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Organ donations

The HTA regulates donation of solid organs from living people.

Living donation

The Human Tissue Act 2004 requires the HTA to assess all proposed transplants from living donors and to decide whether the transplant should be approved, based on criteria set by Parliament. 

The HTA ensures donors are aware of the risks associated with transplants, that they have not been offered any reward to donate and have not been put under pressure to do so. Potential donors and recipients are interviewed by an Independent Assessor (IA) who submits a report to the HTA. 

The HTA works closely with NHS Blood and Transplant to ensure the appropriate systems are in place to support living organ donations.

The Human Tissue Act 2004 provides a legal framework for living organ donation. Options for living donor transplants can be found online.

 If you are considering becoming a living donor

If you are considering becoming a living organ donor, you will find the information on the left hand side of this page useful. The HTA's leaflet on living donor transplants  will also be helpful.

You may also want to read the information available on the NHS Blood and Transplant website. For detailed information on the first steps to take, please contact your nearest transplant unit.  

Deceased donation

The underlying principle of deceased donation is that organs and tissues can only be removed with consent. The first step is to establish the wishes of the deceased. If the potential donor has made it clear that they do, or do not, wish their organs or tissue to be donated, this wish must be respected and cannot be overridden after their death. One way a person can indicate their wish to be a donor is by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and carrying a donor card. If the wishes of the donor are not known, the Human Tissue Act 2004 permits consent to be obtained from the person nominated by the deceased person to act on his or her behalf, or from a person in a qualifying relationship – such as a partner or other relative or friend.

For more information on deceased donation please see the HTA's code of practice on Donation of solid organs for transplantation.

 Updated November 2012