The Human Tissue Act 2008 regulates the collection and use of tissue, primarily from dead human bodies, and sets up a framework for informed consent for human tissue collection and use.
The Act also regulates trading in tissue, and provides for the establishment of regulations for the use of tissue for non-therapeutic purposes (eg, audit, anatomical examination, research and post mortem) and the importing and exporting of human tissue.
In addition, although the collection and use of tissue from living people is largely covered by existing legislation and common law, the Act also requires informed consent for:
- analysis for the purpose of providing information about a condition or rait of a person ('donor analysis'), where the tissue is not collected in a health care procedure (tissue collected in a health care procedure is covered by existing legislation and guidelines)
- the use for a secondary purpose of tissue collected from a living person after the donor’s death (ie, for a purpose other than one that the donor consented to while alive).
The Human Tissue Act 2008 was passed in April 2008 and came into force on 1 November 2008. It repealed and replaced the Human Tissue Act 1964.