Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Organs and tissue not included under the deemed consent system

Under the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019  adults in England are considered potential organ and tissue donors when they die unless they choose to opt-out or are in one of the excluded groups. 

However, consent cannot be deemed for some organs and tissues, and express consent must be sought. You can see the list of organs and tissue requiring express consent (that are not included as part of the deemed consent system) below: 

  • Arm 
  • Brain 
  • Face 
  • Finger 
  • Foot 
  • Forearm 
  • Hand 
  • Leg 
  • Lower leg 
  • Mouth 
  • Nose 
  • Spinal cord 
  • Thigh 
  • Toe 
  • Trachea 
  • Upper arm 
  • Cervix 
  • Clitoris 
  • Embryo (inside the body) 
  • Fallopian tube 
  • Foetus 
  • Labia 
  • Ovary 
  • Penis 
  • Perineum 
  • Placenta 
  • Prostate 
  • Testicle 
  • Umbilical cord 
  • Uterus 
  • Vagina 
  • Vulva 

The following require express consent if used for a novel transplant, but do not require express consent if they are used as part of a routine transplant. 

  • Artery 
  • Bone 
  • Muscle 
  • Nervous tissue 
  • Skin 
  • Tendon 

The following types of cells are specified only in so far as all or part of the cells is for use in, or as, an advanced therapy medicinal product: 

  • Limbal stem cells 
  • Liver cells 
  • Lung epithelial cells 
  • Pancreatic cells 
  • Renal epithelial cells

For more information on deemed consent and deceased organ donation, please visit our deceased organ donation webpage.


Last updated on: 20 May 2020