Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Public guides to the HTA Codes of Practice

These guides set out your basic rights when dealing with an establishment regulated by the HTA.

The guides also explain how the use of human tissue is regulated in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. This includes who can give consent for different activities, the information you should receive and options for using and disposing of tissue.

There are eight guides in total, each relating to the Codes of Practice we provide to professionals:

HTA legislation

The Human Tissue Act 2004, the role of the Human Tissue Authority and what we regulate.

This guide relates to the Human Tissue Act.

HTA guiding principles

What you should expect from an establishment we regulate, what counts as a qualifying relationship, what consent means and whether anyone can override consent.

This guide relates to Code A.

Post-mortem examinations

The difference between hospital post-mortems and coroners’ post-mortems, organ donation and post-mortems and what happens to the tissue after a post-mortem.

This guide relates to Code B.

Anatomical examination

How to donate your body to science or a medical school, using a consent form or your Will and what happens to your body afterwards.

This guide relates to Code C.

Public Display

What counts as public display and the rules on displaying human tissue in museums or exhibitions.

This guide relates to Code D.


Giving consent to donate tissue for scientific research, in life or after death, research tissue banks, DNA analysis and what happens to donated tissue.

This guide relates to Code E.

Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation

Donating stem cells, capacity to consent, court referral, whether children can donate, how the law differs in Scotland.

This guide relates to Code G.


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Last updated on: 12 Mar 2021