Alabama takes things a step farther. Not only are families required to hire a for-profit private entity at the time of a loved ones death, but families must include a funeral director for memorial services as well as funerals and burials. What new madness is this? The funeral industry further insinuates themselves into private citizens most intimate and significant rites - memorializing a loved one as they see fit. How dare they think they can force people to hire them just for a simple gathering of the bereaved! How will they enforce such a law?
The industry must be afraid of the changing views on death and funerals. They must know that more and more people are opting for cremation and fewer and fewer people want embalming. The industry who built itself on the idea that we could preserve the bodies of those we love like the pharaohs of Egypt must not know what to do with themselves while people look into alternatives to the “traditional” funerals. There is nothing much traditional to the US funeral industry. Traditionally we took care of our dead. Traditionally we kept them at home until the funeral and burial. Times changed and fewer people had room in their own home for a family wake and the funeral home was born.
Advocates in favour of preserving family rights are only interested in keeping basic human rights, not in shutting down the death care industry. In a society that allows home births, I cannot seem to understand the logic of forcing people to hire a licensed funeral director when there is far less danger in a home funeral than home births. Home births are quite safe. The person cared for in a home funeral can no longer be hurt. I am aware that in states where citizens have lost this simple and basic right, families can still care for the dead as they wish, as long as they hire a funeral director at some point, but this is absurd. Families in these states must hire a funeral director at a cost of almost a thousand dollars (as per my research) or more just to comply with the law. That is such an arduous burden for families to carry. I find that so hard to believe that we have allowed this to happen in our nation. Our nation built on competition and an open market place now in ten states willfully funnels customers into the funeral industry. It’s not like any of us get out of this life alive. These are guaranteed-mandated customers. Revolting! (Pun intended.)