Last updated on 20 Jul 2021

Disposal of pregnancy remains FAQs

The disposal of pregnancy remains, which are considered to be the mother’s tissue, is not within the scope of the HTA’s regulatory remit.

The HTA was asked by Professor Dame Sally Davies, the then Chief Medical Officer, in 2015 to develop guidance in this area and work with other organisations to monitor compliance.

The guidance applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to pregnancy loss or terminations of pregnancy that have not exceeded the 24th week of pregnancy, irrespective of cause or origin, where no signs of life have been detected following the loss, and whether or not fetal tissue can be identified.

There is different guidance in Scotland.

These frequently asked questions should be read alongside the guidance on disposal of pregnancy remains following pregnancy loss or termination.

Incineration and cremation
Regulation, our role and DIs
What does this guidance apply to?
Consent and other means of disposal
Other guidance and resources