Cremation, incineration — what’s the dif?

If your idea of respecting the dead is tossing their body parts in a trash bag and torching them, chances are you either work for the Mafia or a British hospital. The British health secretary has launched an investigation into reports that hospital staff at the King’s Mill center were ordered to dispose of the organs of aborted fetuses and stillborns as clinical waste rather than transporting them to a crematorium, the UK GUARDIAN reports. The allegations follow a similar scandal at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool, where tissue from about 900 babies and children was stored without their parents’ knowledge.

A hospital mortuary worker blew the whistle on King’s Mill, saying he had been ordered to throw babies’ hearts, brains, and other organs into waste bags and incinerate them. “I honestly believe that the parents of these babies do not realize their baby or part of their baby has been kept in a mortuary storeroom for the last five or six years,” he said.

The hospital’s chief executive claims that his staff has always sent babies to the crematorium, “where they were treated with sensitivity and cremated following a blessing.” Whenever parts of a baby were kept, “the consent of the parents was obtained.” That’s not how it looks, however, on a videotape staff members made in March of their baby-burnings.