Funeral and Cemetery Law

Photo graphic of a broken tombstone in a cemetery depicting 'James Hawkins Aug 5 1803 May 6 1903' with a graphic overlay that says 'Disrupting the Death Care Paradigm February 24'

Leaders of ‘death care revolution’ publish first-ever comprehensive look at challenges facing funeral industry

Leading voices in the “death care” reform movement have published in the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy the first-ever comprehensive look at the challenges facing the funeral industry, editors announced on Feb. 28, 2018.  The Journal issue can be found at  https://wfulawpolicyjournal.com/current-issue/. Continue reading »

Photo graphic of a broken tombstone in a cemetery depicting 'James Hawkins Aug 5 1803 May 6 1903' with a graphic overlay that says 'Disrupting the Death Care Paradigm February 24'

NYT best-selling author Caitlin Doughty to deliver Journal of Law and Policy symposium keynote on Thursday, Feb. 23

The Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy (JLP) spring symposium will commence with a keynote address from Los Angeles-based mortician and funeral director Caitlin Doughty, a death positivism activist and the author of a New York Times best-seller on theory and culture, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1312. The event is free and open to the public.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Tanya Marsh inside the Worrell Professional Center

Professor Tanya Marsh quoted in Los Angeles Times regarding latest battle in abortion wars

Professor Tanya Marsh is quoted in the following story, “The latest battlefront in the abortion wars: Some states want to require burial or cremation for fetuses,” written by Alexander Zavis and published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 23, 2017.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Tanya Marsh posing in the Worell Professional Center

Professor Tanya Marsh analyzes Texas’ new fetal burial rules

The Texas Department of State Health Services has announced that regulations limiting the way that health care facilities could dispose of aborted and miscarried fetuses will go into effect on Dec. 19, 2016.  Media headlines announcing the amendments create the impression that fetal tissue in Texas will now be treated like human remains and will require a funeral director or a cemetery, according to Wake Forest Law Professor Tanya Marsh.

Professor Marsh teaches courses in property and real estate transactions, as well as the only course in a U.S. law school on funeral and cemetery law. Marsh, a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana and a licensed funeral director in the State of California, is the author of The Law of Human Remains (2015) and the co-author of Cemetery Law: The Common Law of Burying Grounds in the United States (2015).  Her scholarship on the law of human remains has been cited by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Nation, Harper’s Magazine, Time magazine and The Associated Press. Marsh is the founder and primary author of The Funeral Law Blog.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Tanya Marsh posing in the Worrell Professional Center

Professor Tanya Marsh discusses ‘question of what we own of ourselves’ in Washington Post regarding new Texas fetal burial rules

Professor Tanya Marsh was quoted in following Washington Post article, ”After months of controversy, Texas will require aborted fetuses to be cremated or buried,” written by Samantha Schmidt and published on Nov. 29, 2016. The story also ran on MSN News.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Tanya Marsh posing in the Worell Professional Center

Professor Tanya Marsh discusses legal status of biological remains in Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective

Professor Tanya Marsh was featured in Philip R. Olson’s paper, “Refining and Extending Necro-Waste,” published on Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, the digital extension of the journal Social Espistemology, on Aug. 5, 2016.  Professor Marsh discusses the legal status of biological material in regards to Indiana’s law on aborted fetal remains.  The paper, which follows, also lists her book, “The Law of Human Remains,” as a reference.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Tanya Marsh posing in the Worell Professional Center

Professor Tanya Marsh authors article in Natural Transitions magazine regarding rights of dead, estate planning and more

Professor Tanya Marsh authored the article, “Who Controls the Dead? The Right to Make Funeral and Disposition Decisions,”  found on pages 20-22 in Issue 1, Volume 5 of Natural Transitions magazine.  In the article, Professor Marsh discusses the United States’ laws regarding human remains, the rights of the dead and the next kin, estate planning and more.  The magazine issue can be downloaded here.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Tanya Marsh posing in the Worell Professional Center

Professor Tanya Marsh featured in New Scientist regarding eBay’s policy on sale of human body parts

Professor Tanya Marsh was featured in the New Scientist article, “Hundreds of mystery human skulls sold on eBay for up to $5500,” regarding eBay’s policy on the sale of human body parts in light of the website’s recent listings of 454 skulls.  The article, published by Conor Gearin on July 12, 2016, follows.

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