A woman in Canada was sentenced yesterday for failing to alert authorities to her husband’s death for weeks, possibly months. Her husband died of an untreated illness. The two were described by neighbors as “deeply religious” and chose not to seek medical attention, instead “believing God would cure him”. Police found the man in an upstairs bedroom in a state of advanced decomposition.
As “gross” and “icky” as this sounds and probably most certainly was, it is worth noting that the coroner who performed the autopsy, Jack Stanborough, reported that “There was nothing in the examination that would suggest . . . public health concerns”.
Unfortunately, many funeral directors continue to perpetuate the myth of dead bodies and their disease-spreading potential in order to defend embalming as a necessary requirement for protecting the viewing public, or to make a case for restricting the rights of families desiring to care for their own dead.