Human Remains

Photo of Professor of Law Tanya Marsh

Professor Tanya Marsh quoted in Seattle Times regarding designer’s plans for human remains

Professor Tanya Marsh is quoted in the following Seattle Times article, “Seattle designer’s plan for human remains: ‘What if we could just become compost?’” by published on Oct. 28, 2016.

The Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy will present the symposium, “Disrupting the Death Care Paradigm: Challenges to the Regulation of the Funeral Industry and the American Way of Death,” on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1312. The event is free and open to the public. Free CLE credit from the North Carolina Bar is pending approval.

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Professor Tanya Marsh and Daniel Gibson (JD ’15) publish first casebook on cemetery law

Most recent graduates take a breather after they finish the bar exam. Daniel Gibson (JD ’15) went to work finishing up a book instead. “Cemetery Law: The Law of Burying Grounds in the United States” was published on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. Continue reading »

Photo of Professor of Law Tanya Marsh

Professor Tanya Marsh publishes unprecedented resource regarding human remains

“Death is sometimes tragic, sometimes a blessing—always inevitable. Death transforms a living human being, a person with rights and autonomy, into … something else. Tissue and bone, once animated by life, converted into an object of fear, a focus for grief, and a medical and scientific resource.”

“The Law of Human Remains”


A human cadaver is no longer a person, but neither is it an object to be easily discarded. As a result of this tenuous legal status, human remains occupy an uneasy position in U.S. law. Perhaps because of what anthropologist Ernest Becker called our “universal fear of death,” the law of human remains occupies a remarkably unexamined niche of U.S. law.

In her new book, “The Law of Human Remains,” Professor Tanya D. Marsh undertakes the ambitious task of collecting, organizing and stating the legal rules and principles regarding the status, treatment and disposition of human remains in the United States.  The most recent comprehensive overview of the law was published in 1950. The Law of Human Remains builds on that work by creating detailed summaries of each individual state’s laws and regulations. This unprecedented resource allows readers to quickly identify the often fascinating differences that exist between states.

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Photo of Professor of Law Tanya Marsh

Professor Tanya Marsh offers quick fix for funeral directors with respect to Ebola in WFU Law Review article

Professor Tanya Marsh shares her thoughts in a new article, “Ebola, Embalming, and The Dead: Controlling The Spread of Infectious Diseases,”published by the Wake Forest Law Review on Oct. 31, 2014. Continue reading »