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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.
The following guidance has been produced to bring clarity to the issues surrounding consent for research relating to transplantation where donors are deceased.
For some purposes, including post mortem examinations, appropriate consent can be given by someone in a ‘qualifying relationship’ to the deceased immediately before their death. Please see further details in the Codes of Practice for each sector.
Medical school staff are sometimes faced with the challenge of deciding whether the consent given by potential donors, often many years before their death, is valid if it contains colloquial terminology and not the specific terms stated in the Human Tissue Act 2004 (the HT Act).
This policy sets out the legal requirements of the HT Act with regard to consent for post-mortem examination, tissue retention and storage of tissue from the deceased.
This position statement outlines guidance provided on consent for post-mortem examination and tissue retention.
This guide can be downloaded as a PDF, which includes the appendix covering references and recommended further reading.
The HTA has produced a model consent form for professionals seeking consent for an adult or child's post mortem. There is also guidance for the families of the deceased.
The GMC provides guidance setting out good practice principles for doctors involved in research.
Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, have developed model consent forms, information and guidance for health professionals seeking consent for post mortems on babies who have died before, during or shortly after birth.