Tomorrow the Wisconsin Senate is scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 228 (Senator Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point), which allows the use of alkaline hydrolysis to dispose of human remains in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) urges opposition to SB 228 because it fails to demonstrate appropriate respect for the human body and instead treats it like waste.
During alkaline hydrolysis the deceased is placed in a vat of hot water and chemicals until most of the body dissolves. The liquid is then treated as wastewater and either disposed of through the wastewater system or boiled away, leaving pieces of bone that can be pulverized. Alkaline hydrolysis can also use anywhere from 100 to 300 gallons of water and can influence pH levels in the water supply.
For Catholics, the human body is the manifestation of God’s image and the burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy, honoring the sacredness of the body. Alkaline hydrolysis does not treat the deceased of Wisconsin with the reverence and respect that each person deserves.
Please contact your Wisconsin State Senator today or tomorrow and urge opposition to Senate Bill 228, legalizing alkaline hydrolysis. Let your Senator know that:
- The human person is a unique creation, which must be honored even after death. Wisconsin’s dead deserve to be treated with respect and reverence, not drained into the wastewater system.
- Respectful final disposition must allow for interment or entombment of the whole of a person’s remains.
- There are better “green” burial options that do not use 100-300 gallons of water per treatment and waste one of our state’s valuable natural resources.
To contact your Senator, visit the Wisconsin State Legislature website at http://legis.wisconsin.gov and use the "Find Your Legislator" tool, or call the State Legislative Hotline, 1-800-362-9472.
The Senate convenes at 11:30 am, but individuals can continue to reach out to their Senators throughout the day and make their voices heard. For further background and information, read our WCC testimony in opposition to SB 228.
Thank you for helping to respect the dignity of those made in God’s image!