I have signed the amendment tabled to the Emergency Coronavirus Bill by Naz Shah MP. Jewish and Muslim communities are worried that if capacity issues arise, this legislation may allow local authorities to cremate bodies without the consent of the next of kin.
The proposed amendment would give assurances that communities are consulted and can suggest alternatives to cremation to adhere to the deceased’s beliefs. The element of freedom of religion is recognised in the Human Rights Act and burial (rather than cremation) is a particularly important element of both Judaism and Islam.
Losing a loved one is a time of great sorrow for families. Unfortunately, we know that there will be deaths as a result of COVID-19 and I hope this amendment can bring families some comfort at the most difficult of times.
You can find out more about the amendment from Naz Shah MP here.