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RCOG statement on the disposal of fetal remains

News 25 March 2014

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) understands that there are concerns about the incineration of fetal remains in some trusts.

The Department of Health and Human Tissue Authority are taking the matter seriously and are developing clearer guidance on the incineration of fetal tissue and the regulation and inspections of licensed premises.

It is unacceptable to incinerate fetal remains with clinical waste and each Trust should have protocols in place to dispose of fetal tissue upon consultation with the families involved.

The RCOG has stated in its Good Practice Guide that bereaved parents should be informed of the disposal options available to them and that this should be done sensitively, respecting the needs and wishes of parents. Other organisations such as the Miscarriage Association and Sands provide support and counselling.

The RCOG welcomes closer working with DH and HTA to address this issue so that the processes and procedures in place reflect the needs and wishes of parents during this difficult period and healthcare professionals have the appropriate training and skills to help grieving parents.

For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk