The Human Tissue Act (HTAct) was introduced in 2004 to regulate the removal, storage, use and disposal of human tissue for purposes such as research and teaching. The HTAct came into force in 2006 and is overseen by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), created by parliament in 2005 as an executive agency of the Department of Health.
The fundamental principle of the HTAct is that any material consisting of or including human cells should be deemed 'relevant material' under the HTAct and should be used 'safely, ethically and with proper consent'. Following satisfactory inspection by the HTA an HTA licence can be issue to an establishment for the purpose of storing and using human tissue. The University of Brighton has been granted a licence for purposes including the storage and use of human tissue for research and teaching. PABS is the licensed premises and within the school, PABS has, as per the requirements of the HTA, designated an individual to oversee all of the statutory requirements of the HTAct.
All principle staff carrying out research with HTA-relevant materials within PABS undergo HTAct training. This includes training in the receipt of consent in order to protect the rights and interests of donors. Projects are subjected to a stringent ethical approval system and all HTA-relevant projects are carried out in designated HTA labs.
The regulations and procedures we follow are described in our HTA Code of Practice.
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