Updated 5th April 2016
Bahá’í Faith Death Emergency Assistance
Submitted by the Bahá’í community of the United Kingdom.
Advisor on Bahá’í Faith to Faith and Fire.
Providing Emergency Assistance
There are no restrictions on the administration of treatments, medications and other forms of healthcare that Bahá’ís may receive. This includes the administration of blood transfusions. Bahá’ís can be treated by medical staff or paramedics of either sex.
Dealing with incidents and death
Death is regarded as a ‘messenger of joy’ for the deceased. Bahá’ís believe the soul lives on after the body’s death and embarks on a spiritual journey. Suicide is forbidden in the Faith. However, whether a life should be prolonged when someone is on life support is left to the conscience of the individual believer or their families.
Deceased Bahá’ís must be buried within an hour’s travelling time from the place of death. Bahá’ís do not embalm or cremate their dead. The body is washed and wrapped in a shroud. Bahá’ís are often buried wearing a Bahá’í burial ring. The only ritual requirement of a funeral is the recitation of the Bahá’í Prayer for the Dead. Bahá’ís treat the body of dead believers with great respect, as it contained the soul during its life.
If there is a Local Spiritual Assembly – the local Bahá’í administrative council – in the civil parish or borough where the Bahá’í dies, it can assist with matters relating to the burial and offer pastoral support. Contact details are available from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the UK.