adding that a framework already exists for transplants involving live donors.

 Dr Darville said the draft legislation for the programme is complete and out for consultation.

 He said some “sensitive issues” in the legislation must be resolved from a medical standpoint.

 He said consultation is ongoing among those in the medical community who are keenly interested in the programme.

 “Legislation has already been drafted,” he said. “That is presently unlimited consultation that will come back to the attorney general for final drafting. And once the final drafting is done, then it will go to public consultation after it comes from Cabinet.”

 In June 2024, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville said the government expected to launch the Bahamas National Organ Transplant Programme before the end of this year.

 During his contribution to the budget debate in June 2023, he said as officials determine what is required to execute and sustain the programme, kidney transplants from live donors to improve the quality of life for hemodialysis patients will be the first performed.

 This initiative is expected to reduce the ministry’s cost for the current public hemodialysis programme, where more than 600 patients receive treatment.

 In the meantime, The Bahamas works with the University of Miami to harvest organs.

 He said the university recently harvested the organs of Tomas McIntosh, an officer declared brain dead after a catastrophic road accident. The man’s family made the difficult decision to donate his organs.

 “He was never worked up to see whether or not he would be a match in the country, so the timeframe or the window was too narrow, which means now those organs can easily go into a data bank in the continental United States, and they can determine where there’s a match,” he said.

 Dr Darville said although the officer’s extraordinary donation was not kept in the country, Bahamians in an organ transplant programme in the United States can benefit from similar circumstances.

 “Let’s say we have a Bahamian donate organs, and then I have a Bahamian who goes to the University of Miami, to another clinic for kidney transplant and is worked up. He is eligible to go into a database and if he’s in the database he can get organs from donors in the United States,” he said.


bahamianson 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Mudda sick, r u kidding me. Can you imagine the slackness in other departments converging on this program? Oh, I sorry, I forgot to plug the machine in, I was busy texting about gossip.


ExposedU2C 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Both Darville and Davis are in great need of a good psychological evaluation!


ExposedU2C 1 month, 4 weeks ago

This is the truly evil side of governments around the world that now seek to control every aspect of our lives.

We saw exactly this same type of evil controlling behaviour during the COVID pandemic when governments and their greedy big pharma partners thought they knew better than the best trained altruistic medical professionals and bio-tech scientists around the world. Come to find out, they did not.

Government bureaucrats and insurance company executives, even those with an MD after their name, should not be allowed to meddle in our critical personal health decisions by dictating to us and our own medical doctors what treatments, etc., we can and cannot have done. This applies especially to our own incompetent government which has an abysmal track record administering our nation's very dysfunctional public health system.


trueBahamian 1 month, 3 weeks ago

It's good to see that we are embarking on such a program. A lot of lives can be saved here. The biggest challenge is getting it set up the right way and ensuring that the facilities are up to standards. He mentioned a new hospital to be setup. Sounds good. PMH would be a terrible option right now for that. The place don't look sanitary enough for cuts and bruises, so imagine something like this.

I think this is a positive step forward. They just need to make sure they get it right from the start.


rosiepi 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Dr Darville said an ethics committee will be part of the programme…You have to have watchful eyes.. to make sure everything is above board…no one is coerced into giving their organs”

And therein lies the rub! We have no watchful eyes. no ethical standards and with criminal organ harvesting now rampant, netting big $$$ it stands to reason the Bahamas wants to jump right in.


Sign in to comment