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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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of interest to mage_imbroglio (and others)
Funeral Industry Laws Face A Changing Marketplace

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That's just plain absurd. It's a wooden box for goodness sake. If they were selling winding shrouds would they make cloth illegal as well?

The funeral industry has some very unpleasant aspects... there are a lot of predatory and anti-competitive practices there. It's better than when Jessica Mitford wrote "The American Way of Death", but there's still a lot of room for reform.

Actually, things really aren't much better than when Jessica Mitford wrote "The American Way of Death". Getting the FTC involved actually created ways for the industry to further control things. Now the itemization of goods and services adds up to more than what the packages were (inflation accounted for), and if you consistently discount off your price list, you can get in trouble with the FTC for misrepresenting your prices. Also, there are an incredible number of laws specifically created by Funeral Director Associations of the states, which are old money and have lots of political sway. Louisiana is one of the eight states in the US that legally requires the use of a funeral director for dealing with human remains. NJ is another, though in NJ you can buy a casket from whomever you want. This state law in Louisiana is interesting because it completely usurps the FTC's regulation which state that a funeral home may not charge a family for receiving a casket from a third party vendor. Every state has stuff like this. There is a great modern book out by the executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, Josh Slocum, "Final Rights" which details current laws and trends in the funeral industry.

Edited at 2012-07-03 02:03 am (UTC)

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