Birmingham’s Burial & Digital Autopsy Conference

PRESS RELEASE – Friday 23rd January 2015

BMBC would like to thank the 300 delegates who attended the public conference on Burial & Digital Autopsy on Sunday 18th January 2015. The delegates included local councillors, Member of Parliament, residents, funeral directors, medical practitioners, partner organisations from around the UK and leaders of the Muslim, Jewish and other faith/non faith communities.The conference main guest Ramzan Mohayuddin, Chairman of the Saad Foundation outlined the need for cities across the UK to have access to a digital autopsy facility where forensic experts can carry out non-invasive autopsy. This method is very clean and speedily undertaken without the need for dissecting the body. This Hi-tech 3D digital imaging software, connected to a computerised tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is already being offered in Sheffield, Bradford and more recently in Sandwell & Dudley as a free service to all residents. Mr Mohayuddin said: “Digital autopsy is no longer a service to be dismissed by coroners. This should be an option to families instead of instructing an intrusive post-mortem which adds more stress on grieving families. The opening of the new digital post-mortem examination facility in Sheffield by the Chief Coroner of England & Wales, demonstrates that these facilities are backed by strong research and that pathologists in the UK can now conduct full post-mortem examinations using a touch of a screen instead of a scalpel.”

Many people for years have had to suffer in silence whilst their loved one is dissected by a pathologist on the instruction of a coroner. Due to the changes in the law, coroners now have the power to use alternative procedures and this is why some cities have embraced this digital facility as an option available to bereaved families.

BMBC trustee Kadeer Arif said: “BMBC has been working with many community members and with the digital autopsy company iGene to outline our case to Birmingham City Council and the Coroner’s office to introduce the digital autopsy facility in Birmingham. Our conference in Birmingham received an overwhelming response from the community and was fully booked within 3 days. Residents clearly support the aims of BMBC and we will continue to work positively with all our city and national partners to introduce a digital post-mortem examination facility in Birmingham. We can work towards reducing the stress and upset families feel when the remains of a relative have to be dissected and this is a positive necessary step forward. We therefore request HM Coroner Mrs Louise Hunt and Birmingham City Council to issue a statement, outlining a clear timeline as to when a digital post-mortem examination facility will be made available to the residents of Birmingham. We also urge all political leaders in Birmingham to work together in supporting the authority and residents in introducing this service immediately.”

The conference appreciated the challenging role of the coroner services and many have seen some changes since the current coroner’s appointment. BMBC informed delegates at the conference that the charity will aim to serve all residents of Birmingham and empower people with clear advice and training on burial matters. BMBC wants to ensure that all end of life and bereavement services in Birmingham meet the needs of the residents they serve.


For further information:
Birmingham Muslim Burial Council BMBC:
iGene digital autopsy: ,
Saad Foundation: ,