Human Tissue Bill

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Dr. Ladyman: The answer to the hon. Gentleman's question is this: part 2 sets outs the purposes for which consent is not normally required, and they include public health monitoring. Within public health monitoring, we include epidemiological activities. Therefore, if material is being used for that purpose—specifically for the public weal—it will not require an additional consent. If the proposed research goes beyond that, clearly it should have had consent in the first place. The fact that the material has subsequently been anonymised is irrelevant to the process. I hope that that is a sufficient explanation for the hon. Gentleman.

Dr. Harris: We can explore the issue later; it is not something that we need to tackle now. I want to take advice on whether the Under-Secretary's definition of epidemiology might be considered by people who take his and my view on research to be too wide. There is a series of studies that might be described as epidemiological that are not related to public health but are carried out in respect of what he called the

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public weal. Ultimately, a huge number of research projects might come under that category. However, he has been as clear as he can be at the moment, and I am prepared to think about the matter at a later stage.

Mr. Lansley: The hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon has teased out an interesting issue, but one on which it might be wise to reflect rather than debate further at this point. Nevertheless, there is clearly a danger of epidemiological research stretching widely into categories of research that ought to come under part 1 rather than part 2. We need to see where the boundaries between the two might lie. We may have an opportunity later to discuss that in relation to the codes of practice. I am happy that the Under-Secretary intends that public health monitoring should include the epidemiological studies that we have in mind. On that basis, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question proposed, That this schedule be the First schedule to the Bill.

Harry Cohen (Leyton and Wanstead) (Lab): I should like to ask one brief question about ''purposes normally requiring consent''. The second purpose listed is ''Determining the cause of death''. My understanding is that a coroner could require, without consent, to determine the cause of death. I want to be sure that that part of the schedule would not override what the coroner can ask.

Dr. Ladyman: A coroner certainly can so require; the Bill does not interfere with the rights of coroners. The schedule is to do with examples such as hospital post mortems, which would not normally require a coroner's intervention.

Question put and agreed to.

Schedule 1 agreed to.

Further consideration adjourned.—[Joan Ryan.]

Adjourned accordingly at six minutes past Five o'clock till Thursday 29 January at ten past Nine o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Mrs. Irene Adams (Chairman)
Cohen, Harry
Davey, Valerie
Ellman, Mrs.
Gibson, Dr.
Harris, Dr. Evan
Kilfoyle, Mr.
Knight, Jim
Ladyman, Dr.
Lansley, Mr.
Lucas, Ian
Murrison, Dr.
Naysmith, Dr.
Ryan, Joan
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Watson, Mr.
Winterton, Ms Rosie

 
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