Inquiry to report on removal of organs

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The Independent Online
THE PUBLIC inquiry into the Bristol heart babies disaster is to produce a separate report on the practice of taking and keeping organs from children who died, its chairman announced yesterday.

Professor Ian Kennedy said the four member panel had been asked by the Government's chief medical officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, to produce the interim report by next spring.

The practice of removing and retaining organs at the Bristol Royal Infirmary emerged shortly before the inquiry opened last March and caused outrage as other hospitals disclosed they held similar collections. Many organs were removed without the consent or knowledge of parents.

Professor Kennedy said the lack of clarity in the law had led to a "pressing need for clarification of what is proper, from both an ethical and legal perspective."

Professor Kennedy made his announcement during a break in the evidence of heart surgeon James Wisheart yesterday. Mr Wisheart told of the sympathy he felt for all parents whose children had died during operations he performed.