Cremation consultation launched – one third of Maltese would consider cremation
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A consultation document has been launched for an Act to Legalise and Regulate Cremation Services in Malta.
Minister for Health Chris Fearne, speaking at the launch, said that presently Maltese law only allows burial in designated cemeteries or, in rare cases. at sea.
However, he noted that recent research shows that up to one third of the Maltese population would consider alternatives to these.
This consultation document, which opens today and will run until the 29th of March, presents a legal and regulatory framework to allow and regulate cremation in the Maltese Islands, Dr Fearne said.
He added that, “whilst continuing to invest in the extension and embellishment of our existing cemeteries, it is appropriate to consider and legislate in favour of allowing for a wider choice according to individual wishes.”
Dr Fearne explained that the principle guiding this document is that ultimately “the decision on how to dispose of one’s remains after death is an individual and private matter, possibly between the individual and his close family.”
The Health Minister also pointed out that, “on the other hand, Government, through the regulator, must ensure that standards are kept and the regulations are observed.”
MP Rosianne Cutajar is drafting the cremation law and she said that, “it is my honour and privilege to have been entrusted with such an important Private Members’ Bill, by means of which we will be extending individual choice and rights during a truly sensitive moment.”
She said that cremation will offer a dignified, alternative ceremony for those who do not feel comfortable with the burial process.
Introducing cremation as a choice is not only a liberal measure, but also an environmental one, said Cutajar.
Rosianne Cutajar continued by saying that modern day technology allows for cremation techniques which have a minimal impact on the environment, and naturally, cremation facilities do not require the same large amount of space which cemeteries need.
The Consultation document in English and Maltese is available online by clicking here.