The Tobit civil association came into being in September 2013 as a response to the current indecent handling of the bodies of stillbirths, foetuses following miscarriage included, and disposal thereof in an incineration plant of public health facilities in the Czech Republic. It strives for a pious handling of the bodies of stillbirths, their burial and recordings with the Register Office. The motivation of the founding members of the Association consisted in their own negative experience with the approach of health-care facilities, which made giving the stillbirths over for a due and decent farewell impossible.
The stillbirths are not recorded neither in a health-care facility nor the Register Office; under the Czech body of laws it fails to involve human mortal remains, the medical certificate of cause of death is anonymous and there is no death certificate. The stillbirth is an anatomic and pathological waste which can be traded in with impunity.
“Tobit came into existence spontaneously based on negative experience of a couple of parents with current practices. Its members are persuaded the bodies of stillbirths should be handled with the same piety as with any other corpses. Bereaving parents ought to be allowed to obtain bodies of their children for burial, where they ask for them. The Association intends to bury the stillbirths whose funeral was not arranged for, in grave no. 35/23 at the Vinohrady Cemetery to avoid a mass indecent disposal thereof as an anatomic and pathological waste,” said chairwoman of the new initiative Jana Vališová.
The objective of the Association consists in developing the activities aimed at support to the burial of foetuses following a miscarriage and of stillbirths (hereinafter “the children who died prior to their birth”) and fostering common interests of the members of the Association, while respecting sovereignty of its members and being aware of the necessity of mutual assistance to the betterment of the status of its members in the society.
For the achievement of this goal the Association shall seek for:
• securing human, decent and dignified handling of the children who died prior to their births
• right to the piety at local or national level
• protection of the children who died prior to their births against disgrace of their corpses
• assuring the assistance to the preparation of funerals of the children who died prior to their births according to the parents´ needs
• arranging for the funeral of the children who died prior to their births in a decent manner in compliance with the Act on Undertaking and under local customs in the case that nobody is voluntarily interested in the burial thereof within the statutory time limit
• normal, empathetic conversation that doesn´t open deep traumas, but helps the parents to be aware of the situation and prepares them gently for the next phases of the grief, since the bereavement only begins following the burial of the child who died prior to their birth
• carrying through the possibility to opt between the burial of the children who died prior to the birth (legalization of cremation or in the coffin into the grave/vault in the Czech Republic) or their mass disposal in an incineration plant of a health-care facility
• cooperation in the negotiations with the provider of health-care service, maternity hospital, pathology, operator of incineration plant, funeral service, crematoria or burial grounds and register Office, as well as in arranging for necessary steps related to the funeral or disposal of children deceased prior to their births
• rent of a burial plot designed for the burial of the children who died prior to their birth in a coffin or an urn
• mediation of contacts with other families afflicted in a similar manner – establishment of self-supporting groups, addressing fellowships and associations with related orientation
• expert consultation for public administration bodies – employees of departments in charge of social affairs and health care, register offices, labour offices, etc.
• presenting and advancing common interests of the members
• involvement of the members of a household in domestic and international projects
• distribution of information and experience among members
• information of general public on the services for the bereaved parents
• promotion and development of a life-long learning (courses, trainings, seminars
• conferences and the like) in the field of perinatal loss management
• drafting a code of values for the burial of the children who died prior to their birth