Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To compare opinion of surgical inpatients with the conclusions of the report of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics regarding the ownership and uses of human tissue. DESIGN: Survey of results of questionnaires completed by patients. SETTING: Large teaching hospital. SUBJECTS: 384 postoperative adult surgical patients. RESULTS: There was strong support among patients for the use of tissues in medical education, research, and science with the exception of those tissues which may transmit disease to others. Few patients (39; 10%) believed that they retained ownership of tissue removed at surgery. Most believed that the tissue belonged to the hospital (103; 27%), to nobody (103; 27%), or to the laboratory (77; 20%). Most patients had not been given any information about the possible uses of their tissues after removal. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical inpatients seem to endorse the conclusions of the Nuffield report regarding the ownership and uses of human tissue. The recommendations regarding patient information and consent procedures should be implemented at the earliest opportunity.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1366 - 1368


Empirical Approach, Health Care and Public Health, Human Tissue: Ethical and Legal Issues (Nuffield Council on Bioethics), Professional Patient Relationship, Adult, Advisory Committees, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Attitude to Health, Biomedical Research, Consent Forms, Disclosure, Ethics, Medical, Female, Human Body, Humans, Inpatients, Living Donors, Male, Middle Aged, Ownership, Tissue Donors, Tissue and Organ Procurement, United Kingdom