Blog Archives: February 2013

Ghost

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ghost

RICHARD III – ILLEGALLY EXHUMED?

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Skeleton of Richard III

 

Posted by John Bradfield

 

ED’s note: John Bradfield, founder of the Alice Barker Trust and author of the groundbreaking Green Burial, the DIY Guide, campaigns, together with Teresa Evans, for the legal rights of the bereaved. Here he argues that Richard III  was illegally exhumed. He presents this argument in the context of his and Teresa’s wider campaign against the destruction of countless graves permitted by the granting of what they argue are legally invalid exhumation licences. 

 

Response to information displayed on the Law & Religion website here

David Pocklinton’s perspective on exhumation law is a very familiar one. I would like to present another.
 
David gives the impression, that an exhumation licence must be obtained in all circumstances, unless some other aspect of statute law applies, or a Church of England permission known as a faculty is necessary. The latter only applies to land which has been and remains, legally consecrated by the Church of England. There is also the power of a coroner to exhume but only under statute law and only for the purpose of investigating the cause of one or more deaths.
 
David’s perspective is both right and wrong. It is correct in that there are different sorts of permissions, depending upon the circumstances. It is wrong, in the sense that there are some properties, for which no permissions can be issued. That is so, unless it is possible to obtain a common law consent to exhume – presumably from a court. I have never found evidence of such a consent, from any time in the past.
 
When no statute law applies but exhumations still go ahead, they are illegal under common law and there is no time limit in which to prosecute. I submit, that on the basis of the limited information available about the land in which Richard III was buried, his exhumation must have been illegal, because the licence was unlawful and therefore invalid. If that is so, then his remains were illegally obtained by the archaeologists and they cannot have lawful “custody and possession of (his) remains”.
 
This crucial element of the legal picture was not put to the judicial review in the case of Elzbieta Rudewicz. It was presented to the Court of Appeal in a written witness statement but not discussed, analysed or pronounced upon. It was submitted by the Alice Barker Trust to the UK Supreme Court but there is no evidence of it having been considered or analysed.

 

I also submit that a judicial review could do more than consider questions of administration law, in terms of how the Ministry of Justice arrives at decisions to issue exhumation licences. A judicial review would, given a fuller and more accurate picture of law, start at the beginning and work forward. Then, the first question for a judicial review must be, “Is it possible to issue a lawfully valid exhumation licence for the type of property in question?”
As that question has never been considered by any court in the case of Elzbieta Rudewicz, a further appeal should be granted but is that still possible?
 
A complaint needs to be lodged with the UK Supreme Court. To that end, those involved would appreciate any pro bono help, in having the true legal position examined with greater precision by the courts. That is necessary in the national interest, because the case of Elzbieta Rudewicz contradicts long established case law, which was not considered, amended or overturned. The outcome thus far is so confused, that contradictory decisions on legal matters may all be valid or invalid, as no-one could be sure one way or the other.
 
One answer is for the police to pursue a common law prosecution over the exhumation of Richard III. He would then have the legacy of having served the national interest after death, by having stopped the outrageous and illegal destruction of graves created within living memory, despite protests from bereaved friends and relatives. Such a prosecution would finally stop civil servants issuing other legally invalid exhumation licences.
 
The police are unlikely to intervene, not least as the government negligently or unwittingly condones and even encourages some forms of criminality, through decisions taken by public services. They confidently act in the knowledge that they do so with total impunity and that is unlikely to change.
 
The provision of invalid exhumation licences, has resulted in the criminal destruction of graves and gravestones over decades. Since its inception in 1948, the NHS has never put a stop to the criminal detention of bodies in hospitals, after bereaved relatives and others have attempted to arrange collections.
 
What’s wrong with dying? Part of the answer is that decision makers are not asking the right questions. Is there a Parliamentary Select Committee which could and should examine these and related issues around death and bereavement?
 
For more details on exhumation law, see the Moonfruit website provided on behalf of the Alice Barker Trust here

 

John Bradfield.

 

Writer on bereavement law.
 

 

 

More great myths of Funeral world…

Thursday, 28 February 2013

al_gore_frozen

 

 …or are these ones true?

Posted by Richard Rawlinson

No. 3: A company offering the expensive service of deep freezing and preserving corpses of wealthy folk who hoped that future generations would be able to revive them back to life, went in liquidation. Because of unpaid bills the electricity supply was cut off and the bodies went into a similar state to that of the company.

No. 4: A woodland burial site, which banned metal-lined coffins and embalmed bodies for ecological reasons, was confronted with the dilemma of a man, already buried there, being joined by his wife, who died while holidaying abroad. Air safety regulations require a sealed coffin and embalmed body.

No 5: A crematorium which linked up a CCTV camera to the internet so services could be watched by those mourners unable to attend, charged a family £75 for the password that enabled friends to log on. The local paper ran the headline, ‘Funeral pay-per-view storm’.

No 6: Church of England officials are in talks with the Ministry of Justice about relaxing regulations placed on memorial design in churchyards to move in line with secular cemeteries. Torn between modernisation and heritage, they can’t make up their mind if it’s the decent thing to do to allow teddy bears, toy cars, kerb stones, chippings, wind chimes, battery-operated lanterns, memorial photos contained in cartouches, and multicoloured plastic gravestones emblazoned with the word, ‘Mum’.

 

To our critics

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Dear Ian and Frank, 

It was good to see you commenting once more on the blog. It shows that people of all shades of opinion read it, not just a clique. 

I hope you appreciate the way I allow you to say whatever you like, however abusive (so long as it isn’t also libellous).   

Do you ever wonder why I don’t just bin your more abusive comments as soon as they appear? After all, they are often personal, they can be pretty hurtful, they are usually very negative and they contribute nothing to the debate. 

I let you comment because I believe in free speech and because I am interested in what you have to say. I know that you speak for many people in the industry. 

I hope you have some respect for the way in which I expose everything I say to comment. This is because I don’t think I am always right, and because I like to be put right where I have got it wrong. I hope you’ll agree that it takes guts and open-mindedness to do that. 

I hope you respect the way that I do not hide my identity or shelter my contact details. I take personal responsibility for everything I say, and I make myself vulnerable by doing so.   

Which is more than I can say for you. 

The funeral industry is a service industry. Service users have a right to talk about it. So I want to suggest to you that your aggressive defence of the industry you clearly love is unhelpful and mistaken. You make it look small-minded and nasty. 

So come on. Step up. Let’s have reasoned debate and a constructive dialogue. Stop being so angry. 

We all want what’s best. 

With best wishes, 

Charles

Why doctors say no

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

CPR

 

Physicians see and treat patients who have undergone CPR. Those patients are usually paralyzed, swollen with fluid, and unconscious. Upon witnessing that, physicians might wonder what the differences are between “living” and “existing”.

This could explain why their end-of-life care preferences differ from that of the general public.

Source

 

Philosophical brain teaser

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Posted by Richard Rawlinson

Some readers might recall Roal Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected on TV. ‘William and Mary’ was a particularly beastly story about an academic having his brain and one eye transplanted from his body after death, and attached to an artificial heart so they both continue to function.

William can see and think but nothing more. He is a mind incapable of being a person. His widow, Mary, takes the brain home in its protective capsule, but instead of caring for it by giving it learned books to read, she promptly takes revenge by doing all the things that met with William’s disapproval when he could communicate – things like smoking and watching trash TV. He’s helpless and in hell.

As animals, our deaths are defined by the end of the vital processes that sustain our existence as human beings. As minds, our deaths are constituted by the irreversible extinction of the vital processes that sustain our existence as minds. But if persistence is determined by our retaining certain psychological features, then does the loss of those features constitute death?

Bright eyes

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Posted by Vale

Remember Watership Down? The best selling childrens book about a band of rabbits?

Adams, the author, gives the warrens he writes about social structures and a strong lapin culture. There are even myths and legends. Even a rabbit version of the Grim Reaper himself who appears to rabbits as ‘the Black Rabbit of Inle’. Inle is Lapine for ‘moon’ or ‘darkness’.

The song – Bright Eyes – was written for the cartoon version of the book and is a lament for Hazel, leader of the band of rabbits, as he dies and goes to join the band of heroes who follow the rabbits’ trickster god El Ahrairah (Prince of a Thousand Enemies).

Eat your heart out Bambi.

Is it a kind of dream,
Floating out on the tide,
Following the river of death downstream?
Oh, is it a dream?

There’s a fog along the horizon,
A strange glow in the sky,
And nobody seems to know where you go,
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream?

Bright eyes,
Burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
How can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes.

Is it a kind of shadow,
Reaching into the night,
Wandering over the hills unseen,
Or is it a dream?

There’s a high wind in the trees,
A cold sound in the air,
And nobody ever knows when you go,
And where do you start,
Oh, into the dark.

Bright eyes,
burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes.

Bright eyes,
burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes.

Why doctors can’t talk about death

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

fortean_times_6142_7

 

“Psychoanalysts believe that emotional trauma in human life is because man is not really a god and is something more than just an animal. He is a demi-god and being a demi-god is hard.  He can create and appreciate goodness, enjoy the wonder and awe of each day; teach, learn, and dream, but at the same time, he can see into the future and knows his fate.  His mind can conceive flying through the air, staying awake for days or living to be 10,000, but he is denied by the limitations of his flesh.  This results in life long stress and in order to cope man uses various psychological strategies, including repression and denial, to focus on each day and each moment and not go truly mad.

When someone becomes ill with a life threatening illness such as cancer, their ability to deny the animal part of their existence may collapse.  Suddenly they are less god than ailing beast. This can cause terrible anxiety, confusion and depression, as their personality is threatened by physical deterioration and critical coping mechanisms fail.  At these critical times, the support of a physician who understands the core balance of the human condition can be most valuable.

“However, it seems to me that doctors do not talk about death to their patients, not because they do not care, but because doctors do not know how to deal with the god, they only understand the animal.”

Source

Afore ye go

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

RMN

 

We think you’ll agree with us that RecordMeNow.org is a Very Good Thing.

It’s downloadable software that enables you, using the little camera in your computer screen, to record your thoughts about your life, and other things besides, for your children, partner, family, you name it.

The creators especially had children in mind, because children can go through life with all sorts of unresolved questions about a dead parent — the sorts of questions which never go away and prevent them from living fully. One child said:

“Particularly after long illness followed by such family sadness, I had significant feelings of guilt about feeling happy in later life. Permission from him directly would have been really good.”

Another said:

“I felt that without my mum’s advice, we were somehow betraying her by accepting future relationships especially when dad found a future wife years later.”

Another said:

“I just want to see and hear her say she loves me, once more.”

So the RecordMeNow researchers interviewed more than 100 volunteers who had lost one or both parents before the age of 16:

They were asked a series of questions regarding their loss, their prior knowledge and their subsequent educational, social  and professional development. They were also asked what questions they wished they could have had answered about or by the parent who died. 

Using the RecordMeNow app, you work your way through these questions and create a DVD. 

RecordMeNow is a nonprofit founded by some incredibly nice, bright people. Do check it out. 

 

 

I Will Be Blessed — Ben Howard

Monday, 25 February 2013


 

Oh my ghost came by
Said who do you love the most
Who you wanna call before you dieOh my ghost came by here
Said who do you love the most
Who you gonna sing to ‘fore you’re goneOh hey heaven is the place we know
Heaven is the arms that hold us
Long before we go
Oh hey, heaven is the place we know
Heaven is the arms that hold us
Long before we go

Oh my ghost came by here
Said who do you love the most
Who you gonna sing to ‘fore you go

Oh hey heaven is the place we know
Heaven is the arms that hold us
Long before we go
Oh hey, heaven is the place we know
Heaven is the arms that hold us
Long before we go

Oh if you’re there
When the world comes to gather me in
Oh if you’re there
I will be blessed
Oh if you’re there
When the world comes to gather me in
Oh if you’re there
I will be blessed
Oh if you’re there
When the world comes to gather me in
I hear you’re there
I will be blessed
I will be blessed

Oh if you’re there
When the world comes to gather me in
Oh if you’re there
I will be blessed
I will be blessed

A big thank you to Georgina Pugh for sending us this.

 

Page 1 of 712345...Last »