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Cowboy funeral directors are disrespecting the dead in horrific fashion, a report reveals today.
Corpses have been seen stacked or wedged into fridges while bodies are embalmed on the floor, it is claimed.
Findings - Calls - Industry - Time
The findings led for calls for the industry to be regulated for the first time.
Expert testimonies from doctors, hospice workers, coroners, embalmers and police officers were collected by researchers, who found cases of woefully inadequate 'back-of-house' facilities.
'cadavers - Fridge - Cases - Bodies - Refrigerator
One reported seeing 'cadavers stacked inside a big fridge' and that in some cases two bodies were stored in a refrigerator space for one. A supplier of mortuary equipment said some premises were in 'very poor condition' and had no refrigeration facilities.
Embalmers described trying to preserve bodies left on the floor, surrounded by clutter and without proper lighting or ventilation.
Doctor - Report - 'Standards - Occasions - Facilities
One retired doctor who was interviewed for the report said: 'Standards are better than they were but there are still occasions where the behind-the-scenes facilities are ghastly.
'There might be flowers out the front, but then out the back there are bodies stacked up waiting to be dealt with.
People - Homes - Inspector - Socks
'If people were aware of what went on in some of the more chaotic funeral homes they would be very upset. An independent inspector would force them to pull their socks up.'
Rosie Inman-Cook, of the Natural Death Centre charity, said: 'There are some cowboys out there who just don't have the proper facilities at all. We've heard horror stories that can leave families traumatised.'
Directors - Chains - Dignity - Report
Around a third of funeral directors belong to chains such as Co-operative and Dignity, which commissioned the report and are not criticised in it.
Anyone can set up as a funeral director without qualifications, equipment or...
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