Care Home Cremates Woman's Body Without Consent, Daughter Distraught As She Couldn't Say Final Goodbye To Mom

Care Home Cremates Woman's Body Without Consent, Daughter Distraught As She Couldn't Say Final Goodbye To Mom

Nicola Wing could not believe that her mum's body was not only donated but was also cremated without the presence of anyone from the family. The daughter who could not see her mom for the last time wants answers from the authorities.

We trust certain institutions and believe that their actions would be right, morally and ethically. However, sometimes our beliefs are broken in the blink of an eye. A daughter who thought her mother was in safe hands was shocked to learn that the hospital she trusted gave her mother's dead body up for donation without consent. The heartbroken daughter who could not bid farewell to her loving mother is on a quest to find what really happened to her mother.

According to Mirror Online, Nicola Wing, the 55-year-old daughter found that her mum Gwenda Higgins's body was donated to a medical school without the consent of the family. The hospital authorities even went one step further and cremated the body without informing her daughter or other family members. They initially told Nicola that the body would be cremated on July 10th. she was told that the ceremony was already done when she called in to check on the details. The actions of the medical staff have infuriated Nicola who could not tell her final goodbyes to her beloved mother. The determined daughter has now involved the police to find the truth behind the donation of her mum's body. "It's like she has been treated like a piece of meat. I just want my mum's ashes," said Nicola to Mirror Online.


Mrs. Higgins who was in her 80's suffered from dementia. She suffered from a stroke and died at the Colchester Hospital in Essex in February. Shortly after the death of her mother, Nicola was informed that the body of her mother was donated. The daughter who was unaware of any donation plans was shocked and upset. She inquired about the forms and was not fully convinced by the answers she received from the medical staff. "It was just a gut instinct that it was not right, and when I asked when the forms had been signed, it was two days before she died, but she was in a coma," said Nicola. 

According to the Human Tissue Act 2004, a written and witnessed consent for the anatomical examination should be given before the death of an individual who wishes to donate their body. Moreover, the person should inform their close family members, friends and the GP regarding the will. However, Mrs. Higgins neither had informed anybody nor had the ability to sign a form as she was in a coma. Nicola became more suspicious and was not ready to believe the hospital authorities. 


In an effort to know further details, she contacted all the medical schools. She finally discovered that her mum's body was sent to Norwich Medical School, on the University of East Anglia (UEA) campus. The University staff who the signature looked suspicious asked her to contact the police. The University representative told Mirror Online that they accepted the body based on the request put down by  Mrs. Higgins through the signed forms. "Donations are accepted based on fully completed consent forms signed by the individual. These consent forms are independently witnessed, in line with guidance from the Human Tissue Authority, the national regulator. We acted in line with her request on the forms provided to us," said Professor William Fraser, head of Norwich Medical School.

He also added that the school will keep the ashes of the deceased until the investigation in process is complete.