Human Tissue Authority

We regulate organisations that remove, store and use human tissue for research, medical treatment, post-mortem examination, education and training, and display in public. We also give approval for organ and bone marrow donations from living people.

The interests of the public and those we regulate are central to our work. We build on the confidence people have in our regulation by ensuring that human tissue and organs are used safely, ethically and with proper consent. There are many different types of human cells and tissue, including skin, body parts, organs, and bone. Bodies, organs, tissue and cells can be used for many purposes including:

  • treating patients with particular medical conditions;
  • transplanting into people whose organs have failed;
  • treating patients who have blood disorders like leukaemia with stem cells;
  • researching causes and treatments for illnesses, such as cancer or diseases of the brain and nervous system;
  • teaching students about the human body and training to develop the skills of surgeons;
  • display in public, such as exhibitions and museums; and
  • finding out through post-mortem examination why someone has died, including examining their organs and tissue samples to determine the cause of death.

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