Human Tissue Act 2004
The Human Tissue Act 2004 (c 30) is an Act
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 which consolidated previous legislation and created the Human Tissue Authority
Human Tissue Authority
The Human Tissue Authority is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom that regulates the removal, storage, use and disposal of human bodies, organs and tissue for a number of scheduled purposes such as research, transplantation, and education and training.It was created by the Human...

 to "regulate the removal, storage, use and disposal of human bodies, organs and tissue."

The Act was brought about as a consequence of, among things, the Alder Hey organs scandal
Alder Hey organs scandal
The Alder Hey organs scandal involved the unauthorised removal, retention, and disposal of human tissue, including children’s organs, during the period 1988 to 1995...

, in which organs of children had been retained by the Alder Hey Children's Hospital
Alder Hey Children's Hospital
Alder Hey Children Hospital is a children's hospital in West Derby, Liverpool. It is run by the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust as part of the National Health Service in England...

 without consent, and the Kennedy
Ian Kennedy (lawyer)
Sir Ian McColl Kennedy LLM LLD is a British academic lawyer who has specialised in the law and ethics of health. He was appointed to chair the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in 2009...

 inquiry into heart surgery on children at the Bristol Royal Infirmary
Bristol Royal Infirmary
The Bristol Royal Infirmary, also known as the BRI, is a large teaching hospital situated in the centre of Bristol, England. It has links with the medical faculty of the nearby University of Bristol, and the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England, also in...

. A consultative exercise followed the Government's Green Paper, Human Bodies, Human Choices (2002), and earlier recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson
Liam Donaldson
Sir Liam Joseph Donaldson was the Chief Medical Officer for England, the 15th occupant of the post since it was established in 1855...


The Act allows for anonymous organ donation
Organ donation
Organ donation is the donation of biological tissue or an organ of the human body, from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation. Transplantable organs and tissues are removed in a surgical procedure following a determination, based on the donor's medical and...

 (previously, living people could only donate organs to those with which they had a genetic or emotional connection), and requires licenses for those intending to publicly display human remains, such as BODIES... The Exhibition
BODIES... The Exhibition
Bodies… The Exhibition is a controversial exhibition showcasing preserved human bodies dissected to display bodily systems. It opened in Tampa, Florida on August 20, 2005...

. The Act also specifies that in cases of organ donation after death the wishes of the deceased takes precedence over the wishes of relatives, but a parliamentary report concluded in 2006 that the Act likely would fail in this regard since most surgeons would be unwilling to confront families in such situations.

The Act prohibits selling organs
Organ trade
Organ trade is the trade involving human organs for transplantation. There is a worldwide shortage of organs available for transplantation, possibly a result of regulations forbidding their trafficking.-Legal organ trade:...

. In 2007 a man became the first person convicted under the Act for trying to sell his kidney online for £24,000 in order to pay off his gambling debts.

The Act does not extend to Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, its counterpart there is the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006
Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006
The Human Tissue Act 2006 is an Act of the Scottish Parliament to consolidate and overhaul previous legislation regarding the handling of human tissue.Its counterpart in the rest of the United Kingdom is the Human Tissue Act 2004....


Section 60 - Commencement

The following orders have been made under this section:
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