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MAY 2014

UK Hospitals Burn Aborted Babies for Heat


The remains of more than 15,000 babies were incinerated as 'clinical waste' by hospitals in Britain with some used in 'waste to energy' plants, an investigation has revealed. The Channel 4 Dispatches programme (25th March) found that human remains from aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated by 27 different NHS trusts over the last two years alone.  At least ten have admitted to burning fetuses alongside rubbish, while two others said they used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.


The documentary exposed the fact that thousands of aborted babies are burned and used as clinical waste, while parents do not give their consent to turn their babies’ remains into waste, because they are not consulted on this matter. One of the country’s leading hospitals, Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, incinerated 797 babies under 13 weeks of gestation and Ipswich Hospital burned 1,101 bodies that were brought in from other hospitals.3


“This practice is totally unacceptable,” said health minister Dr Dan Poulter. “While the vast majority of hospitals are acting in the appropriate way, that must be the case for all hospitals and the Human Tissue Authority has now been asked to ensure that it acts on this issue without delay.” Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, has written to all NHS trusts to tell them the practice must stop.4


Commenting on the revelations in the programme, Paul Tully, General Secretary of Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said, “We welcome the efforts of those who have highlighted these appalling practices, but we insist that the answer is not as simple as having a new code of practice or better ways of treating babies’ remains. We must stop killing babies like these by abortion and then we will know how to respect the dead. The way we treat those who have died is important, yet parents who lose a baby by miscarriage or abortion are rarely consulted over the disposal of the baby’s remains.5


“The reluctance to consult families in these situations is undoubtedly linked to our barbaric abortion policies, even if sometimes after late abortions everyone admits that the baby is a baby and tries at least to respect his or her remains. There are two issues at stake here. One is the feelings of the parents, and the other is the respect due to the dead – in this case a dead unborn child, killed by abortion or who has died as a result of spontaneous miscarriage.


“Some argue that because very early spontaneous miscarriage is not marked by social ceremony, and may be unrecognised by the mother herself, this indicates that the human embryo is not a person. This approach is used to argue for an arbitrary time before which the unborn are treated as non-persons. In fact the unborn has all the essential attributes of a person from conception, even though some characteristics take months or years to develop fully. If we feel differently about the unborn, it is simply because he or she is a stranger – someone we have not yet met or developed affection for.


“Until we reject the abortion culture and learn to honour all mothers – including expectant mothers and bereaved mothers - the sickening consequences of aborting over 500 babies every day will continue to resurface and unsettle us.”


3 http://guardianlv.com/2014/03/uk-hospitals-burn-aborted-babies-for-heat/

4 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10717566/Aborted-babies-incinerated-to-heat-UK-hospitals.html

5 https://www.spuc.org.uk/news/releases/2014/march25

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