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Thanks for all the . . . Flies?

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-Josh Slocum, executive director

Keith Tomaszwesky called me about phorid flies, or "crypt flies" or "corpse flies," as they're better known. Yes, they're just what you think they are. Are they normal in a mausoleum, he wanted to know. Yes, and they're not dangerous.

But Tomaszewsky described a scene involving more than just a few flies at the Chapel of Angels and Light Mausoleum where his mother has been interred for two years. Flies all over the walls. Flies all over the religious iconography. Flies in the chalice used for communion wine.  Flies in the face of his niece while the family tried to visit grandma's crypts, causing the child to scream and beg to leave. This is not normal. Check out this report by WISN, which features an interview with Tomaszewsky—while flies land right on him during taping. Then come back for more. 

Back? OK. The mausoleum is owned by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Tomaszwewsky's mother was a devout Catholic, and while he is not, Tomaszewsky is extremely upset that his mother's body is in a sacred space overrun with buzzing flies. For 16 months, he says, he's been trying to get the Archdiocese to do something about this. So far they've only installed two ozone devices, Tomaszewsky says, when there should be at least eight. 

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 December 2012 15:27 ) Read more...

New policy allows more to die at home

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Sun Journal
Lewiston, Maine
July 17, 2012

When we learned of a new statewide policy allowing EMTs to leave dead people in their homes it sounded callous, like a dump-and-run scheme designed to benefit ambulance companies.

But after some research and talking to state officials, we understand it as a justifiable response to changing times and technology. But it may take some time for that understanding to spread.

Read the full article in the Sun Journal

Thanks to the HVCC Mortuary Science Alumni & Student Assoc for alerting us to this article.


FTC fails public by burying funeral home violations

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Cleveland Plain Dealer
July 21, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission's enforcement of the Funeral Rule is a covert operation from beginning to end.

Each year, the FTC sends teams of undercover shoppers to several dozen funeral homes to make sure consumers get the price lists that homes are required by law to hand out.

Each year, it finds homes that violate the rule.

And each year, the violators are allowed to pay penalties – in secret.

Read the full article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Thanks to the HVCC Mortuary Science Alumni & Student Assoc for alerting us to this article.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:02 )

Can recycling humans always be justified?

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The Global Muckraker
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
July 26, 2012

Doctors uniformly agree that heart valves recovered from donor cadavers can save lives where mechanical valves or those from pig or cow do not help. Recovered corneas can restore sight. And recovered human skin can serve as an optimal dressing for severe burn injuries.

The benefits, however, aren't so clear when discussion turns to musculoskeletal tissues.

In Germany, a country renowned for having one of the best health care systems in the world, surgeons use bone, tendon or fascia implants less often than their U.S colleagues.

Take abdominal surgery, for example. In the United States, among other products, mesh made of recovered human skin is used for hernia repairs. German surgeons prefer synthetic mesh.

Read the full article at ICIJ


Funeral Rights Documentary Film (UK)

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Uploaded by Media19

Funeral Rights explores the increasing popularity for alternative funerals. The film presents the rising demand to turn away from traditional and conventional ceremonies, why many now are seeking the chance to take control of their own funeral ceremony and their final goodbye and exactly what alternative choices are available.

View all 7 video clips on YouTube


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