Final Rights

Reclaiming the American Way of Death

Press Room

Are you a member of the media looking to talk with the authors?

Josh Slocum—802-865-8300, (cell) 802-233-6326,

Lisa Carlson—802-482-6021,


Praise for Final Rights


—Like Jessica Mitford‘s “American Way of Death,” “Final Rights” deals with the industry that has evolved around our culture’s reluctance to face the immutable fact of our deaths and what to do with “the remains.” Written  by the current and former executive directors of Funeral Consumers Alliance national office, “Final Rights” details in frequently polemic style methods of the funeral industry to increase profit. The authors delve into personal experiences with deaths of family and friends, reports and complaints to the nonprofit FCA and the Funeral Ethics Organization, and publications of the funeral industry itself to support their arguments… —San Antonio News-Express. Full review here.

—Slocum (executive director, Funeral Consumers Alliance) and Carlson (executive director, Funeral Ethics Organization) offer a guide intended to prepare consumers to deal with what the authors claim is a deceptive and greedy funeral services industry. They look at the components of burying the dead, including choosing caskets and markers, dealing with cemeteries and funeral homes, understanding pre-need funeral purchases, and new and revived trends such as home funerals and green funerals. They offer numerous real-life examples of manipulation and questionable practices and provide tips for consumers to help avoid rip-offs, such as misleading perpetual-care arrangements and exorbitant —embalming costs. There is practical advice on filing a complaint when wronged by the industry and a cautionary chapter on the Federal Trade Commission and what the authors see as its failure to enforce its own consumer protection rules.

VERDICT— This book is a boon for those looking to simplify and personalize caring for the dead. The inclusion of a compilation of each state’s funeral laws, including statutory citations and guidance for those investigating home funerals and burials and body donation, make this an essential purchase for consumer-protection collections.—Library Journal

—Bronze Award Winner for best reference book, ForeWords Magazine


—Not much has changed in the decades since Jessica Mitford stunned America with her vivid description of deception and abuse in the death industry. Families are still exploited financially at a time of intense grief. They are charged thousands of dollars for goods and services they may not want or need. Prepaid funeral money disappears into thin air. Body parts are sold on the black market. In eight states, families are denied the healing that can come from greater personal involvement in caring for their own dead. And some in the industry are working to diminish consumer rights even further. But a funeral consumer movement is now rapidly awakening … The authors of this book are the most prominent leaders of that movement. Both Slocum and Carlson have a long history of proposing reforms and testifying on behalf of consumers before legislatures and other government bodies. They are widely sought by journalists as leading experts on all funeral issues. In this book, they join forces, to tell consumers how they can take back their own rights under existing law and to propose legal changes for the benefit of all American consumers.—ForeWord Magazine


—The release of the book “Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death” provides state-by-state options that consumers may or may not have considered. “Final Rights” details a wealth of funeral knowledge about the options of dealing with death. In my opinion, it’s a reference book that should be on bookshelves throughout America. No one should wait until someone dies to read the book . . . “Final Rights” details the legalities of what you can do in the process of dealing with the dead. With the most recent research, the authors have managed to provide a road map of legalities to funeral service inside and outside of using a funeral home. As a result, it’s a fabulous, fascinating read.— Funeral celebrant Pam Vetter, writing in The American Chronicle

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