Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

HTA public guide to Code of Practice F: Donation of solid organs and tissue for transplantation

During the current pandemic, organ donation and transplantation activity has been greatly reduced. This is partly the result of:  

-  Transplant professionals being redeployed to focus on the NHS’s response to COVID-19. 
-  Higher risks associated with being a transplant recipient at this time, due to the need to be immunosuppressed and with the possible need for intensive care treatment. 

This means that although the law has changed from 20 May 2020, any impact from the change will likely not begin until we move past the current situation and transplant services get back to their previous levels of activity. 


With the law in England on deceased organ and tissue donation having changed on 20 May 2020 to a system of “deemed consent” (often referred to as an “opt-out” system), we have updated our public guide to our Code of Practice F to help you better understand how this new law works in practice.  

We regulate organisations that remove, store and use human tissue for research, medical treatment, post-mortem examination, education and training, and display in public. We also give approval for organ and bone marrow donations from living people. 

Our role as a regulator is to ensure that the activities undertaken at these places are within the law and meet our standards.  

We operate under four guiding principles that should inform the work of anyone working with human bodies, organs, and tissue, which are:  

  • Consent  
  • Dignity  
  • Quality, and   
  • Honest and openness  

Read our updated Public Guide on our Code of Practice F: Donation of solid organs and tissue for transplantation (part two: deceased organ and tissue donation). (PDF 750 kB)

Below you can also find translations of this guide into the following languages: 

If you have any questions or feedback about the information on this page, please contact us by: 

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Last updated on: 20 May 2020