Open Access

The New Human Tissue Bill: Categorization and Definitional Issues and their Implication

  • Bronwyn Parry
Genomics, Society and Policy20051:74

https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-5354-1-1-74

Published: 15 February 2005

Abstract

While providing a welcome and timely revision of the now outdated Human Tissue Act of 1961, the newly introduced Human Tissue Bill of 2004 contains a number of anomalies in its drafting that threaten to undermine its effectiveness in practice. Two examples: the first relating to the status of 'remnant or waste' tissue and the second relating to the status and use of artefacts created from collected tissue are here employed to illustrate some of the definitional and categorical inconsistencies that are evident in the Bill. Having identified these, the paper then provides an analysis of how these inconsistencies may act to severely constrain the ways in which retained tissue may be lawfully employed in biomedical research and to confuse questions of who may, or may not, have formally recognised interests in types of processed human tissue.