A woman from Sunderland has launched an online petition to change the regulations in the funeral industry so that funeral directors must be licensed.
Tina Kent was told by the undertaker she used following her mother’s passing that she could not pay her respects as her mother had a “highly contagious” infection and therefore could not be viewed.
A hearing was conducted at Sunderland Coroners Court, which was attended by detectives who are investigating the allegation of fraud against the funeral director in question.
Senior coroner, Derek Winter claimed that the integrity of the death certificate and the mortuary procedures had been undermined, and the undertaker’s actions were “ill-informed” and “unnecessary”.
Tina’s mother had battled cancer for two years and her family were advised that on January 11 that the coffin had to remain closed and therefore the deceased could not be viewed, prompting Tina to begin her campaign for stricter regulations to be put in place.
Tina said: “If the industry had been licensed my mum would have been looked after. At the end of the day, people who look after old people in a care home and hairdressers have to be trained and licensed. Why should it be very different for funeral directors?
“Funeral directors agree with what I am saying, if they having nothing to hide, they would not be bothered.”
Currently the petition has more than 100 signatures and can be found at www.change.org