Intended for healthcare professionals


Working party speaks out on use of human tissue

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 06 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1159

Patients should have no property rights over any tissue taken from them and hospitals should not make a profit from the sale or use of such material, says a report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Professor Dame Rosalinde Hurley, who chairs the working party, said: “We have concluded that organising the removal and supply of human tissue along commercial lines is unacceptable.”

The working party, which included lawyers and lay members as well as doctors, called for clarification of the law. Ian Kennedy, professor of law at King's College, London, complained that at present the law “looks to Victorian precedents on body stealing and such arcana.”

The working party called for the Department of Health to follow up its current review of tissue banking by registering and monitoring the activity of such …

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