Human rights and lost baby ashes

Through cultural and religious concerns there are many and varied ways in which societies dispose of the remains of loved ones, and cremation is now a common method. Regardless though of the method, across all cultures and religions, the ritual of saying goodbye is essential to the grieving process. Unfortunately, for some English families, they were deprived of that process when their infant children were cremated. The process of cremation usually involves temperatures between 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in reducing the body to its basic elements leaving ash. [1]

However, it seems that the temperature required to cremate an adult body is much higher than that required to cremate the body of an infant under one. As a result no ash residue will occur. It appears this is what occurred at the Emstrey Crematorium between 1996 -2012. The attached article reports on how affected families are suing the crematorium. In an interesting take on the Human Rights Act 1998 the article reports the proceedings seeks to rely upon article 8 and 9 of the Act. Those provisions centre on the individual’s right to respect for private and family life and the right to religious thoughts and beliefs.


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