A Hong Kong couple has been told they cannot take back the remains of a foetus for proper burial or cremation, after the wife suffered a miscarriage at 16 weeks of pregnancy. The city’s hospitals treat foetuses under 24 weeks as “clinical waste.”
The couple are both devout Catholics and wish to take back the remains of the baby in accordance with their faith. But the Hospital Authority has been unwilling to issue them a certificate of stillbirth, or Form 13, which is necessary for burial or cremation, despite there being no law specifically prohibiting the retrieval of foetuses under 24 weeks.
According to the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulations, the unlawful disposal of clinical waste is punishable with a HK$200,000 fine.
The only concession made by the Hospital Authority was that the remains could be released if the couple could prove they have arrangements for his cremation at a pet crematoria – a proposal that was dismissed as offensive, and understandable so.
Just how ridiculous is this?
Blenkharn Environmental, clinical waste, clinical waste discussion forum, clinical waste disposal, healthcare waste, medical waste, regulation, waste management, waste regulation, foetus, foetal remains