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Burning foetuses to heat hospitals: a perfect metaphor for modern Britain

24 March 2014

6:16 PM

24 March 2014

6:16 PM

By way of a metaphor for the way the NHS and, come to that, the law regards foetuses, you can’t really better the reality, viz, that foetal remains from abortions and miscarriages are being incinerated in NHS hospitals and possibly used to heat that hospital.

If a foetus lives less than 13 weeks, it could, in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, for instance, be used as fuel as part of the hospital’s waste-to-energy schemes. And 13 weeks is just over three months’ gestation – the point at which wanted foetuses register as recognisably human on the scans that prospective parents take home and show their friends. Meanwhile, the unwanted foetuses, or the ones that die early, get dumped with the used disposable gloves, in the incinerator. I don’t know why, but it’s almost worse that some of these unfortunates are burnt as part of a progressive energy-efficiency scheme; it somehow demonstrates our social priorities – with recycling way above respect for human remains.

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We owe this gruesome insight to the Channel 4 Dispatches team, which, in a programme aired tonight, reveals that at least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts in the last two years alone and that Addenbrooke’s incinerated 797 foetuses below 13 weeks’ gestation at their waste-to-energy plant. It’s not alone; another facility at Ipswich was given foetal remains from another hospital as part of its waste – which is used to heat the hospital.

I swear; Jonathan Swift couldn’t have made it up.

There’s now a bit of a flutter in the NHS henhouse on the back of the revelations, with the health minister, Dr Dan Poulter, calling it ‘totally unacceptable’. But that is largely due to the fact that many of the foetuses in question were in fact the product of miscarriages…they were wanted, see? Prof Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said, ‘I am disappointed trusts may not be informing or consulting women and their families.’ Indeed the central thrust of the programme, called ‘Exposing Hospital Heartache’, is about the treatment that people who suffer early miscarriages sometimes receive.

And I think most of us would agree that their grief at their loss should be respected, and that they should indeed be consulted about what’s done with their offspring’s remains. But that does rather leave out of account the aborted foetuses, the ones that weren’t wanted. I don’t think anyone’s suggesting their mothers should be consulted – it might be thought a bit tactless. But a foetus is a foetus; if a wanted one is entitled to be buried or cremated decently as a fellow human being, well, same goes for the aborted ones. The law entitles us to kill them – up to birth in the case of disability – but it should not preclude treating their bodies with respect, as something other than refuse. Indeed, when parents grieve over the loss of a miscarried foetus, they are saying something about the status of unborn humans. But would Dispatches have troubled to make a programme about merely aborted remains being used as hospital fuel? I wonder.


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Show comments
  • artemis in france

    But am I wrong in thinking that in some parts of the world crematoria adopt the same practice? Isn’t it a sensible use of the heat generated? Aren’t we all being a bit squeamish about dead tissue? I had an abortion at ten weeks and gave no thought afterwards to what had happened to the foetus. What would be the point? I also miscarried at about the same gestation period. Ditto. People spend too much time fretting over what cannot be changed.

  • andyrwebman

    No different to the abortion in the first place. If you believe that abortion is wrong, then the wrong is in the moment it’s pulled from the womb, not what happens to the remains afterwards. It’s hypocrisy on a huge scale to let something die then insist that the dead remains be treated with dignity.

    If the program had revealed that these foetuses had been given dignified burials, would that really have made any difference?

    Of course not. Programs like this play on the irrational emotional feelings we humans have towards the dead, and the lies we tell ourselves when we bury bodies that we’re somehow “laying them to rest”. If we’re truthful with ourselves, we should admit that what we do to bodies makes ZERO difference to the person they once were.

    It’s not even as if there’s any possibility of “perverse incentive” as I can’t see women deciding to have abortions as an act of public envrionmentalism in order to help heat the hospitals.

    This program changes nothing.

  • FrankieThompson

    “Unwanted children” was a phrase which gained currency in the 60’s and 70’s but has fallen out of use. Its significance has not diminished.

    One can only be wanted or unwanted by someone else.

    One’s right to exist is therefore predicated on the feelings, expressed or otherwise, of another human being. It is an abomination .

    • andyrwebman

      “One’s right to exist is therefore predicated on the feelings, expressed or otherwise, of another human being”
      Not after your born, it isn’t. It’s just the right to say “I’m not being used as an incubator for this child because I don’t want it”
      Find a way of transferring the foetus to an artificial womb and you’d see an interesting clarficiation of that point in law.

  • anotherjoeblogs

    Horrendous subject but what happened to them before they were allegedly used as fuel ?

    • andyrwebman

      Probably just incinerated but no use was made of the heat. AS it would be if they were taken to a crematorium.

  • Zimbalist

    Himmler and his SS cronies couldn’t have dreamt this up. We now live in a nightmare state, where human life is regarded as worthless unless its (a) wanted and (b) supposedly physically perfect. It’s awful.

    God won’t be mocked though. Unless Britain changes its ways, expect the unexpected is all I can say.

    • andyrwebman

      If God were that concerned, surely he’d put a mechanism in people that would make pregnancy voluntary, instead of so often accidental, heat of the moment stuff?
      Anyway, how do you know what God thinks? It’s not as if any religion has provided us with a description of history that is remotely like that which the fossil and geological record teaches us,. so it;’s a fair bet that all the religious texts you read were written by ignorant humans rather than all wise deities.

  • Gwangi

    ‘I swear; Jonathan Swift couldn’t have made it up.’
    No, but you did, didn’t you?
    Swift’s A Modest Proposal is a dark satire about eating live babies, aimed full square at those who perpetrated abuses in Ireland. And that is connected with the disposal of human waste of all forms (and all very dead) in what way exactly?
    Or perhaps you should listen to Every Sperm is Sacred by Monty Python, and realise what you are saying. Maybe we need little coffins for ejaculate now, because the little gamete tadpoles therein are human waste too and could one day grow up to be, well, The Pope, innit?

    • FrankieThompson

      “a dark satire about eating live babies”

      Exactly. This is reality.

  • Gwangi

    Nothing unacceptable about it at all. Clinical waste gets burnt in incinerators to prevent infection. Or would you prefer they scattered the blood and guts on the fields as fertiliser as they used to do with war dead?
    Dumb article. Almost American in its hysterical puritanical scaremongering about abortion.

    • Jimmy Melons

      Using the dead to fertilise fields would be a far greater symbolic act than incinerating them.

      • andyrwebman

        Buried under fruit trees maybe? I wonder if there’d be some bad taste pun about the variety of apple though?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, the value of human life is equivalent to a pun, to you types.

          • andyrwebman

            You’d be surprised about the number of things I make really sick jokes about, but when it comes to putting my money where my mouth is I act with compassion.

            But asides from that – a commentator made a very good point that folk who complain about abortion often eat animal meat, and the animal’s brain is at a more developed stage than the human embryo that is aborted.

            I do think that we are allowing it a bit late at 20 odd weeks, when premature babies are kept alive at the same stage.

            But it all comes down to the fact that I accept somebody’s right not to be used as an incubator by their genes. If an intelligent being were growing inside me – and when full grown couldn’t get out without causing me immense pain and possible long term health issues – I would rip it out without hesitation. I woudn’t, however, get in the way of anyone trying to keep it alive in an incubator.

  • Frank

    Lets wind everybody up article!
    The incinerators are there mainly to dispose of clinical waste, not create heat – that is a by-product in some cases.
    Did all these patients think that their waste was being disposed of by burial in consecrated ground?
    If this is an unacceptable process, fine, lets have a proper burial for all medical waste composed of human tissue at the patient’s expense.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    And now this from the Psychological Warfare Department.

  • mariandavid

    I am assuming, with kindness in my heart, that this extravagant assumption comes from someone who is a devoted opponent of abortion in all its forms and therefore feels justified in bringing this to our attention. Yet why? It is a basic rule that all ‘medical remains’ be burnt to avoid any chance of infection, no matter how remote, and any hospital that did to the contrary would be in most serious trouble. And I assume, there being no facts to the contrary, that these foetuses are those whose mothers, for whatever reason, did not want to take with them for personal grief and final burial.

    Now had the thrust of this plaintive article been directed at what is a problem – the brusque and often unfeeling treatment of a misscarrying mother, which does deserve attention I would have admired the writer. But instead she brushes that aside into a footnote – which indeed is somewhat more disgraceful behavior than that for which the NHS (or note any other) hospital is strangely blamed.

    • bengeo

      Because the owners of DT are the Barclay brothers who are Catholic.

  • Quiddity

    If I really thought that an embryo were a ‘fellow human being’ — and that’s what you’re really talking about, not a baby capable of taking breath — I’d think nothing of my status as a human being as against any other being that lives. An embryo is the most junior blueprint of our kind: it is not in any meaningful way a human being — it is like a lamb, a foetal puppy, a potted palm. A human being must become one in time : it isn’t made in the first instant.

    • John Lea

      Thanks for encapsulating so perfectly an bio-ethical view which could have been written by Dr Mengele himself.

      • andyrwebman

        I suppose you’re of the “every sperm is sacred” viewpoint and that anyone who disagrees with you is like Dr Mengele, eh?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          The Dr. Mengele slander is reserved for you types who are feverish to kill innocent human life, lad.

          • Transponder

            The ‘lad’ doesn’t add anything. I know you are desperate to be patronising, but you’ll have to come up with an actual argument: there’s no way around it.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …you types are the argument, lad.

          • andyrwebman

            Not feverish to kill – If you read an earlier post I spoke of how I’d like to see widespread use of emerging technologies to make accidental pregnancy very rare indeed. If the pregnancies don’t happen, there won;t be abortions and it will be WAY better for all concerned.

            I just don’t care what happens to dead bodies. Only the living evoke my concern.

      • Quiddity

        Thanks for smearing my perfectly humane comments with a N_zi equivalence. The shame is on you, not me.

        You: just another punter that has no concept of the distinction between sentimentality and compassion. Sentimentality is easy — and lazy; it’s empathy that takes imagination and a minimal reasoning ability.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          No, the equivalence is quite relevant your post, lad. Sorry, but you’ll just have to deal with that

          • Transponder

            Your high horse is up to his knees in mud.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …which is better than you types, who like to be up to your knees in blood, as we know historically.

      • OldJoeClark

        This is a discussion board for adults. Go and emote elsewhere.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, those who have little respect for human life are generally also the ones who want to silence dissension. These perversions tend to go together. Mengele dealt with them all, finally, as we know.

          • Transponder

            Too much of the gin, mate, and not enough of the viceroy.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …sounds like you need to get to silencing people then, lad .

  • AndrewMelville

    Honestly grow up. What should we do with them? Hold parades through the centre of town and bury them in Hyde Park with full military honours?

    You’re making up an issue out of nothing.

    • Quiddity

      Many if not most people can’t seem to strike a decent balance between over-sentimentalizing completely unformed unborn life and being callous and cruel about the living (wars and torture in other countries, who cares?). At the same time, I’ve noticed that the very same people that think any cluster of cells formed by egg and sperm is sacrosanct, while they tuck into bacon and sausage at breakfast. The pigs’ slaughter means nothing to them. Whereas I think that killing a pre-embryo, however much we shouldn’t encourage it as a society, is less than killing an actual pig.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …so you’re analogizing humans with animals, are you? This gets more strange as we go.

        • Transponder

          You would be cruel to animals? Why? They have feelings, fears, intelligence to different degrees (not all the dimensions of which are easy for us to perceive, never mind quantify).

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …so you too are analogizing humans with animals? Yes, this gets more and more strange aw we go.

            • andyrwebman

              Actually, they’re not “analogizing” humans and animals, because that would involve a metaphor with an obvious meaning and a subtler one.

              They are merely COMPARING the brain complexities of animals and developing foetuses. No analogy is involved, just a straight forward comparison of intellect.

  • Magnolia

    This will probably not be printed.
    I am informed by Pathologist spouse that in the old days the remains went through the macerator and out in to the local river via the drains but that proper practice nowadays is for the remains to be taken from the hospital mortuary to the local crematorium for incineration there.
    I am against ab*****n and this just confirms that society has lost its moral compass.
    One can see how they were just applying some rules without actually thinking about what they were really doing. Medical waste has to be ‘incinerated’ and incinerators can be used to capture some lost energy for re-use as heating. Dear G*d what monsters we have become.

    • 1498

      My elderly uncle worked as a plumber, in the 1970’s. Some of his work involved the drainage & waste disposal facilities at hospitals all over the country. He said that there were aspects of his work, that were too disgusting & gruesome to reveal the full details – even to his family. The remains of a tiny human being should be treated with some respect and dignity – not tossed in the garbage or used as heating fuel.

      • andyrwebman

        What difference is that going to make to the baby? It’s dead. The only purpose of treating the dead with dignity is to comfort living friends and relatives – not applicable in this case.

        • Jimmy Melons

          “The only purpose of treating the dead with dignity is to comfort living friends and relatives”

          Do you come from Mars?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …that’s your only purpose, lad. That’s the measure of you.

          • Transponder

            Emotive rubbish.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …yes, you types definitely seek to label things and people as “rubbish”, as we know.

    • andyrwebman

      It’s surely the aobrtion itself that should worry you, not what happens to remains.

  • Curnonsky

    Danny Boyle must be kicking himself – think what he could have done with this! Perhaps a giant pyre of baby corpses ringing by dancing, singing Guardianistas?

  • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

    So your objection is that foetuses are cremated in a hospital as opposed to in a crematorium?

    This is the sort of click-bait one would expect from the Daily Mail, not the Spectator.

    • andyrwebman

      daft, isn’t it? As if it maked any difference to the foetus if it’s bundled in a coffin first and driven across town to be burned

  • 1498

    No doubt this horrific issue will be ‘played down’ by most of the British mainstream media. They BBC will probably ignore it completely.

  • Mike Barnes

    I’ve no idea about this stuff so what exactly are the parents told when they lose a baby?

    Where do they think the body is going?

    • HookesLaw

      You do make a fair point in the case of a miscarriage If the baby is not given back to the parents for burial then what do they think happens to it? That being the case I wonder what the logic of this article is.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …to demonstrate how callous and insulting to humanity you socialists are, always and historically.

      • Transponder

        Never mind that a cremated being is just as dead as one that was given a burial. No one will ever get either one back. The fact of that loss would affect me far more than the circumstances of the body once lost.

        • andyrwebman

          Exactly.

          This shock is symptomatic of a deep dishonesty about death within our society, the lies we tell ourselves about dead bodies and “laying them to rest”. It means we waste valuable resources – in some cases, organs that could give someone a new chance at life – because we lie to ourselves that “we’re protecting them from being cut up” and “respecting them”

          It’s understandable, because the pain and loss of a loved one wouldn’t be helped by someone being entirely callous with their body, rubbing your face in the fact that the person you loved is now just dead matter.

          But we allow that sentimentality to overreach itself to the point where we worry about an undeveloped being that nobody ever knew.

          Worse, in the hysteria surrounding the Alder Hey organs scandal, we got so worried about using dead tissue without permission that the NHS now has to contact people for written consent before doing research on 10 year old cancer biopsies. Our concern for the dead is harming actions and research that could save lives.

    • rubyduck

      There is a point at which a foetus is deemed eligible for a death certificate. A relative lost identical twins fairly recently. Both were “born” at the same time but one had died much earlier in the pregnancy and was not eligible for a death certificate. Thankfully, neither was used as fuel.

      • Transponder

        Talk about using the hard case where a child survives, the parents grieving, etc. as a way of confusing the issue, which is that medical waste of whatever provenance must be safely disposed of. But I suppose that if humans were better reasoners our history would be much saner and less cruel and vicious than it is.

  • Tom Tom

    They cremate humans for heat in some local authorities.

    • Frank

      Excellent, do they select the humans on the basis of social class, or do they just ship them in from places like Scotland?

      • andyrwebman

        I imagine they wait until they’re dead first, the heat produced is the same regardless of class.

  • lgrundy

    Britain’s NHS, where children and old people are starved and dehydrated to death in hospitals heated by burning foetuses. It’s diabolical.

    • Andy

      No, merely the glorious Socialistic reality.

    • HookesLaw

      Hospitals are not ‘heated by burning foetuses’. It seems 2 hospitals used an incinerator which also generated some heat – I suspect these incinerators collect all manner of waste from the wider community. The prime purpose of the incinerator, which is quite different from boiler plant, is to burn medical and other such waste. You may well think that a miscarried foertus should be treated differently than an amputated limb and the govt have just said so. But its a crass step to jump to saying that babies are being burned for heat.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, as a socialist, you’ll always jump up to defend this behavior, as we’ve come to expect of you.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Oh give it a rest. As a socialist you are obviously a cannibal and a mass murderer etc etc.

          • Kitty MLB

            Oh no, old fellow! if he and unite very different people such as
            Hooky and I then that is a good thing ( we are both evil, child eating socialists) I think both lovely but utterly humourless Viceroy and scary Raw England are the love
            children of Genghis Khan- and you have no idea how much
            of an embarrassment that is to UKIP and the lovely Kippers
            who post here ( Wessex Man, if you ever need protecting
            from that Raw England woman, let me know, good at that stuff)

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …I think you’ve finally got it, lad.

        • andyrwebman

          I’m very much not a socialist, but rather a rationalist. I don’t have a problem with the burning of remains. The debate should be centered on what happens to the living, not what happens after they die.

          • Kitty MLB

            Well said, not a socialist person, like many of us.
            Hysterical rubbish, no one is burning a child,
            a child would be taken home and be buried..
            I have never known a parent to ask for the remains of abortion
            etc.. they never do.
            What do they suppose hospitals do with human parts.
            This is balderdash– no one is burning children.

            • rubyduck

              “I have never known a parent to ask for the remains of abortion … no one is burning children”

              Perhaps the unfortunate parent(s) should be asked. Anything that emphasises the seriousness of choosing to end a human life would be a step in the right direction.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …the 2 are related, and the callousness displayed by the socialists towards the dead is a reflection of their overall callousness.

      • Kitty MLB

        Its all hysterical rubbish, anyone would think they are chucking fully formed dead babies on a fire.. what are hospitals suppose to do
        with unformed organs etc.. parents do not want them… they bury a baby.
        Its just a nonsense. What about those who ‘ waste’ sperm..
        maybe they think the same..

        • rubyduck

          A foetus is fully formed at three months.

    • telemachus

      Yes and the abomination is compounded year on year by the criminal actions of Lansley and the now apologist Murdoch-Hunt
      They should be in Parkhurst

      • Kitty MLB

        You really have the cheek of the devil, Telemachus.
        utterly no shame, have you any idea what Labour did to the NHS.
        I for one fully supported Andrew Lansley’s reforms.

    • andyrwebman

      People are placed on the Liverpool care pathway in part because we as a society are too cowardly to embrace assisted dying.

      Thus we have people in situations where it seems pointless to keep them alive and drag out their suffering, yet we wont help those who want a quick end to finish it.

      Which leaves us a strung out end on the Liverpool care pathway, or an even more strung out end with food and water being given and the patient kept alive and helpless for extra agonising weeks, maybe even months, until even modern life support fails.

      What a terrible future vision that is, machinery that could keep a fragment of your former self barely alive for months or years.

      I personally want the power to put a needle into my own veins and squeeze one last massive morphine hit into me. Go out with a huge happy smile.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …the problem is, so many of you types want to kill those people you want gone.

      • rubyduck

        I don’t know about morphine, but heroin is pretty easy to get hold of, so why not do it now, whilst you’re in full possession of your faculty?

        • andyrwebman

          Not ready yet you cheeky thing, you!

  • James Morris

    I feel like puking up

    • Quiddity

      Do you have a rational reaction, or is that it? The thing is, I don’t trust the ‘pure feelers’. They are just as likely to run gulags. I prefer people that can be humane and assess the facts reasonably at the same time.

      • Hans Coessens

        Yes, let us all rationalise the behaviour here. Like the Germans rationalised their own in Dachau, the Russians in Holodomor, the Cambodians in Tuol Sleng and on and on. Nothing to concern us at all right?

        • andyrwebman

          What do you suggest? That gut reaction should drive what we do? That we adopt an “I feel it is so, therefore it must be so” attitude?

          • Hans Coessens

            Well, I mean if we don’t feel the slightest reprehension at our most vulnerable brothers and sisters being slaughtered daily, I don’t know what will.

            • andyrwebman

              Feelings are there to inform and influence the rational mind, not to rule it.

              Let me describe where I stand: First, we should make a concerted effort to prevent the need for abortion.

              One very good way of doing this would be to encourage the widespread adoption of vasalgel (the reversible injection vascectomy) that should be available within 2 years. If every 18 year old lad was encouraged to have one, the number of actual accidental pregnancies could drop massively.

              Secondly – and this is longer term – the idea of the “artificial womb” is being advanced (and eagerly awaiting by pro life groups in the US for this very reason). Abortion would change to “transfer from the mother to an artificial gestation envrironment”.

              Which is the crux of the issue – abortion should not be the right to kill, but rather the right to say “I am not willing to be an incubation envrionment”. At present, the latter implies the death of the foetus, but it need not be so forever.

              I threfore see many proactive ways to reduce this suffering, but I don’t feel right to ban it altogether. If I was female and became pregnant, there is no doubt I would abort as soon as possible (when there was merely a collection of non-sentient cells)

              As a male, this is not going to happen to me, But let’s imagine an analogy. If an alien being attached itself to your shoulder and said “Hi, I’m attached to you for 9 months. I’m going to grow bigger, your back will suffer from carrying the weight, your body may well become saggy and never recover its shape, you have a high chance of long term incontinence and sexual problems, and when I finally remove myself it will be the most agonising experience you’ve ever been through, possibly for days. But please don’t rip me off your shoulder or I’ll die”.

              Dude, I would rip the creature off in a second – and here we’re imagining something that is already sentient and articulate.

              The point is that pregnancy and child rearing can be so crappy that I can’t help but symphthise with someone not wanting to have themselves used as an incubator.

        • Quiddity

          False equivalence and lazy sentimentality.

  • Mazzzz

    Abortion, by vaccuming humans out of the womb and then burning them for fuel. How civilised! We all know ‘who’ to blame but unfortunately, they have comandeered their way into every institution going, i.e. the feminazi’s and their contemptible lickspittles.

  • Hans Coessens

    A society that allows child sacrifice in order to feel warm is well on a guaranteed path to self-destruction. My God what have we become?

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      How do you sacrifice something that was already dead?

      • Hans Coessens

        Are you saying unborn babies are dead?

        • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

          I’m saying miscarried foetuses are dead.

          • Hans Coessens

            Miscarried and aborted babies are obviously dead. Who is disputing that? The point of my comment is that we accept slaughtering innocent children to heat up an office. That is diabolical.

            • 1498

              the logic of the liberals is that the foetus is not human. It does not become human until it is born. Therefore if it is not human, it has no rights, no dignity and no value.
              So to the liberal mindset, the use of the remains as fuel makes perfect sense. The foetus is no different to any other clinical waste.
              They may even start proposing other ‘practical’ uses for fetal remains. Nothing would surprise me at this stage.

              • andyrwebman

                Come on, be rational. The issue is what happens at the moment of abortion, not afterwards. It makes no difference what happens to the body afterwards, it’s not as if strangers treating the remains reverently is going to have any effect on whether the mother chooses to abort.

              • Kitty MLB

                What mother wants to take home a aborted mass of
                unformed bodily parts, have you known one to ask.
                They just leave the hospital.. and they must know what hospitals do, with all these bodily parts, but obviously
                you do not think of such things. and its not a baby.
                If you give birth to a dead baby, you take it home and bury the poor mite. Hysterical as usual.

            • Quiddity

              No: in your case, it’s hysterical.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Do you always think like this? We kill children IN ORDER TO heat up offices?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …who knows what you morally degenerate socialists are capable of, lad? You types are pushing out on the envelope constantly.

            • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

              Good thing that’s not happening then eh?

              • Hans Coessens

                What? The documentary by Amanda Holden has people who admit that many of the babies had been killed during an abortion. In other words, they are killing babies in our hospitals and turning them into heat for the nurses.

                • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                  An embryo is an embryo, a foetus is a foetus and a baby is a baby. Even you believe this.

                  You are in a burning building. At one end of the room is a medical container of 50 Petri dishes containing two day old fertilised human eggs. At the other is a crying two year old child. You can only save one, which do you choose?

                  The difference that makes you pick the crying two year old is the difference between a baby and the material being burnt for health purposes.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The difference between you socialist nutters and the rest of us is that historically, you are enthusiastic advocates for the taking of lives, and you always excuse your behavior as necessary and proper.

                • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                  You seem to be confusing socialism and Christianity.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …no confusion, lad. You socialists are willing advocates for the liquidation of human beings, as we know historically.

    • HookesLaw

      You are bonkers. Children are not being sacrificed and not for any heating purpose either.
      Crass indeed loony comment like that merely indicates a bigot.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, you socialists always get around to disrespecting and killing human life, don’t you?

        • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

          You hear that Hooky? Apparently you and I are in the same club! Remember to bring a bottle of goat’s blood to the meeting next Tuesday. Also, we have to be out of the temple at 6 because the Illuminati are having their bingo night.

          • Kitty MLB

            And Right Wing Conservatives are also in the same club
            as Hooky and you. You also need a sacrificial lamb and altar.
            Good that your using goats blood, actually Sammy…
            some have allergies to think of.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            No, you socialists have never needed goat’s blood and temple meetings, lad. You just kill. It’s what you do. Always and historically. It’s always where you wind up.

            • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

              Oh come on darling, where’s your sense of pageantry?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …yes, the fascist branch of your tribe definitely loves its murderous pageantry, lad.

                • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                  Life is a cabaret old chum.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …for a while, until you fascists decide its time to start killing.

      • Zimbalist

        Oh oh, Lefty alert. “Bigot” has been used. Must have said something they disagree with.

    • Karl Stuebe

      filiae Hierusalem nolite flere super me sed super vos ipsas flete et filios Vestros super quoniam ecce venient dies in quibus dicent beatae steriles et ventres qui non genuerunt et ubera quae non lactaverunt.

    • Kitty MLB

      What do you suppose happens to human waste.. blood, guts and stuff.
      You are almost hysterical. No one is incinerating a baby- a baby would
      be buried by it parents if the poor mite were born dead.
      If a parent has an abortion or loses a child at a very early stage..
      they do not take it home…never !
      What do you suppose happens. Hysterical as I said, No one is burning
      Children- grow up !!!

      • Hans Coessens

        As I just said the hospitals are slaughtering unborn babies through abortions and then using their body parts as fuel for heat. What is hysterical about that? That was a factual description of what takes place.

        • Kitty MLB

          Clearly you have issues with abortion, if you call it slaughtering, its a mothers choice and they have that right,
          as a catholic I am not supposed to say that, I know.
          Two hospitals had this mass of protein medical waste within incinerators
          with other parts of medical waste such as amputated legs etc.
          Parents do not want this substance, its not a baby that they can bury, so what do you suppose should be done.
          Should hospitals bury this substance and it treated differently,
          and what about sperm and eggs. Should they be treated differently…whatever the answer.. don’t call hospitals murderers. This sounds like the nonsense you get from the whacky US.

          • Hans Coessens

            As a Catholic you should know better. One of the commandments is not to kill someone. Just watch Dr Bernard Nathanson’s movie ‘The Silent Scream’ you will see the horror of what a child goes through when they are aborted. Abortion is the holocaust of our times.

            • andyrwebman

              I note how historically the command “not to kill” has been overlooked in times of war by many churches. So much for turning the other cheek.

              • Jimmy Melons

                Actually the command is “do no murder”.

                • andyrwebman

                  A command which the inquisition certainly managed to ignore. Or is burning living adult creatures at the stake not murder?

                • Jimmy Melons

                  Why are you asking me?

                • andyrwebman

                  Only because you’re the last person in the chain of debate, nowt personal lad.

            • Kitty MLB

              What about the right not to be born into a world of fear and great suffering. Such as children born with Aids in Africa
              and badly handicapped children.
              Religion indeed can be the enemy of God, and guilty of much hypocrisy.

              • rubyduck

                The socialists would terminate them too.

    • andyrwebman

      I think you should stop being emotional and look at it rationally., I really can’t believe that you are actually convinced that this is what is happening.

      The abortion is a separate issue that should be debated on its own merits, regardless of what happens to the remains.

      It’s certainly not the case that anyone has been thinking “well, I was going to keep the baby, but now I think of it let’s get the baby aborted to fuel the hospital”. Nor are the hospital likely to think “let’s encourage abortion to get cheap fuel” because the cost of the abortion is hugely more than the saving in fuel.

      So it is ridiculous to believe that there is any fuel based incentive for abortions. The whole foetus burning is a distraction from the main issue and shouldn’t have the slightest effect on what a rational person’s opinion on the abortion debate would be.

      It matters what happens to the living, not the dead.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …no, it is not a “distraction”.

        • andyrwebman

          No better argument than “no it isn’t”?

          I outlined why it’s massively unlikely that the burning is doing anything than making the best use out of remains that would have been there anyway. I also believe that I proved that there is no perverse incentive to “abort more to burn more” because of costs – much cheaper to buy a log of wood, for example.

          A debate on abortion itself has rational merit and is apt to be long and difficult, as indeed there are living beings involved to whom the outcome is critical.

          But you seem to be desperately clinging to the idea of a “consolation prize” – as if by burying a but of semi developed matter with “respect” you’ll somehow give something back to that foetus.

          Accept the truth – it’s dead, it can’t feel anything, it can’t appreciate your efforts, and driving it down the road to be cremated in a crematorium won’t change a thing for it. Spend your efforts on helping the living.

  • Bonkim

    Why make a fuss – use of waste heat should not upset anyone and human remains of surgery is waste. Respect for the fetus should come from the parents – if they don’t value the remains it is waste. We need to be a little less sensitive to death and body disposal.

  • http://www.allkins.co.uk Dominic Allkins

    Frankly I think this is an absolute bl**dy disgrace.

    But no-one in the NHS will be fired. No-one in the NHS will suffer any serious consequences. Lessons will be learned, time will pass and the details will be lost.

    This story is symptomatic of the institutional arrogance and lack of respect that comes with being a ‘Sacred Cow’.

    The NHS isn’t the ‘Envy of the World’. If it was it would have been copied years ago. It is a disgrace.

    • GnosticBrian

      But, rest assured, “lessons will be learned” – my a**e. Whomsoever was responsible for this policy should be put in the stocks!

      • andyrwebman

        Rubbish. What would you have them do? Make doctors and nurses take time off to attend a funeral that the mother doesn’t want to attend herself?
        Use scarce hospital funds to pay for a specific “foetus burying” job – and hence be short of money to treat someone who is living?
        If anyone should bury the remains it should be the mother. Otherwise, what happens to the dead remains is a moot point – after all, the only purpose of funerals etc is to comfort the living. The idea that we are somehow doing something for the dead being is ludicrous

        • GnosticBrian

          I expect (nay, demand) that they show a degree of respect and common humanity – qualities that you so evidently lack; how was life in the SS?

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