Code of Ethics
This Code of Ethics has been formulated by the International Cremation Federation to address all areas of work related to the cremation of a human body. All member authorities are encouraged to display this Code of Ethics in any public area within their work places as the Executive Committee of the ICF feels that it is desirable for the public to view the Code, which in turn will provide reassurance of the standards pertaining at crematoria world wide.
The Executive Committee recognises that differing legislation, practices and local traditions exist in member countries. The aim of the Code of Ethics is to ensure that an internationally high standard is achieved by all associated in the manufacture of cremation equipment and those involved in the cremation of human remains.
a) All staff associated in any way with the provision and delivery of the sensitive service of the cremation of human remains must be aware of the contents of the Code of Ethics and adhere to them at all times;
b) All staff employed in the operation of cremators and ancillary equipment must be suitably trained in the safe operation of the equipment, mindful of the associated ethical procedures and certificated, should this be a requirement of national legislation;
c) At all times the process of cremation shall be carried out in a dignified and respectful manner.
The term “cremation” shall be the official word used to describe the disposal of human remains by burning.
- RIGHT TO CHOOSE CREMATION
An individual shall have the right to choose cremation and due regard shall be given to such desire wherever this has been registered.
- CREMATION OF HUMAN REMAINS
Only human remains shall be cremated at a member’s crematorium.
- SEPERATELY CREMATED
Each coffin given to the care of a crematorium shall be cremated separately.
- IDENTIFICATION OF THE DECEASED
a) No coffin shall be accepted at any crematorium unless it bears adequate particulars of the deceased person therein;
b) Great care must be taken to ensure correct identification throughout the whole proceedings from the moment the coffin is received at the crematorium and throughout the cremation process until the final disposal of the cremated remains.
- THE RIGHT OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO DECIDE ON THE METHOD OF DISPOSAL OF THEIR CREMATED REMAINS
a) Ultimately it should be an individual’s right to determine the final method for the disposal of their cremated remains.
b) Once a coffin and its contents have been placed in the cremator, it shall not be
touched or interfered with until the process of cremation is completed. On completion the whole of the cremated remains shall be collected and shall be treated in accordance with instructions received.
c) The utmost care shall be taken to ensure that the cremated remains, following their removal from the cremator, shall be kept separate and suitably identified. The cremated remains shall be placed in a separate container, suitably labelled, awaiting final disposal.
- ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
In order to minimise the release of pollutants to air the following guidance is given to Cremation Authorities.
a) The coffin must be made of a suitable material which, when placed in a cremator and subjected to the cremation process, is easily combustible and which does not emit smoke, give off toxic gas or leave any retardant smears or drips after final combustion. No metal of any kind shall be used in the manufacture of such coffin except as necessary for its safe construction and then only metal of a high ferrous content.
b) No metal furniture or fittings whatever shall be used on a coffin for cremation. Coffin handles should be free from unnecessary metal components. External coatings to a coffin must allow for smokeless combustion and the use of nitro-cellulose varnish, polyurethane, melamine and any products containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or melamine must not be used in coffin construction or furnishings.
c) It is recommended that clothing should be of natural fibres and that shoes or any material manufactured from PVC should not be included. Body adornments manufactured from copper should be removed as should any easily removable prostheses or casts of plaster or other material. Additional items, particularly of glass or plastic, should not be placed within the coffin.
Member associations shall encourage its members to embrace the Code of Ethics in order that this sensitive public service is held in the highest regard with the public and associated professionals alike.