Proceedings of the human tissues conference, House of Lords, 20 October 2009: Introduction
On 20 October 2009, scientists and politicians gathered in the House of Lord to discuss the barriers medical researchers face when attempting to access surplus human tissues. Presently, such tissues, including those surplus to requirements for diagnosis after surgery, are all too often incinerated because patients’ permission has not been sought for them to be used in medical research. A similar situation arises where organs which have been donated for transplant are unsuitable for donation. As a consequence of the conference, the Human Tissues Working Party was established to enable the discussions which began so fruitfully at the conference to continue, and to allow delegates, and participants who have joined subsequently, to present a unified case in submissions to public consultations, for example.