Reclaiming the American Way of Death
Upper Access, Paperback, 9780942679342, 511pp.
Publication Date: June 15, 2011
Decades after Jessica Mitford stunned America with vivid accounts of corruption and abuse in the death industry, not much has improved. Families are manipulated into buying expensive goods and services they don't need or want. Prepaid funeral money vanishes into thin air. Body parts are sold on the black market. Eight states force families to pay a funeral director even if they conduct a home funeral with no need for help. But a consumer movement is no awakening, and Americans are asserting their rights over a key part of life, just as they did in the past with the natural childbirth and hospice movements. The two most prominent leaders of that movement are the authors of this book: Joshua Slocum, executive director of Funeral Consumers Alliance, and Lisa Carlson, executive director of Funeral Ethics Organization. Here they join forces to expose wrongdoing, inform consumers of their rights, and propose legal reforms. The book includes state-by-state summaries of laws, regulations, services, and consumer concerns.