The Wisconsin senate has approved a bill in the last week allowing dead bodies to be dissolved in a chemical bath and disposed like sewage, then spread all over food crops as “biosludge.”
Senate Bill 228 authorises a practice called “alkaline hydrolysis” that liquifies corpses through “water cremation” using a mixture of water, heat, and chemical agents, leaving only bones behind. The liquid is then dumped into the sewage system or boiled off, where the bones are then crushed and deposited into an urn.
The bill was passed without debate by the Republican-led Senate, despite objections from the Catholic bishops of Wisconsin, who say that this process is disrespectful to the dead. Kim Vercauteren, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, wrote to the Senate health committee: “Catholic teaching is centred on the life and dignity of the human person because each person is created in the image and likeness of God.
“The heart, mind, flesh, and bones of a human person are all elements of a unique creation, down to the DNA, which must be honoured even after death.
“Our concern is that with alkaline hydrolysis, remains are washed into a wastewater system as though the body created by God never existed, wastewater does not honour the sacredness of the body, nor does it allow the grieving to honour the dead after disposition.” Sen. Patrick, R-Stevens Point, who sponsored SB 228, supported the measure as a means to promote “consumer choice.” At a hearing for the bill, he said: “Wisconsin funeral directors are receiving more and more requests for flameless or water cremation.