Assessment of the Human Tissue Act

An assessment of the 2004 Act, and its implications for the specialties of clinical and laboratory genetics.


This document was produced by a working party of the Joint Committee on Medical Genetics (JCMG) to provide some practical guidance on the changes in clinical and laboratory practices prompted by the Human Tissue Act (2004). It combines a summary of the terms and definitions that appear in the primary legislation with a number of recognisable clinical and laboratory genetics case scenarios, in order to examine the likely impact of the Act on both areas of practice. The case scenarios are discussed in the context of the final Codes of Practice and Guidelines issued by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) as at 8 September 2006. It concludes with an overview of the Act’s requirements for licensing and an examination of how these might apply to clinical genetics services and genetics laboratories. The document is intended to complement the more general guidance given in the JCMG’s "Consent & Confidentiality in Genetics Practice". 

By Alison Hall, Anneke Lukassen, Gail Norbury, Heather Skirton, Alastair Kent, John Crolla

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