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HIV discrimination regarding funeral directors and pathology labs

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Steven Akehurst
Member
Posts: 1
HIV discrimination regarding funeral directors and pathology labs
Posted on: May 31 2012, 01:09 pm

Dear all,

NAT has recently learnt of some distressing incidences of stigma and discrimination regarding both pathology labs and funeral directors services. We understand that some pathologists are refusing to undertake post-mortems on HIV positive individuals. We have also been made aware of cases where funeral directors have refused to handle funeral arrangements for HIV positive people who have died, and/or bereaved partners or family members who wish for the deceased to be embalmed are being expressly denied this service if the individual was HIV positive.

We believe such discriminatory practices are deeply misguided and not based on up-to-date scientific evidence around HIV. Most importantly, they cause further unnecessary distress for family and relatives already coping with the loss of a loved one.

We are eager to address this and secure changes in policy and practice as soon as possible, but are first keen to gauge how widespread such experiences are.  If you (or anyone you know) have ever experienced insensitive or discriminatory practice from funeral directors or pathology labs regarding people with HIV, and you wouldn't mind sharing with us, we would be interested to know about your experiences. This would help inform our work, and greatly aid the case for change.

Please contact me at steven.akehurst@nat.org.uk or 020 7814 6758 before September 2012.

Thanks,

Steve
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