Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

About bone marrow and PBSC donations

The HTA is responsible for assessing all donations of bone marrow or PBSC (these are cells found in the bloodstream which are able to develop into all of the different cell types in blood) from adults who lack capacity to consent and children who lack competence to consent. Potential donors and the person/s acting on the donor's behalf are interviewed by an Accredited Assessor (AA) who submits a report to the HTA.  

The HTA is required to regulate some donations of bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) for transplantation.

Adults who lack capacity and children who lack competence to consent

Under the Human Tissue Act 2004, any potential donation of bone marrow or PBSC from adults who lack capacity to consent and children who lack competence to consent, must be assessed by an Accredited Assessor and a report submitted to the HTA for consideration.

The HTA’s code of practice on the Donation of allogeneic bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells for transplantation provides practical guidance to professionals and lays down standards.

Once accredited by the HTA, Accredited Assessors act as both a representative of the donor and the HTA.

In Scotland, all donations by children (those under the age of 16) must be assessed by an Accredited Assessor and a decision made by the HTA.

Adults and children competent to consent

All donations of bone marrow and PBSC by adults and children competent to consent are approved locally in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and therefore do not require HTA approval.

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