Published January 08, 2015
It is always sad to hear about the loss of a child. Today I read a story about Christ Hospital in New Jersey, where an investigation is being conducted to determine whether a mother's stillborn baby was thrown out with the hospital's garbage. Of course, the family is devastated.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard a story like this. There have been other stories of infants "thrown out" or "misplaced." These babies have died from premature birth or other medical conditions and have been misplaced in a hospital setting, creating an unimaginable scenario for a family that is already in a devastating position.
Many American hospitals continue to pay little attention to the fact that a fetal loss is something that a mother and family never forget. That infant, over the course of the pregnancy, became part of the family and proper respect must always be given.
The bereavement procedure in hospitals has to ensure proper support for the mother. If it cannot, it must provide alternative social service counseling. It must give resources to the family to talk about their grief and provide all possible outlets. A stillborn baby is a human being - even if the law doesn't acknowledge it as such -- that is part of a family.
I have tried to talk to the hospital, to the Hudson County Prosecutor's office, as well as the Jersey City Police Department, to try to understand how a baby's corpse could have possibly been thrown out with the hospital trash, but no proper answers were given, since everybody is hiding behind rules and regulations.
A mother's child must always be respected - whether alive or dead. And I am truly sorry for what has happened to this family. I just hope that this hospital will learn so that this will never happen again.