Mustafa Atif and Saadia Fakiri requested the remains of a miscarried fetus so that they could properly bury the child according to their religious beliefs. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina and midwife Vicki Latham failed to give the child’s remains to the grieving parents. The couple filed suit, with Lawrence H. Brenner of Chapel Hill, North Carolina as their legal representation.
Religious members of the Islamic faith believe that neglecting proper burial violates sharia (Islamic law) and constitutes a sin, according to an article on news-record.com. Though Atif and Fakiri stressed the importance of a proper Muslim funeral for their child, Moses Cone Hospital and Latham failed to turn the child’s remains over to Atif. Employees disposed of the remains without informing the parents beforehand.
Atif alleged that the hospital and midwife were negligent in not retaining his child’s remains. He suffered a major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident.
A jury in the Civil Superior Court in Guilford County, North Carolina awarded $110,000.00 to the father of the stillborn baby. The lawsuit marks a rare decision in favor of a plaintiff against Moses Cone Hospital in the institution’s 57-year history.