RE: [Histonet] Hospital fetus disposition survey

From:Tony Henwood


The laws in Australia are different to elsewhere but in summery:

Stillborns greater than 20 weeks need to be buried/cremated.
Under 20 weeks to be disposed of a/c to families wishes. At our hospital,
unless otherwise requested, we keep the fetuses for 6 months prior to having
them cremated by a local crematorium. The ashes are then sprinkled on the
rose garden at the hospital. The crematorium does this as a big favour and
we are in their debt. This procedure only applies to those fetuses that have
had a postmortem. The parents permission is always obtained.

Hope this helps


Tony Henwood JP, MSc, BAppSc, GradDipSysAnalys, CT(ASC)
Laboratory Manager & Senior Scientist
The Children's Hospital at Westmead,
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, 2145, AUSTRALIA.
Tel: 612 9845 3306
Fax: 612 9845 3318

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, 24 August 2005 2:40 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Hospital fetus disposition survey


We are evaluating our current practices for fetus disposal at our facility 
and would like to know how both Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals handle 
fetus disposition at their facilities. I am interested in practices for 
both fetal loss greater than 20 weeks gestation  AND less than 20 weeks 
gestation (products of conception). 

Please include religious affiliation, if any, of your institution.

1.      Are parents given the option to have the hospital handle the 
disposition for the remains at < 20 wks, >20 weeks, or both? 

2.      If parents opt for hospital disposition, is it handled on-site, or 
contracted by the hospital off-site (with a funeral home)?  If off-site, 
is the patient charged for disposition?

3.      Method of disposition? Cremation? Burial? Other?

4.      Are remains collected/disposed of separately, or co-mingled with 
other tissues?

5.      Is disposal method dictated by State Law? Please include state.

Any additional information you can give me about your practices would be 

Thank you in advance for your help.

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