News and Blogs

Funeral trade self-interest trumps consumer choice in South Carolina

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Funeral trade protectionism in South Carolina is stifling competition in casket sales. FCA of South Carolina's president, Gere Fulton, writes about it here.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:43 )
 

From corpse to compost

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It might take a while for this to catch on with the general public, but for the increasing number of individuals with the desire to limit their carbon footprint, the Urban Death Project presents a unique alternative to modern burial practices, and one that would allow cities with limited cemetery space another option for body disposition. 

 

Read about it here at Fast Company.

 

When doctors die

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In this Radiolab podcast, doctors are asked how they approach their own advance directives and what life-saving techniques they would want done to themselves. The answers might surprise you. Listen here.

 

What you should know about exploding caskets

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FCA's own Joshua Slocum explores leaky mausoleums and exploding caskets in this article published today in the Washington Post. More *juicy* details here!

 

Is Nantucket a bellwether for the funeral industry?

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Update 8/6/14 --- Despite lobbying efforts by funeral home and cemetery industry groups, a bill passed by the Massachusetts legislature will allow Nantucket residents to form a non-profit funeral service on the island. The bill exempts Nantucket from certain laws that would impede their plans, such as requiring a chapel in all funeral establishments. Read about the bill here


The New York Times ran a fascinating story July 13 about the closure of Nantucket Island's only funeral home. This is causing residents logistical problems, as bodies have to be shipped off the island by ferry to a mainland funeral home.

But on Feb. 14, the day of Ms. Davis’s funeral, New England was digging out from a huge snowstorm and bracing for the next. Foul weather forced the cancellation of the ferry that was to bring Ms. Davis home. Her body spent almost a month on the mainland at the funeral home, but suspended in what her daughter called a heartbreaking limbo.

What's interesting to us, though, is how the story highlights two foundational problems in the American funeral industry:

1. The vast oversupply of funeral home relative to the population
2. Anti-competitive hearse-circling from the organized funeral industry

Most people don't realize that the US has almost twice as many funeral homes as it would need to adequately serve the population while providing a good living for the funeral home and staff. In some states there are four to five times as many as needed.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 August 2014 15:04 ) Read more...
 


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