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Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  19 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published June 15th 2011 by Upper Access, Inc. (first published June 1st 2011)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  86 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Maggie Mayhem
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: death
This book is a must read for anyone who will die or knows someone else who will. This book outlines what your rights are when interacting with the funeral industry. The Funeral Consumer's Alliance does a lot of hard work on behalf of people who are making very big and expensive decisions at a time when they're very vulnerable. Although most of us think it's important to have conversations about our final wishes, few of us ever will.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A really helpful consumer book. I read the first Part and then the chapter on Ohio.
Judy Rockwell
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very important information state by state on requirements for caring for deceased loved ones.
Jul 02, 2019 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: 2014, nonfiction, death
I thought this was very useful upon skimming back in the day and recalled it after my grandfather's death. Saving here for future reference/recommend to family, in the hopes that it is not needed anytime soon.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent book that shows us how to reclaim our rights over our own final act. In addition to the sections that detail the general practices of the funeral industry, there is a chapter dedicated to each of the 50 state's policies so you can easily find the info relevant for you.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: death
Toni Maddi
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Although very informative, the authors' tone verges on bombastic, which makes it a difficult read.
Sue T
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The authors represent the Funeral Consumers Alliance; they may be a little bit alarmist, but mostly they give much useful info on consumers' rights and options when planning funerals (or making funeral-like arrangements) and making accompanying decisions. They give descriptions of various processes used to embalm, inter, cosmetically alter, etc. the corpse. There is also a chapter for each state that summarizes specific regulations about dealing with bodies, funeral home regulations, services th ...more
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Joshua Slocum’s and Lisa Carlson’s book, Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death, is one part in-depth expose of all things deplorable and funeral, and two-parts step by step manual detailing the different states’ laws regulating this shadowy industry, which in some instances are so ill-conceived and ripe for exploitation as to verge on parody. The authors intend to prepare their readers fully for the choices and hazards they will face when dealing with the funeral industry, but this ...more
R Alexander
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Most people today when dealing with a funeral home, do not have any idea of the abuse that goes on behind the mortuary doors. We all assume that funeral directors are like clergy... and have our best interest at heart. Funeral directors are first and foremost business owners, which is not bad(every business in entitled to a FAIR profit) unless they prey upon people when they are vulnerable to make EXCESSIVE profits. The book "Final Rights" will help you make good $$$ choices when it comes to fun ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: morbid-musings
This invaluable tome belongs on a bookshelf in every home in America. Throughout my experience in the funeral industry, I've witnessed time & again the naivete of consumers being taken advantage of.

Too many places in this country don't have the regulations in place to protect funeral consumers. Across this nation, places fall through the cracks & the funeral industry holds those communities hostage. People need to know they can stand up & demand the death & memorialization they want & need.

Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
While this book has an obvious author bias the inforamtion in here is so interesting and so startling you should definately read it. The state specific section in the back are also very helpful in knowing what to expect.
Jim Giddens
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funeral
When a death occurs, involvement of a funeral home is not a requirement. This book is a valuable resource of information for those wishing to handle funeral arrangements themselves. Most of the book is a state-by-state legal guide.
Hom Sack
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As others have said, "A must read".
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Indispensable handbook on the legal rights of families who wish to care for their dead at home, arranged by state.Also includes information about legislative issues and green disposition.
Julie F
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I was more looking for a book about planning a traditional funeral. This book has some info on that but it is more focused on home burial, which isn't relevant for me.
Moira Carlock Rivas
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A MUST READ - your eyes! As a hospice RN that works with indigent families, being able to furnish them with alternatives to the "norm" is of great value to them.
Sally Kilpatrick
A little preachy, but still an excellent book on the subject.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great resource. A good portion of it is devoted to burial regulations in each state.
Adam Schloss
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