According to a report by The Telegraph, thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated by hospitals as clinical waste and, in some cases, were then used to heat hospitals as part of a “waste-to-energy” program.
At least 27 hospitals in the United Kingdom have been identified as doing this over just the last two years, with at least two using the remains to generate power for heat. Ten of the hospitals have admitted to it.
As soon as the report’s filings were released, the Department of Health instantly banned the practice, with Health Minister Dr. Dan Poulter calling the findings “totally unacceptable.”
The investigation found that at least 15,500 fetal remains were incinerated. According to the report, the parents were not even consulted as to what they wanted to do with the remains. Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge is reported to have incinerated 797 babies at their own waste-to-energy plant after telling the mothers their babies had been cremated. Ipswich Hospital is believed to have incinerated 1,101 fetal remains in just a two-year period.
Poulter says that “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.”
Professor Sir Mike Richards, the 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. We scrutinize information of concern and can inspect unannounced, if required.”
According to the report, one in seven pregnancies in the United Kingdom ends in a miscarriage while the country experiences about 4,000 stillbirths each year. That’s not counting the abortion statistics. According to The Guardian, there were 196,082 abortions performed in the UK in 2011.
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