Retained Organs Commission

Retained Organs Commission

An advisory group set up by the UK Government in 2002, in the wake of the Alder Hey and Bristol Royal Infirmary inquiries, to consult the public on the fate of unclaimed and unidentifiable organs and tissues still in NHS collections after completion of efforts to notify families and return identifiable remains for “respectful disposal”. The consultation also had a wider purpose—to wit, to invite comments on proposals for a new regulatory framework to govern museums, archives and collections of human organs and tissue, including both postmortem material and specimens from living people.

The Commission’s consultations led to the creation of a statutory body, the Human Tissue Authority, whose functions include licensing of premises where collections are held, licensing of specific purposes for collections and licensing of curators responsible for collections. The Commission’s consultation was used to inform work by the Department of Health towards drawing up new legislation to replace the Human Tissue Act 1961 with the Human Tissue Act 2004. The Commission closed 31 March, 2004. One important point was defining "human material" or "human organs and tissues", and whether material tissue blocks and slides should be included. Most parties agreed that "replicable tissues such as blood, small amounts of skin, teeth, hair and nail clippings, and non-cellular material" are normally excluded from the definition, nor presumably extracts from blood samples used to obtain DNA, or DNA itself.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Retained Organs Commission (ROC) made recommendations for changes to the existing law (Department of Health, 2001a).
She said: 'I just want to bury my son with the respect he should have had The Strategic Health Authority, which took over some of the functions of the now-defunct Retained Organs Commission, has buried the remains of almost 2,000 unidentified babies.
Margo Brazier, a professor of medical law at the University of Manchester, chaired the Retained Organs Commission set up in the wake of the Alder Hey scandal.
The Retained Organs Commission was established in April 2001 to deal with the return of organs and tissue kept after post-mortem examinations as well as offering assistance to the families.
Now the Retained Organs Commission must decide if the babies, kept in the labs of hospitals like Alder Hey on Merseyside and at Liverpool University, should have a mass grave.
Local hospital trusts together with the Retained Organs Commission has offered help and advice to all families needing it over the last three years.
The Retained Organs Commission was set up to advise the Government in the wake of the discoveries and Steve Catling, chief executive, said: "There's nothing that can properly recompense people for what has happened.
For the last two years, we have been working closely with the Retained Organs Commission to ensure all organs and specimens are catalogued.
At the June 10 meeting the public will be invited to discuss a document issued by the Retained Organs Commission, seeking the views of ordinary people about post mortems and the retention of organs and tissue.
THE newly-created Retained Organs Commission is advertising for a head of corporate communications.
Following the Alder Hey inquiry, the government has announced plans to set up a new authority, the Retained Organs Commission, to oversee the process of returning retained organs to parents, if that is what they want.
The Retained Organs Commission ( ROC) -established in April 2001 -held its final board meeting in central London and will cease operating on March 31.