ConCourt ruling on burial of foetus will help parents find closure - NPO

An activist said that a recent ruling from the Constitutional Court confirming that bereaved parents had the right to bury a foetus would help provide closure.

Copyright : Danil Roudenko / 123rf

JOHANNESBURG - An activist said that a recent ruling from the Constitutional Court confirming that bereaved parents had the right to bury a foetus would help provide closure.

For years, the Births and Deaths Act had been interpreted in such a way that a foetus under the age of 26 weeks was considered medical waste. As a result, parents who, for example, miscarried before this stage were not given the option to bury the foetus.

But the Constitutional Court last week found that the interpretation was incorrect.

The case was brought by non-profit the Voice of the Unborn Baby. Founder Sonja Smith has welcomed the outcome, saying that providing a dignified send-off was an important part of the healing process.

"It’s all about closure and validation, to recognise this was a life and it’s not a piece of rubbish to be chucked away in a red anatomical waste bucket. So I think in order for parents to heal and to deal with this loss, it’s important for them to say goodbye in a dignified fashion," Smith said.