News and Blogs

Postmortem on Frontline’s Post Mortem

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Death Reference Desk
Feb 10, 2011
Go Go Frontline. There are moments in this documentary on postmortem examinations in America and the attached medical-legal investigative personnel that made me physically groan.

Out loud.

And then slap my forehead.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 February 2011 17:42 ) Read more...

Saving Money on Funerals

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The Family Plot Blog
Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die
February 8, 2011
The Canton Repository (Ohio) just ran two articles about how to save money on funerals. The stories about funeral planning ran in their newspaper on Sunday, February 6, 2011, and these articles appeared online yesterday. Yours truly was quoted, along with Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance.

Here are the first few paragraphs of each article. Click on the headline to read the whole story.

* Final Arrangements - Looking to Save to The Very End?

* You Have Options When Buying a Casket
Read the full article at The Family Plot Blog

How to Make the Quick Coffin

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Last Things: Alternatives at the End of Life

6 - 1 x 10 x8'
4 - 1 x 8 x 10'
2 - 1 x 3 x 8' or 1 - 1 x 6 x 8' ripped in half
1 - 1 x 4 x 6'
1 - 2 x 2 x 8'
1 lb. - 2" screws (I like the 1 ¾" GRK screws. They are brass-colored and the head is decorative.)
18 - 1-1/4" screws (or 1 3/8" GRKs)

The dimensions in these instructions will make a coffin with inside measurements of 78" long, 22 ½" wide and 14 ½" deep.  The width and depth measurements work for most people, and the length should be about four inches longer than the person is tall.
Read the full article at Last Things


Home Funerals:  A Resource Guide
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 February 2011 21:36 )

Things to Know Before You Go

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Frontline (PBS)
February 2011

Autopsy 101
No National Standards,
Forensic Pathologists: The Death Detectives
How Qualified Is Your Coroner?
Documenting Death -- The Certificate
Read the full article at Frontline (PBS)
Last Updated ( Sunday, 06 February 2011 09:36 )

The Real "CSI": How America’s Patchwork System of Death Investigations Puts the Living at Risk

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Feb. 1, 2011

Post Mortem: Death Investigation in America
Yet, because of an extreme shortage of forensic pathologists -- the country has fewer than half the specialists it needs, a 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences [5] concluded -- even physicians who flunk their board exams find jobs in the field. Uncertified doctors who have failed the exam are employed by county offices in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and California, officials in those states acknowledged. Two of the six doctors in Arkansas' state medical examiner's office have failed the test, according to the agency's top doctor.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 February 2011 08:57 ) Read more...

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