Officials in the British government recently discovered that some hospitals in the UK have been incinerating fetal remains, and some are participating in a “waste-to-energy” program that uses the energy derived from incinerating the children to heat hospital buildings. At least 15,500 children, who were either miscarried or intentionally aborted, have been incinerated after death as part of these “disposal” programs.
The Telegraph reports:
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.’
Another ‘waste to energy’ facility at Ipswich Hospital, operated by a private contractor, incinerated 1,101 foetal remains between 2011 and 2013.
They were brought in from another hospital before being burned, generating energy for the hospital site. Ipswich Hospital itself disposes of remains by cremation.
A large number of comments made on this piece at the Telegraph ask the obvious question: Why is there uproar over the way these children are disposed of after death, and not over the fact that the ones who were aborted were treated as disposable human beings while they were alive? The obvious disconnect has many shaking their heads over the issue.
Statements from the government suggest that the travesty of the events lies solely in the fact that the parents of miscarried babies were not informed or consulted about how their children would be laid to rest. Britain’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals said,
I am disappointed trusts may not be informing or consulting women and their families. This breaches our standard on respecting and involving people who use services and I’m keen for Dispatches to share their evidence with us.
In some cases, parents report being treated with callous disregard by hospital staff. Perhaps it is easy for hospital staff to lose touch with the fact that the mourning parents of miscarried children should be treated with dignity and compassion when they are being told to simultaneously respect the decision and freedom of those parents who incur that tragedy deliberately by opting to abort their children.
The bottom line is that, within the medical community, whether or not a child is “wanted” determines the type of treatment that parents should receive from hospital staff. The rights and dignity of the parents of miscarried or stillborn children are violated by inhumane practices like using fetal remains to generate energy. But what about the so-called “unwanted” child who is aborted, whose parent is not mourning the fact that he was incinerated? Would there be any concern among government officials over the practice of fetal remains being used in “waste-to-energy” if only aborted children were used? The myth of the “unwanted child” has led to a slippery slope in society, and now we are dealing with the consequences. Every Life is precious. At Texas Right to Life we pray for the day when the idea of an “unwanted” child will be unthinkable.