The Human Tissue Act 2004 (HT Act) became effective from 1st September 2006. The HT Act regulates removal, storage and use of human tissue – defined as material that has come from a human body and consists of, or includes, human cells. This means that it is now unlawful to carry out these activities without an appropriate licence. The Act is upheld and regulated by the Human Tissue Authority which is an independent watchdog with the remit of protecting public confidence by ensuring that human tissue is used safely and ethically, and with proper consent. Organisations that store and use human tissue for the purposes listed below must have a licence to do so.
Researchers who work with materials obtained from then human body should make themselves familiar with the human body parts, tissues and cells that are defined as 'relevant materials' for the purposes of the Human Tissue Act 2004. For a brief guide, see. Further details can be found on the Human Tissue Authority website.
For more detailed information on the Human Tissue Act and guidance on the University's licence see: http://www.safety.admin.cam.ac.uk/subjects/biologicals/human-tissue-act.