Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Andrei Respecting the Dead

It is a mark of a humane and decent society that being respected is not just a matter of having a large bank account

And this applies to the dead as well as the living.

Katrina Shanks an ex National MP has noted that those who receive paupers funerals are cremated even though their wishes would be to be buried and is suggesting that we cater for their wishes.

Lindsay Mitchel isn't impressed.

But for Catholics (discouraged) , Orthodox (forbidden) , Muslims (Forbidden) and Jews (forbidden by strict adherents of Judaism) cremation is a touchy subject.

I personally have been to Orthodox Funerals of paupers, where the deceased was cremated and very disturbing it was.

The last time was for a man who through no fault of his own but after years of debilitating illness died penniless and cremation is what he got.

We should be able to do better


4 comment(s):

Lynda said...

I agree with you in this; a burial is quite reasonable....I could imagine the Greens preferring cremation. There are all sorts of problems with cremation; many just never collect the urn from the undertaker, they are never interred but kept in cupboards etc.
That said it seems we are doing better than our British forbears. If a poor sick person ended up in 'hospital' (mainly part of the workhouse system) and died...there body was automatically (without anyone's consent) sent for medical dissection. The only way to stop this was for the family to pay up front for the cost of a funeral.
Imagine how terrible that would have been, to lose your loved one's body for ever - to dissection and immolation of their body parts in the hospital incinerator.

Lucia Maria said...

I suppose with Lindsay, it's all about the money, rather than the natural dignity due to human beings. She has no problem with the State paying for cremation, I presume, because she doesn't want the bodies of the poor just left lying around if no one can take care of them. But the expensive option of non-cremation is a step too far. Or maybe she hasn't thought about it, maybe the State has take care of the dead, and she has that in her to care. I suppose the question to make her think about it is, if there were an even cheaper option to throw bodies in a pit, would she prefer that be done rather than cremation. The answer would be telling.

Leftrightout said...

We can do what we can do. The religious have abandoned their dead. It is left to the secular humanists to take care of the impoverished in death as it is in life.

Andrei said But for Catholics (discouraged) , Orthodox (forbidden) , Muslims (Forbidden) and Jews (forbidden by strict adherents of Judaism) cremation is a touchy subject. and then followed up with the touching tale


I personally have been to Orthodox Funerals of paupers, where the deceased was cremated and very disturbing it was.

The last time was for a man who through no fault of his own but after years of debilitating illness died penniless and cremation is what he got.



All I can ask is why didn't his fellow Orthodox communion pay for his burial? Why did they leave it to the state? Why didn't they do better?

As your Jesus supposedly said "What you do the least, you also do to me", and I doubt he was talking about abandoning a member of your community simply because he was poor.


And yes, Lucia, it IS all about the money. Again, as a secular humanist I approve of money being spent to support "the natural dignity due to human beings", but at death, they stop being and are now simply a waste product to be disposed of in the most efficient and safest manner.


From the stars we came, and to the stars we shall return.



Lynda, I would have n o problem with paupers bodies being used for medical research, but generally poverty can make the body less than useful.

Lynda said...

You make a fair point about religious groups supporting their own in death by burial. One of the mercies of the Church is burying the dead.
Regarding paupers bodies being used for medical research...the fact was it was against their will and their families. So the real thing to consider is would you want your own body being treated this way as a matter of course and not a choice?

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