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Issued March 2010 Umbilical cord blood (cord blood) is collected at the time of birth and stored so that it may be available for potential future treatment of the child or another person.
Winter can be an especially challenging time of year for health services. For mortuaries, higher numbers of deaths can pose problems if adequate numbers of refrigerated storage spaces are unavailable.
The HT Act refers to ‘relevant material’, defined as ‘material, other than gametes, which consists of or includes human cells’.
Relevant material taken from a deceased person for analysis includes tissue samples, bone, blood, urine, stomach contents, hair and nails. DNA is not relevant...
Under the HT Act, the HTA licenses premises on which the following activities take place:
The removal of relevant material from the body of a deceased person and its subsequent storage for use for a scheduled purpose can only take place on premises licensed by the HTA. However, there are some exemptions.
The police have the power to seize relevant material as evidence, including material which is held under the authority of the Coroner. When the police have completed their investigations, relevant material that was seized for criminal justice purposes may come under the authority of the Coroner...
The Forensic Science Regulator and the HTA recommend that the pathologist creates a single list detailing all samples retained at post mortem examination and under whose authority each was retained. The list should be provided to both the police and the Coroner.
The specialist laboratory should be made aware if the family has requested that relevant material be returned to them, in order that it can be sent back to the licensed establishment for the family’s wishes to be acted upon.
Once coronial authority has ended, storage of relevant material from a deceased person for use for a scheduled purpose requires the consent of: the person concerned (if they made a decision before they died), or their nominated representative (the HT Act sets out the terms for valid appointment...
Disposal of relevant material does not need to take place on HTA-licensed premises. By agreement with the licensed establishment, relevant material may be disposed of by the laboratory where it was analysed. Such an arrangement should be documented in a written agreement.