X-Message-Number: 13803
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 16:59:05 -0400
From: Jan Coetzee <>
Subject: Freezing Dead Mom in Basement Illegal, Court Says

Freezing Dead Mom in Basement Illegal, Court Says

BORDEAUX, France (Reuters) - A brother and sister who cannot bear to be
separated from their
deceased mother may not keep her corpse in a glass-fronted freezer at
their home, a French
appeals court has ruled.

Joelle Leroy, 50, and her 52-year-old brother Michel -- both unmarried
and deeply devoted to
their mother -- wanted to install her last resting place in the basement
of their house on the French
Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

But the court ruled Monday that, ``The conservation of a dead person
through freezing is not
considered as a way of treating a body in the eyes of the law.''

The body of Lise Leroy has been kept in a morgue freezer in Reunion
since she died last July.

Local authorities rejected the Leroys' request and the pair, both
teachers, took the case to the
court in this southwestern French city which deals with appeals from
distant Reunion.

``We think we are suffering an injustice here. French law is the
toughest in the world with
regards to this,'' said Joelle Leroy, who said she and her brother might
take the case to the
European Court of Human Rights.

``We refuse to see our mother forcibly buried,'' she said.

Under French law, bodies can be either buried or cremated.

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