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This guide is aimed at providing practical information about post-mortem examinations. It is based on the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the guidelines issued by the Human Tissue Authority in July 2006. These documents are available on the internet in PDF format, therefore an Acrobat Reader is required to access them. Hard copies of these documents are held in the Bereavement Office.

The Human Tissue Act established the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) as the regulatory body for all matters concerning the removal, storage, use and disposal of human tissue for scheduled purposes.

The HTA’s Codes of Practice, particularly Code 3, give practical guidance and lay down the standards expected of all staff who communicate with relatives of children and adults who may undergo or have undergone a post-mortem examination. Please note that ‘HTA Code of Practice 3 – Post Mortem Examination’ updates and replaces Families and Post-Mortems: A Code of Practice (DOH 2003).


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Bereavement Officer / Patient Experience Manager
Ratified by: Clinical Governance Committee
Date Ratified: March 2017
Date Issued: April 2017
Review Date: March 2019
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Bereavement Officer / Patient Experience Manager


See also:

  • Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment - Guidance for Staff
  • Guidelines for using Interpreting Service
  • Patient Consent Policy
  • Assessing a Patient's Mental Capacity to make Decisions - Guidance for Staff
  • Standard Operating Procedure for Hospital Post Mortem Consent