Utter disrespect for the dead | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 20, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:55 PM, February 20, 2019


Utter disrespect for the dead

Bodies cannot be treated as garbage

It is with shock and disbelief that we are informed through a news report that 31 bodies of premature babies were found in a dustbin of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College in Barishal. The city corporation's workers happened to find them while cleaning the dustbin. A ward master of the hospital says that interns of the medical college sometimes do research with the help of these bodies but that they are supposed to be buried afterwards. The director of the institution opined that perhaps the students or ward boys dumped them adding that they would be questioned regarding the matter.

But the callousness with which these human bodies have been treated is beyond comprehension. The circumstances behind so many dead bodies of babies are also something that needs to be looked into. But whatever the antecedents behind the existence of these dead babies, the act of throwing them into a dustbin like ordinary garbage is reprehensible and contradicts our basic human values. It is all the more outrageous that an institution that is dedicated to teaching young people how to save lives should not be able to ensure that the bodies of babies are treated with the respect and dignity due to them and buried properly.

Apart from the ethical aspects of such an incident, there are also health concerns of indiscriminately dumping of corpses which can pose health hazards for the public. We urge the authorities of the medical college to thoroughly investigate the matter and take disciplinary measures against those who have committed this crime. This horrific incident should be a lesson for the medical college that students and all employees must be taught to dispose bodies with the respect that is due to them. It is a basic value for the medical profession.

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