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 HTA considers that the same consent expectations should apply for imported bodies and body parts as set out in paragraphs 37 to 40 of our Code of Practice D: Public Display as for such material sourced domestically (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), unless the HTA is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances for not doing so.
Public Display guidance
Sale of bodies, body parts and tissue policy
These activities require appropriate consent to be in place in order for them to lawfully take place, and a number of them are also licensable.