This consultation seeks views on the revised Code of Practice F: Donation of solid organs and tissue for transplantation. This Code of Practice has been revised to reflect amendments to the Human Tissue Act 2004 (HT Act) as a result of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019, due to come into force in 2020. The new law will only apply in England.

This consultation will be open from Thursday 4 July – Thursday 26 September (5pm) 2019.

About this consultation

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) publishes seven Codes of Practice to provide guidance on activities within the scope of the HTA’s remit.

Code of Practice F provides practical guidance on consent for healthcare professionals working in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. This Code has been revised to include guidance on the new law which introduces a system of ‘deemed consent’ in England.

The current version of this Code of Practice provides guidance on both living and deceased donation. To accommodate the guidance on ‘deemed consent’, the revised Code has been split into two sections, which will be published as separate documents. This consultation is on part two only.

Part one: living organ donation

This provides guidance on legal requirements to clinicians working in living organ donation and transplantation and HTA Independent Assessors.

Deemed consent does not apply to living donation, so this guidance remains the same and does not form part of the consultation.

Part two: deceased organ and tissue donation

This provides guidance to Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation (SNODs), Tissue Donor Coordinators, and other professionals who seek consent for deceased organ and tissue donation.

This Code continues to provide practical guidance on ‘appropriate consent’ as defined by the Human Tissue Act 2004 (as amended) in both England and Northern Ireland. The guidance has been updated to include more information on considerations around faith and beliefs, and on the role of the family in different donation situations.

For practitioners in England, it also provides guidance on the circumstances in which consent can be deemed or where that may not be appropriate.

In revising the Code, the HTA has engaged with representatives from faith and cultural organisations, as well as professionals working in this area of healthcare.

Scope of consultation

This consultation seeks feedback on the HTA Code of Practice only, not on the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019 itself.

This Code of Practice aims to help practitioners ensure valid consent is in place, providing practical advice on what is necessary to comply with the law. While the Code is written for practitioners, we are happy to receive feedback from members of the public with an interest in this area. The HTA publishes a separate public guide to the Code which will also be updated before the changes to the law come into force.