BBC Radio Lincolnshire spoke to Judith Blissett, whose son Craig died in 1992, this morning as she has recently found out that his ashes were scattered without her knowledge.
This has been an historical issue for parents whose babies have died before, during or shortly after birth. The fundamental issue has been conflicting views of different cremation authorities on the definition of ashes. There is no legal definition at present. Some cremation authorities argue that there are no human remains left in ashes, as baby’s bones are not calcified and therefore the residue that is left after cremation is not ‘ashes’. Other cremation authorities state that ashes are all that is left after the cremation process is completed.
Sands’ Improving Bereavement Care Manager, Cheryl Titherly, spoke about the importance of parents being able to have correct information and the opportunity to make informed choices following the death for their baby, including decisions around burials and cremation.
Cremation authorities managing crematoria should have an obligation to make the effort and if need be changes their practices to increase the likelihood of producing and provide parents with anything that remains following the cremation of our baby.