A more recent version of these Organ Donation notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Medical Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Organ Donation HTA 2004
? Part I - applies to storage & use of material for particular purposes only
= doesn't apply to removal of human material, sperm, eggs, embryos, coroner's duties etc
? Things lawfully done to certain human material (i) Storage & use of whole body (ii) Removal, storage, use of human material from deceased (iii) Storage, use of human material from the living
= Need consent + act done for a Schedule 1 Purpose
? To storage or use for a particular purpose only (unless for research - consenting once is sufficient)
? Must be positive
? Who can consent a) Competent adults (s3) b) Incompetent adults - consent can be deemed i. in best interests (schedule 1 purpose only) ii. clinical trials iii. research c) Deceased adults i. own views pre-death ii. appointed rep iii. person in closest qualifying relationship d) Children (s2)
= No definition of "appropriate consent"
Schedule I purposes (2 parts = 12 purposes)
Criminal offences (i) Failure to obtain appropriate consent for storage/use of whole body or bodily material or removal, storage, use of human material (s5 HTA)
- Max sentence - 3 years
- Defence - reasonably believed he had appropriate consent or that consent not required (ii) False representation of consent (iii) Failure to obtain death certificate (iv) Using/storing donation material for improper purposes
- Defence: reasonably believed he wasn't dealing w/donated material (v) Analysis of DNA w/out consent
- Unless results are for excepted purpose (conduct of prosecutions, nat. security etc)
= NB: a. Consent isn't defined in the Act b. Broad definition of uman material c. Questionable distinction b/w bodies of living & dead d. Compromise b/w rights based and utilitarian approaches?
Should deceased's views carry any weight?
? Harris - although person might have some interests in what happens to his body after death, it should carry little weight b/c after death he can't be harmed. We regularly dispose of body parts and tissue through menstrual bleeding, bowel movement etc. so should be no more concerned about bits of it being taken by docs. The only interests are that body be disposed of in a way posing no health risks, respecting public decency &
attaching weight to legitimate interests of deceased
? Brazier - Harris' views are driven by cold rationality. Easy to overstate the claims of research. At Alder Hey, vast majority of organs were simply stored. People's/relatives' views highest respect b/c just like families live differently, they also grieve differently. Just as we allow people to decide what should be done w/their property through will, should allow them to decide re their bodies. We live in knowledge of death's inevitability & how we'll be treated after death affects our welfare in life
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