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Body, organ and tissue donation

Human tissue has many different uses including transplantation, teaching, medical research and display in public places such as museums. There are many different types of human tissue including: skin, body parts, organs, stem cells and bone and they have different uses.

The HTA has an important role in making sure human tissue is used safely and ethically, and with proper consent.

In this section you can find out more about tissue donation for different purposes and the role of HTA regulation.

  • How to donate your body

    Human bodies are used to teach students about the structure of the body and how it works, and to train and develop the skills of surgeons and pathologists. Find out more including what is involved, how to donate and the role of the HTA

  • Donating your brain

    Provides details of human tissue banks accepting brain and spinal tissue for research. As well as needing particular types of tissue from people with certain medical conditions some brain banks accept health tissue as control samples for research.

  • How to donate your tissue for research

    Researchers use human tissue to improve understanding of how diseases start and progress and what keeps us healthy. Find out more about how to donate tissue and the role of the HTA.

  • Organ donations

    Organs such as kidneys, liver and lungs are used in transplants to treat people whose organs have failed. Find out about the role of the HTA in organ donation in life and after death, and find out how to donate.

  • Independent Assessors

    Independent Assessors (IAs) act on behalf of the HTA and are responsible for interviewing all potential living organ donors to ensure they understand the risks involved, that no reward has been offered and that they have not been put under pressure to donate. Find out more about IAs.

  • Bone marrow and PBSC donations

    Bone marrow transplants or peripheral stem cells can be used to treat people with diseases of the blood such as leukaemia. Read more about bone marrow and stem cell donation and find out about the role of the HTA.

  • Accredited Assessors

    Accredited Assessors (AAs) act on behalf of the HTA and are responsible for interviewing children, and their parent(s) or guardian, who are potential bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donors. They also interview adults who lack the capacity to consent. AAs ensure that all the relevant criteria are met and report to the HTA on this. Find out more about AAs.

  • Model consent forms

    Consent is the fundamental principle of the Human Tissue Act. Consent must be valid; it must be given voluntarily and by an appropriately informed person who has the capacity to agree to the activity in question. View model consent forms and find out more about what constitutes consent.

  • Transplants

    This page has details about living donation.