The subject of DNA continues to surface in the news. Just recently a headline story, “Did Adolf Hitler marry a Jewish woman? DNA tests ‘show Eva Braun associated with Ashkenazi Jews’ was published (see link below). For the funeral industry, DNA is a relatively new discussion. Although, the facts are that the cremation process is irreversible (unlike exhuming a body after burial) and the fact that all DNA trace is destroyed by cremation. Both of these facts are widely known by all practitioners in the funeral industry.
So the question arises are funeral and cremation providers offering these important facts to the families they are serving? Currently there are no laws or regulatory requirements to provide this information; however do we have an ethical obligation to do so? I believe that in our litigious society we may have this point undoubtedly tested in the future.
During funeral arrangements, notifying family members that “cremation is irreversible and DNA is destroyed” is a simple, important step that may provide a family with at least the opportunity to make a decision prior to finality. Cheers y’all.