ROGUE doctors who keep body parts without the consent of relatives will be jailed to prevent a repeat of the Alder Hey scandal, it will be announced today.
Health Secretary John Reid will tell MPs that the long-awaited Human Tissues Bill will impose prison sentences on hospital doctors who illegally store organs after death.
The crackdown follows the revelation that hundreds of dead children were stripped of their organs at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, over several decades.
The Redfern Inquiry discovered the organs of 850 children which were stripped during post-mortems and stored in jars in the Myrtle Street pathology lab.
And it discovered jars containing the heads of children from birth to the age of 11 at the Institute of Child Health (ICH), based at Alder Hey but run by Liverpool University.
The independent report exposed Dutch pathologist Professor Dick van Velzen, who lied to parents, forged research applications and ordered retention of every organ.
A collection of 3,575 aborted or still-born foetuses were also at the ICH, supplied by hospitals from the 1950s to the 1970s - long before the van Velzen era.
The Department of Health has already pledged that the Bill will outlaw the "removal, storage and use" of human tissue without proper consent.
And, today, it will tell Parliament it has decided to plug a legal loophole by introducing fines - and even jail terms - for doctors who flout the new rules.
Trafficking in human bodies or body parts and using human tissue for DNA testing without consent will also be made specific offences, for the first time.
The Human Tissue Bill is being brought forward to replace the Human Tissue Act of 1961.
Most important, organ retention was not illegal, allowing hospitals to store them and allowing burial of incomplete bodies.