Direction on Collection and Use of Personal Information for the NSW Health Human Tissue Project

This Direction affected the collection of information about deceased people by Health Services and Universities for the purpose of consultation with relatives about disposal of tissue. It operated from 9 July 2004 until the commencement of the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 on 1 September 2004.

I, John Dickie, Privacy Commissioner, pursuant to my power under section 41 of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, hereby direct as follows:

  1. This Direction is intended to facilitate the collection of personal information by officers of NSW Health and other Health Services for the purpose of consulting with relatives or survivors of deceased people under the NSW Health Human Tissue Project about the disposal of human tissue collected during autopsies.
  2. NSW Health and NSW Health Services may depart from sections 9 and 10 of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act to the extent necessary to collect personal information from NSW Health, a Health Service or University for the purpose of contacting relatives in accordance with the procedures established as part of the NSW Human Tissue Project.
  3. A New South Wales University covered by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, and which holds human tissue which was collected through an autopsy, may depart from section 18 or 19(1) of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act to the extent that the disclosure of personal information to NSW Health or to a Health Service is reasonably necessary for the performance of a function under the NSW Human Tissue Project.
  4. This Direction comes into force from today's date, and continues until the completion of the NSW Human Tissue Project, or until the date of commencement of Parts 3 and Part 7 of the Health Records Information Privacy Act 2002, whichever is earlier.
  5. Definitions:
    (a) References to the NSW Human Tissue Project refer to the policy and procedures adopted by NSW Health and referenced in the document 'NSW Human Tissue Project, Inquiry Management Process Overview Version 1.1' of 4 February 2003.
    (b) Health Service means a Health Service as defined under the Health Services Act 1997.

Signed by me on this 9th day of July 2004

John Dickie
Acting Privacy Commissioner

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