Gulf Veterans: Human Tissue Act 1961

House of Lords written question – answered on 17th January 2000.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are aware of any instances where organs or tissue samples have been removed from the bodies of deceased Gulf veterans without the consent of the next of kin; and, if so, who was responsible for requesting the samples; and for what purpose.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

The Ministry of Defence's Gulf Veterans Illnesses Unit is not aware of any instances where organs or tissue samples have been removed from the bodies of deceased Gulf veterans without prior consent. The Ministry of Defence has no specific arrangements in place to request post mortem examinations on Gulf veterans, nor is it routinely informed of the results of such examinations. Where an industrial cause of death is suspected, the case is reported to the coroner and the consent of the next of kin to post mortem examination or retention of organs or tissue samples to determine the cause of death is not required. In all other cases the Human Tissue Act 1961 applies.

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