12 November 2012

Organ Registries and Embryos

The Health Records and Information Privacy Amendment (Information Transfer) Regulation 2012 in NSW amends the Health Records and Information Privacy Regulation 2012 to allow an organisation that holds health information from the organ donor register maintained by Roads and Maritime Services - ie the NSW state government public transport and licensing authority - to use and disclose that information for the purpose of providing that information to the Australian Organ Donor Register or the NSW Organ & Tissue Donation Service.

The regulations are under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW).

 In Grant v YYH Holdings Pty Ltd [2012] NSWCA the New South Wales Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal in relation to proceedings where a tortfeasor had bred progeny from 16 Awassi sheep owned by two farmers.

A cause of action in conversion and detinue in the initial 16 sheep was found to have been extinguished by operation of the Limitations Act 1969 (NSW). However, the Court found that title in any progeny continued to exist. It accordingly held that the farmers were entitled to the return of all progeny and any embryos and semen from the original 16 sheep.

The judgment includes reference to historic case law regarding swans, beavers, racehorses and other creatures, such as Jones v De Marchant (1916) 28 DLR 561, the Case of Swans [1572] EngR 403; (1572) 7 Co Rep 15b and Borg v Howlett [1996] NSWSC 153.