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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Bill may require fetal disposition standards

March 8, 2007

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— When Dawn Lewis of Gardner asked hospital officials what happened to the remains of her "little one" after a miscarriage, she was told "you don't want to know."

After she persisted, she was told by the hospital that the fetal remains were incinerated with medical waste.

Now, three years later, Lewis is seeking legislation that would give a mother the right to determine final disposition of the remains of the fetus, and that hospitals adopt standards to handle these situations.

"Burning the remains with hospital trash is not acceptable," state Rep. Mike Kiegerl, R-Olathe, told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee about House Bill 2341.

But hospital officials said the bill was probably not necessary because hospitals already have procedures in disposing of fetal remains.

"This could be an isolated case of a policy not being followed," said Deborah Stern, with the Kansas Hospital Association.

The measure also requires medical facilities to make counseling available to the mother after a miscarriage. The hospital association asked that the counseling not be mandated, but instead offered on a case-by-case basis as assessed by the health care provider.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 9 months ago

When Dr. George Tiller performs a third-trimester abortion here in Kansas, he offers the parents photographs with the dead child, baptism of the dead child and a funeral for the dead child.

It seems miscarried babies deserve a fate better than incineration with medical waste.

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