New Hampshire debates new cremation method

March 7, 2013 at 6:02 PM
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CONCORD, N.H., March 7 (UPI) -- New Hampshire lawmakers preliminarily approved a new form of cremation that opponents have likened to "flushing granny down the drain."

The state House of Representatives voted 257-113 to preliminarily approve House Bill 316, which would allow funeral homes to use a process of alkaline hydrolysis to turn human remains into bone fragments and a water-potassium hydroxide solution, the New Hampshire Union-Leader reported.

Proponent of the process, which 10 other states have already approved, say it's about giving people another choice about how their remains are treated and that the process is more environmentally friendly than tradition cremation.

"What's the big deal?" asked the prime sponsor of the bill, Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester. "If I want to do this with my body after I am gone, what is the big deal?"

However, opponents say the process destroys the dignity of the deceased.

"We didn't throw mama off the train," said Rep. Donald LeBrun, R-Nashua, "we shouldn't flush granny down the drain."

"As a society, we try to treat the remains of human beings with respectful burials or cremation," said Rep. Bill Nelson, R-Brookfield. "This bill takes that away."

The bill will be sent to Executive Departments and Administration Committee for review before a final vote in the House.

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