Use of human tissue for transplantation: ethical and legal issues

Barbara Louise Neades, Patricia Perry, Lynn Kilbride, Gillian Aitken, Gordon Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Currently, human bone is a commonly used material to help promote fusion of the vertebrae. The bone can be the recipient’s own bone (autograft) or allograft bone, where bone is donated from another individual [1]. The use of or human tissue or a combination of human tissue and synthetic bone graft material (allograft) to correct spinal deformities is becoming more common [2]. The use of an allograft composed of human tissue, eliminates the need to harvest the recipient’s own bone from elsewhere in their body, which is often not possible and has associated complications [3] Delong et al., [4] describe the different types of bone graft materials available as; dematerialised bone matrix, bone morphogenic proteins and bone graft substitutes which can be subdivided into processed allografts or fresh frozen allografts. In commenting on these materials they identify the major risk of disease transmission when fresh frozen allografts are used [4]. Similarly, Conrad et al., [5] reports the risk of hepatitis C transmission as a result of the use of allografts, highlighting that the transmission of bacterial and viral infection is a significant risk of allograft procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrgan Donation and Organ Donors: Issues, Challenges and Perspectives
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781626188532
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • human tissue
  • medical ethics
  • bioethics
  • transplantation
  • allograft


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