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Last updated: 2003-01-28

The Board of Deputies represented the Jewish community at the Shipman Inquiry last Wednesday. Following its written evidence, the Board was invited to give oral evidence at the Inquiry seminar to establish what changes should be made to the current systems in order to safeguard patients in the future. The Board's particular concerns were that the time lapse between registration of death and burial should be as short as possible and normally allow Jewish burials to take place within 24 hours of death.

Deputy Laurence Brass of the Community Issues Division and a member of the Working Party on the Review of Death Certification and Coroners Services spoke on behalf of the Board at the session chaired by Dame Janet Smith. The Board's participation provided an important opportunity for the Shipman Inquiry to understand Jewish practices at time of death more fully and so appreciate Jewish concerns that burial should take place as soon as possible after death.

Community Issues Director Marlena Schmool commented: “It is essential that the Jewish community’s view on death and burial is entirely understood. Dame Janet Smith has said that the points we made would be taken in to account in her recommendations. We feel that our involvement in the Shipman Inquiry underscores the very positive relations we have had with the national deaths registration system over many years.