Final Rights

Reclaiming the American Way of Death

Contact Us

Joshua Slocum can be reached at

Lisa Carlson can be reached at

Contact Josh Slocum above for updates to information listed on this site, such as phone numbers and web addresses.

For other questions or comments about material on this site, contact the publisher at

If you are interested in the services of RSBPress, which designed the look of the book,
contact Kitty Werner at

If you are interested in the web design services that power this site,
contact Matt Fregoe at

7 Responses to “Contact Us”

  1. David L. Allen says:

    Persons interested in Final Rights may also be interested in Joyce Carol Oates book about a Widow’s story, It describes the agony that the author went through after her husband suddenly died. Every survivor should read it to get the flavor of lonliness.

  2. Jeff Whitlock says:

    My question concerns the second to final right, or the method of dying. It may be beyond the scope of your expertise but you possibly may be able to refer me to another source. My father died a couple weeks ago. He had a massive stroke, his second one, that left him unable to communicate, move, or eat on his own. He had a very clear medical order that stated ‘no feeding tubes’. He was given one anyway while the doctors were reviewing scans to determine the extent of his brain damage. Once it was determined that any recovery was improbable, the tube was removed. He was disconnected from all monitors and removed from the critical care unit. It was shocking and in the end maddening that there was no process to speed up his death. By this time he was comatose as we sat by his bed for a week waiting for him to starve to death. Instead of sadness we all felt anger. I recall a few years ago a Dr. kevorkian that was assisting families in this situation. Are you aware of any states that are looking to help people with their right of ‘how’ to die – or is that simply not a right?
    I wish I had found your website a few weeks ago. Not knowing even what questions to ask, left me with an uneasy feeling in the funeral home where he was taken to be cremated. I refrained from asking too many questions simply because I did not want to upset my mother. She wanted him to be cremated in his navy uniform and even purchased a second hat ($100) so she could keep his. Not being trusting by nature of people in the business of taking advantage of customers emotions, I’m not confident that his uniform was even put on him. Is it possible to know for sure? Is it possible to know whether the ramains in the little plastic box are his, or just divided up from all the ashes at the end of the day (week)? Obviously there is nothing we can do about any of this now other than to be more prepared for the next time. BTW, the hospital was in VA, my parents live in WV and the funeral home is in WV. He will go to Arlington National Cemetary which, disturbingly, has brought an onslaught of junk mail from photographers/videographers (more emotion based businesses) specializing in “capturing this memorable day”. Thanks for your help. Your book will be the next addition to my library.

  3. Lisa Carlson says:

    What a very unfortunate situation with your father’s death. I know of no state that would let another person speed the dying process. I’m told the “no-nutrition” route is a relatively “peaceful” way to go even tho’ it was difficult for you as the survivors to witness.

    For anyone with some capacity for action, I’ve recently learned about helium. We had two helium suicides in Vermont this past year, seniors. I worry that I may “lose it” before I can “use it.” It’s quick and quite easy with helium available on for $23. Comes with balloons. 😉 Check You Tube–“suicide+helium”.

    As for the cremation and his uniform, if there were metal buttons, ask for them. They may have been removed from the cremated remains before being boxed up, as nails and other metal particles are usually removed. Or they might still be in the boxl. But there is no way to ascertain for sure who is in the container, no remaining DNA. Some families ask to witness a cremation to set aside any doubts, but that’s not an option now.

    Good luck to you in dodging the photographers.

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