Thursday, August 12, 2010

Abbey Faces Criminal Charges For Making Wooden Coffins

Even though St. Joseph's Abbey in Louisiana has been making and selling wooden caskets, by hand, for over 100 years to earn income, the state of Louisiana (at the urging a state board) says they are criminals and are demanding the group must now:

" ...
apprentice at a licensed funeral home, learn unnecessary skills and take a funeral industry test. They would also have to convert their monastery into a "funeral establishment" by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming human remains."

Keep in mind, all these monks do is make the caskets and sell them to individuals.

And this LA claim seems to fly against Federal Law:

Before making a trip to a funeral home or casket showroom, you should be aware of the Federal Trade Commissions Funeral Rule. Central to the Funeral Rule is the General Price List (GPL). Directors of funeral homes are required - by this law - to provide a copy of the GPL to anyone who makes a request in person for information about goods and/or services of the establishment. This information is not merely shown to the individual in a bound folder in the office of the funeral home but a GPL copy must be given to the consumer to take home.

Additionally, the funeral home may not refuse to use a casket purchased elsewhere. Nor are they allowed to add a “handling fee” if you order a casket on your own. By Federal Law, you have the right to purchase your casket anywhere you choose. However, it is possible that you will meet with resentment at the funeral home since they will be losing a large percentage of profit on this transaction.

More background here at Institute for Justice.

1 comment:

  1. My grandparents home was inside Natchez Trace Park. I was sent there for a week every summer so my mother could clean and reorganize my room. One visit, I saw that one of the tiny homes down the road from them had a coffin on the porch. I asked if it was a Halloween prop. The person who lived there was terminally ill and a close friend made the man a simple, but lovingly hand crafted coffin as a gift to the destitute man. It sat on the porch for several weeks before he died at home, was placed in the box and taken to a donated plot of land.