Last updated on 04 May 2023

Public display of anatomical specimens FAQs

Human bodies, body parts and specimens may be put on public display, for example as part of an exhibition in a gallery or museum. If they are from the body of a deceased person who died less than 100 years ago, the premises must be licensed by the HTA for public display.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, consent must be given by the person themselves for any part of their body to be displayed in public. If the person wants to give consent for their body, or any part of it, to be displayed after their death, their consent must be written and witnessed. HTA regulation of the activity of public display provides assurance to the public that bodies or tissue from the deceased that are displayed to the public are handled with care and treated with respect.

The most common questions about public display are listed below.

General information and guidance
Public display licencing
Do I need a licence?
Public display and consent