Law in Ontario prevents cremation of brachytherapy patients

Law in Ontario prevents cremation of brachytherapy patients

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 14, 2019
Rad Oncology

"I think any oncologist who has offered that treatment to a patient should know the law," Al’s daughter, Cindy Monk-Fuller, told CBC News.

Dustin Wright, senior director of marketing and communications for Arbour Memorial, the parent company of Highland Funeral Home, said that such information is not in their jurisdiction.

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"Our role is to really provide the families with guidance in creating funeral and memorializations that are meaningful to them and their loved ones," he told CBC News. "Asking that kind of question or having that within our agreement is not part of our scope.”

The family was luckily able to move forward with the cremation after contacting Al’s physician, who pulled up his records and reported back with a handwritten note for the home that Al had only undergone standard radiotherapy. Monk-Fuller, however, says avoiding stressful scenarios like this requires greater transparency and education of the law.

"If you're sitting down with a client and you're taking their money, I think it's incumbent upon you to have the correct information," she said.

Inquiries about the law have been heard and are currently being evaluated, said David Woolley, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, in an email to CBC Toronto. "This is a complex issue that we are currently examining in greater detail for all available options.”

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