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Organ Removals

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the removal of the brains from deceased patients without the consent of the next of kin ceased in the UK. [113970]

In the past, the Human Tissue Act 1961 has been subject to different interpretations, as it lacks clarity in a number of important respects, not least in the area of consent.The Department has issued guidance to ensure that consent is sought before the removal of any organs from deceased patients, except where this is covered by the law relating to coroners' post mortems.This guidance was first issued in March 2000 and new guidance was issued as recently as April 2003, in anticipation of changes to clarify the law.