Under consideration PE1911: Review of Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006 as it relates to post-mortems

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006 and relevant guidance to ensure that all post-mortems—

• can only be carried out with permission of the next of kin;
• do not routinely remove brains; and
• offer tissues and samples to next of kin as a matter of course.

Previous action taken

I contacted my local MSP who is taking up my individual case but is also supporting my petition to achieve wider change.

Background information

My child died suddenly at home. As a result, there was a post-mortem. I thought it was a Grant & View but discovered not only was it a post-mortem but that, the brain, throat and tongue had been removed. I was horrified.

In the event of a sudden or unexplained death the Procurator Fiscal provides authorisation for a post-mortem, not the next of kin. I believe that this must change. I also believe that brains should not be routinely removed.

I was advised that the tissue samples taken belonged to no particular person and would be held as part of Medical Records. When I tried to retrieve them, I was sent on a wild goose chase for ten months, all whilst grieving.

This is different from England/Ireland & Wales, where loved ones are automatically offered the samples back (perhaps to add to caskets). People can decline the samples, but at least they are given a choice.

  • Created by Ann McNair
  • Considered from 11 October 2021

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Find out about the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee’s discussion of this petition

This petition did not collect signatures