Chapter 19

19.1After death, there are important decisions to be made about what should happen to the body of the deceased.379 The deceased may have left detailed instructions, reflecting strong feelings about what should happen to their body upon death. Survivors, as the people who are mourning a loss, have an interest in how the body is handled and what rituals or practices will be followed. Decisions most often need to be made quickly and under stress. In this context, it becomes important that disagreement is managed in such a way that it does not prevent the prompt and respectful burial or cremation of the body.

19.2In this part of the Report, we examine decision-making in the post-death period and propose a new statutory framework within which decisions about burial and cremation of a deceased may be made.

379 In this part of the Report, we sometimes use the term “burial decisions” to refer to the decisions that must be made after a death about the deceased body, including whether the body should be buried or cremated.