Helsinki: Hospitals don't facilitate Muslim burial

Helsinki: Hospitals don't facilitate Muslim burial

Via YLE:

Muslims in the capital region must forgo their traditions for death as some elements of the Muslim burial ceremony are not possible in hospitals.

According to Muslim custom, the body must be washed immediately prior to the funeral, and if not possible: on the night before.  The body is then wrapped in two clean pices of cloth and placed in a coffin.  There are currently no facilities for such a procedure in Helsinki hospitals, and so often the family washes the body at home.

Marketta Kupiainen, Chief Administrative Nurse at the Helsinki Health Center, says that it's not impossible to find a place for Muslims, but that currently there are no places which could work well logistically, as it requires a place with running water, drainage and a separate door.

Pia Jardi, president of the Muslim Council, says that it's difficult to understand why there's no space available.  "The washing of a dead body can be compared with the Christian blessing of the dead.  It's important, not just for the well-being of the relatives, but for all of the Muslim community in Helsinki."

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