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Burial Practices & Science: What Does The Future Of Death Hold?

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Posted: 11/12/201

Talk Nerdy to Me Blog

You know they say nothing's certain in life, except death and taxes. Well, I have no interest in helping you with your taxes, but have you ever thought about what happens to our bodies when we die? Why do we bury them six feet under, or cremate them and release their ashes? And are these things good for a planet with seven billion living people and an estimated 100 billion that are dead and gone?

While some (okay, most) may seem bizarre, many alternative burial practices on the horizon aim to be safer for our planet. Check out the video above to learn more, and don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!

Read the full article and see video (3:51) at

Thanks to the DeathCare Discussion List for alerting us to this article & video.


Burials at Sea

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

According to regulations (40CFR 229.1) based on the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuary Act of 1972, human remains transported from U.S. ports or on U.S. vessels or aircraft may be buried at sea under specified conditions.  These include cremated as well as non-cremated remains.  Requirements for burying remains at sea are listed below.  (Burial in inland waters are regulated according to the Clean Water Act. For inland waters burial, a permit is required from the appropriate state agency).   Please note the requirement that the (EPA) be notified within 30 days after burial.

Read the full article at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Thanks to BEyond Yonder Disposition Alternatives in Canada (Facebook) for alerting us to this article.


Will Supreme Court answer monks’ prayers?

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The Washington Post
Published: November 14, 2012

By George F. Will

Shortly before 123 million voters picked a president, 38 Louisiana monks moved the judiciary toward a decision that could change American governance more than most presidents do. The monks’ cypress caskets could catalyze a rebirth of judicial respect for Americans’ unenumerated rights, a.k.a. privileges or immunities.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged the trees that the monks of Saint Joseph Abbey near Covington, La., harvested to support their religious life. So they decided to market the sort of simple caskets in which the abbey has long buried its dead. Monasteries in other states sell caskets, but these Louisiana Benedictines were embarking on a career in crime

In 1914, Louisiana created the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. Its supposed purpose is to combat “infectious or communicable diseases,” but it has become yet another example of “regulatory capture,” controlled by the funeral industry it ostensibly regulates. Nine of its 10 current members are funeral directors.

Read the full report at The Washington Post

Thanks to Death Midwifery in Canada for alerting us to this article.


Be Careful How You Leave: Creating Peace for All Parties

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OK to Die Blog
13 November 2012

I pulled the stifling surgical mask off my face as I left my last patient’s room. I had just finished suturing a complicated facial laceration and was bone-tired from the evening. Glancing at the clock, I saw that mercifully, my shift was over.

Collapsing into my chair to finish up my charting, I was slightly annoyed when my nurse held a clip-board in front of my face, “Here is your next patient.”

“No, really, I’m done…” I started to explain to her until I saw what was written on the papers held by the clip-board… “Patient is ready to quit dialysis. Son doesn’t want him to.”

“Oh,” I said slipping down deeply into the chair, “I guess this is my patient.

Read the full article at OK to Die Blog


Flush and bone: the future of alkaline hydrolysis in Virginia

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The Roanoke Times
Roanoke VA
November 11, 2012

By Phil Olson
Assistant Professor
Department of Science and Technology in Society
Virginia Tech

Thanks to modern chemistry, new alternatives for the final disposition of the formerly living are emerging. If you haven't thought about having your body dissolved in a mixture of water and alkali, you soon might. But Brenda Pogge would rather you didn't. On Jan.10, Pogge, a Republican delegate representing the 96thDistrict in Virginia, introduced House Bill379 to the commonwealth's Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee. The bill would have made it a class one misdemeanor for anyone to dispose of human remains using a relatively new disposition technique called alkaline hydrolysis. The bill did not make it out of committee, but you can rest assured that Virginia's lawmakers soon will resurrect discussions about alkaline hydrolysis.

Read the full article at The Roanoke Times

Thanks to the FCA of Virginia Blue Ridge (Blacksburg VA) for alerting us to this article.

Last Updated ( Monday, 12 November 2012 14:45 )

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