Image: ©Gezondheidsraad

Admissibility of new techniques of disposing of the dead

In accordance with Dutch law, a body of a deceased person can be buried, cremated or donated to science. New techniques are being developed, like alkaline hydrolysis and composting. At the request of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Health Council of the Netherlands proposed a framework that can be utilised to assess the admissibility of such new techniques. Three values should be taken as guidelines: safety, dignity and sustainability. Alkaline hydrolysis fulfills the conditions, according to the Council. Too little is known about composting and hence it cannot be assessed whether this technique fulfills the conditions.