Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other [other?] rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.
Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’
At least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.
The programme, which will air tonight, found that parents who lose children in early pregnancy were often treated without compassion and were not consulted about what they wanted to happen to the remains.
One of the country’s leading hospitals, Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, incinerated 797 babies below 13 weeks gestation at their own ‘waste to energy’ plant. The mothers were told the remains had been ‘cremated.’
One the one hand, I'm upset that the bodies of the dead are treated this way.
On the other: this is not surprising. In a medical system that seems embryos as a "ball of cells" and near-dead patients as a potential organ harvest, it's not a stretch to think of fetal remains (and who knows what else!) as fuel for heat.