Skip to main content

Post-mortem Procedures (Nuclear Industry)

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

The Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
(Mr. John Hutton)

Further to the written ministerial statement by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on Thursday 26 April 2007, Official Report, column 28WS, I wish to announce today slightly revised terms of reference for the inquiry currently being carried out by Michael Redfern QC. The revised terms of reference are as follows:

(a) Having regard to the provisions of the Human Tissue Act 1961, the Coroners’ Rules 1984, the Coroners’ Act 1988 and predecessor legislation, to enquire into the circumstances in which, from 1955, organs/tissue were removed from individuals at NHS or other facilities, and sent to and analysed at nuclear laboratory facilities.

(b) In particular, to establish so far as practicable:

(i) when, where, by whom and by what means the taking of organs/tissue was requested and authorised;

(ii) whether the taking of organs/tissue was based on informed consent by the family and/or surviving relatives;

(iii) the purpose to be achieved by the retention and analysis of the organs/tissue removed; the generic results of analysis; and the identity of all publications in which the results were presented and commented upon;

(iv) whether the families or surviving relatives were informed of the results of the analysis, or the identity of the relevant publications;

(v) when, where and by whom the retention, storage, transportation, analysis, reporting and disposal of the organs/tissue was authorised;

(vi) the circumstances in which the organs/tissue were retained, stored, transported, analysed, reported upon and disposed;

(vii) the general purpose to be served by such retention, storage, analysis and publication of results;

(viii) when this activity ceased, and the circumstances in which it ceased.

(c) To consider such other issues in connection with the above matters as the Secretary of State may direct.

(d) To report to the Secretary of State as soon as possible.

(e) To make recommendations.

Michael Redfern QC has requested these revised terms of reference in the light of the work that he and his inquiry team have undertaken so far.