The proper burial of my legal career

When I was a little girl, math was a problem for me. I have a pretty vivid imagination, and I gave all the numbers personalities. 2 was flirty, 7 was thoughtful and 9 was nothing but trouble. I imagined that 7 and 8 didn’t really like each other, so putting 8 + 7 was just asking for a fight.

I would get so wrapped up in this it took me forever to complete my math worksheets. This prompted much scolding from the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I still have this problem. When I work on a case, I only get the bare facts of a situation. I get really distracted by the back story. I spend hours wondering what “really” happened. What really happened is pretty much irrelevant, but I can’t help it.

I also get distracted by the law.  Right now, I am working on a case about an improper burial. I have read nearly every single Mass General Law about burials. But then it occurred to me that there was nothing in the laws about still birth burials. My case is not about a still born baby. So this has nothing to do with the price of tea. But I really fixated on this.

A fetus miscarried at 23 weeks gets a death certificate, so they probably get buried in the usual manner. But what happens before then? Is it just the family’s discretion? Can you really dispose of the body any way you want? Could you bury it in the backyard?

I was so distracted by this I was tempted to call a Funeral Home. But it would just be too weird to ask them how to dispose of a dead fetus.


7 thoughts on “The proper burial of my legal career

  1. There was a story a few years ago about a couple who caused a lot of havoc because the mother miscarried and she brought the remains to the hospital because she didn’t know what to do with them. The hospital overreacted and thought that there might have been malfeasance. It was all settled in the end but not without a dramatic story. And the poor couple!

  2. Weird, I was just thinking about this issue too. Some women on a baby message board reported that they had delivered stillborn babies at like 20 weeks, and I kept wondering what they did with the fetuses. But of course I couldn’t ask.

  3. I’m not sure about US laws but where and from in the Caribbean we follow British laws, and before 23 weeks they allow the parents to go home with the fetus, a friend of mine kept hers in a jar of formaldehyde for a few days and then had a burial in her backyard. You can opt to leave the fetus at the hospital and they usual cremate them. I lost mine at 26 weeks so she had a burial and a service and they gave me a death certificate.

  4. Hi Bianca,
    I am very sorry to hear that you lost a baby at 26 weeks. That must have been hard. I would have done the same thing, I would have had a burial and service.

  5. Well, we lost our first daughter at 28 weeks and the hospital sent her to the nearest Jewish Funeral Home who had a sitter with her. Then, because she was stillborn, they were OK with us having her cremated at Forest Hills and they allowed us to have a service there at the home, afterwhich we scattered her ashes at the beach. None of this answers your legal questions definatively however.

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