Organ and tissue donation - authorisation requirements: guidance

Guidance on authorisation requirements for deceased organ and tissue donation and pre-death procedures, as introduced by the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Act 2019 from 26 March 2021. First edition published March 2021.


1. Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Act 2019

2. Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006

3. Purposes as listed in s.3 of the HTS Act are: transplantation, research, education or training, audit, quality assurance.


5. See section 5 of the HTS Act

6. See Guidance for Medical Practitioners at Information following a death

7. Authorisation for donation may be given on behalf of a child by a person with parental rights and responsibilities in relation to them, including a local authority. Where there is no person with parental rights and responsibilities or that person is incapable of providing authorisation, section 10A of the HTS Act sets out who is permitted to authorise donation on behalf of a child (see chapter 7 for more information).

8. Such as people carrying out a particular role - for example, all radiographers.

9. Authorisations can be given by a Health Board, a Special Health Board, or the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service (of which SNBTS forms part).

10. Provided for in new sections 16H and 16I of the HTS Act, in relation to adults and children respectively.

11. See section 50 of the 2006 Act for a definition of 'nearest relative' and paragraph 145.

12. Defined in section new section 16K of the 2006 Act, as inserted by section 27 of the 2019 Act.

13. Section 2B(1) HTS Act enables Scottish Ministers to delegate the functions of establishing maintaining the register to a 'register organisation'. NHSBT has been designated as the register organisation.

14. The Human Tissue (Removal of Body Parts by an Authorised Person) (Scotland) Regulations 2006

15. Donor identification and referral

16. See section 10D of the HTS Act.

17. See section 10D of the HTS Act.

18. Section 6D(2)(a) of the HTS Act

19. Section 6D(3) of the HTS Act

20. Local Government Boundary Commission website

21. In the adult hierarchy, the stepchild of an adult ranks equally to the child of an adult.

22. In the adult hierarchy, relationships of the full-blood rank higher than relationships of the half-blood in relation to siblings. In all other relationships, relations of full and half-blood are ranked equally.

23. A friend of long standing is not defined in the legislation as having a specified time period attached to the friendship. Whether someone is a friend of long standing will be a question of fact and degree in each case and the SNOD/SR/TDC may ask questions and/or request information as necessary to establish what degree of friendship existed.

24. A person who has parental rights and responsibilities will usually, but not always, be the child's parent. The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 governs who has such rights and responsibilities in Scotland.

25. In the child hierarchy, a relationship of the whole-blood is to be treated equally to a relationship of the half-blood.

26. The Human Tissue (Excepted Body Parts) (Scotland) Regulations 2020

27. Meaning the front part of the head, extending widthways to and including the ears, and extending lengthways from and including the forehead to the top of the laryngeal prominence, containing the chin, nose and mouth but excluding the eyes.

28. The trachea is not an excepted body part if it is attached to a lung.

29. Meaning arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules and veins.

30. A Code of Practice for the Diagnosis and Confirmation of Death

31. This guidance applies from 26 March 2021 when the 2019 Act comes into effect.

32. Section 16A to 16G of the HTS Act

33. Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision making

34. The Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Specified Type A Procedures) (Scotland) Regulations 2020

35. The Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Specified Type B Procedures) (Scotland) Regulations 2021



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