Foetal Death

Health written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Jim Dobbin Jim Dobbin Labour, Heywood and Middleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on disposal of foetal remains through incineration to heat hospitals.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Department considers incineration (including ‘waste to energy’ incineration) an unacceptable means of disposing of foetal remains.

To help provide clarity on this, the national medical director, NHS England has written to all national health service trusts and foundation trusts to make clear his view that this practice is inappropriate.

Also, following correspondence from the chief medical officer, the Human Tissue Authority has confirmed that it will revise its codes and guidance to make clear that incineration of foetal tissue is not acceptable. It will also examine disposal policies when inspecting licensed establishments and ensure that the policy is enforced.

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