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Funeral Service Law 

Week 8 Discussion Forum

There will be a discussion forum each week that will count as a quiz/assignment grade. Each student is required to make a carefully thought out, well developed, and grammatically correct original post consisting of 
at least 250 words. Each student is required to make 
two (2) responses to the post of classmates. The replies are to be at least 150 words in fully developed, and grammatically correct sentences. Each original post will earn a maximum potential of 10 points and each response with earn a maximum potential of 5 points, for a total maximum potential of 20 points. 

Base your post on the following scenario, and there is no right or wrong answer. I am asking about your opinion and your thoughts, not on the actual law. You are a licensed funeral director in the state that you live and work. You have a graveside service for a family you know well. It will be at a rural cemetery just a mile or so over the state line, in the neighboring state.  You are not licensed as a funeral director in the neighboring state or authorized to act as a funeral director in that state. It is a rural cemetery with a volunteer caretaker and a third-party grave digger. You have no reason to believe that there will be any questions raised by anyone of you not having a director there from the other state, but you know that it is against regulations. Do you find a funeral director from that state or just take care of the family the way you a mile or so back in your home state?


Personally I could not and would never act unethically so, I would have to find a director within that state to be there to make sure I am ethically and legally within the laws of both states. I am sure there would not be any problems if I did not make sure I have a director, but I personally just could not do that. Even if there was not two other bodies there that could play witness to it I still could not do it. I have worked to hard and spent too much to become a licensed funeral director to do something so silly to lose all that I would if I did something so unethically. The amount of money it would cost to hire a funeral director in that state to come stand for an hour would be far less than it would be for me to hire a lawyer to fight to keep my license when I get caught. Because I would get caught. And if I did not get caught the guilt alone would eat me alive I would eventually sing like a bird and turn myself in. I have something within me I have never been able to break rules or laws. In school and in life I have always tried my hardest to always do the right thing. So given the example above, I would have to either charge the family to have a director there from that state or I would pay it myself if they could not afford it. It is a small price to pay to save my license. 


There are so many accidental ways for us as funeral directors to lose our licenses. I wouldn’t want to purposely put myself in a position to be severely reprimanded, have my name tarnished, or get my license taken away. Although, it would be very nice to be able to be the director of a friends funeral I could never risk it. Instead I might choose a funeral director I know very well, assuming I knew some in the state over since it is just a mile or so across the state line. I would want it to be a director that was a lot like me and that I know would actually listen to my friends wishes for their deceased family member. I maybe could talk to my friends about what they want and help them write it down to be prepared for their arrangement meeting. I know that there wouldn’t be anyone in attendance that would question what state you are licensed in, but I know for a fact if word got around. Which it would because the elderly talk about what funeral home/director they want to or did use quite a bit. If a funeral home that is a competitor finds out that you performed in a state that you are not licensed in they are liable to turn you into the board of directors. It wouldn’t be very nice of them, but if it could possibly help out their business in any type of way I’m sure they would gladly turn a competing director into the board.

Funeral Service Pathology

Week 8 – Diseases of the Endocrine System

Choose a topic from the chapters on diseases of the endocrine system and present it to the class, covering the basics of pathogenesis and prognosis, as well as how it affects you as an embalmer. When posting, approach as if you are discussing the topic with someone with little or no knowledge about the topic. This means you need to provide details to help the person understand.  That is what I expect when reading and grading your post. You must include diagrams and graphics to support your post, so make sure you include in your post the significance of why the diagram/graphic is important. Simply including the diagram/graphic will not be enough. 

The discussions are a great way to learn and exchange information with others in the class. Students are asked to post on at least two
 different days of the week. Your post should add to and support the discussions. No posts are accepted after the week closes!


This is a picture of adrenal glands that produce insufficient steroids. When this happens it affects the way the glands in the body produce vital hormones such as cortisol . This can also with massive range of painful symptoms which includes nausea, bronzing of the skin and a lowered immunity to infections and disease. 

Addison’s Disease is an autoimmune condition due to the body attacks the adrenal glands.  It is the hypofunction of the cortex of the adrenal gland. Addison’s disease develops when the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol and aldosterone.  The adrenal glands are positioned just above the kidneys. They affects the hormones that regulate metabolism and blood pressure.  

The treatment of Addison’s disease requires hormone replacement therapy to balance the body’s levels of adrenaline and return to a healthy baseline.

Addison’s disease can be obvious due to the bronze pigmentation of the skin. It can cause  weakness and loss of weight, and gastro-intestinal disturbances, and also low weight.  

 As embalmer the bronzing of the skin can pose a an issue for you in getting correct coloring back into the skin and especially the hands and face. With gastro- intestinal issues there is always the chance of distention and purge in the abdomen. 

My pic is too big, So I will add on a second post I guess


I am going to talk about an endocrine disease that is very near and dear to my heart because I suffer from it and have for many years. It is hypothyroidism. Another student also spoke on this and did a wonderful job explaining what it is and how it differs from hyperthyroidism. I am just going to explain what it is and tell you a bit about my story as well. 

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine (T4). This causes the body’s system to slow down and can lead to symptoms like fatigue, feeling cold, weight gain due to fluid retention, dry skin, and hair loss.

So my fight with hypothyroidism started in 2014. The first symptom that I noticed was my sudden weight gain and I had changed nothing about my diet or exercise routine. I was doing everything exactly the same but yet I managed to gain close to 30 pounds within a years time. I was put on synthroid and did ok on it for about two years. At that point in time, I went into hyperthyroidism and they could not get my numbers back to where they needed to be even on medication. I had a thyroid ablasion and was told that would take care of all my problems. I was told I would be on a thyroid hormone for the rest of my life. I went back and forth for several years with my numbers either being too low or too high. I had an ultrasound of my thyroid in 2021 and there were nodules growing on it. I had a goiter. It was decided at that time that I needed a thyroidectomy. In May of 2021, I had my thyroid removed. I will be on meds forever and I still flucuate from having too much thyroid hormone and too little hormone in my body. It is a never ending battle and it is so frustrating. The pictures below show my after pictures of having my thyroidectomy. I chose to show these so that you could get a visual of where the thyroid is located and how close to some very important arteries and veins it is. The first picture is the day before my thyroidectomy. You can see the bulge of the goiter. The second and third pictures are about a week post op and the fourth picture is a month post op. The last picture is how I look now and you can barely see any scar. You can’t tell because of my sunglasses, but the puffiness under my eyes have gone away as well.

Unit 6

State Statutes, Rules

State Statutes, Rules, and Regulation

Vary from State to State

Funeral Director/Embalmer Shall Not

Exceed Limitations as Prescribed by the State, Including:

Removal of remains without authority

Embalming without authority

Conducting a funeral without authority

Disposition of remains without authority

Funeral Director/Embalmer Shall Not

Exceed Limitations as Prescribed by the State, Including:

Mutilation in Preparation or Restoration of Remains

Hold Himself/Herself out to perform duties outside the scope of his/her licensure

Failure to Surrender or Dispose of Remains Upon Request

Funeral Director/Embalmer Shall Not

Exceed Limitations as Prescribed by the State, Including:

Committing Acts Which are Illegal

Pre-Need Requirements

Perform any other acts which fall under auspices of applicable licensing laws

Transportation of the Dead

Secure Proper Permits

Methods of Shipment

Common Carrier- any carrier required by las to convey passengers or freight without refusal if the approved fare or charge is paid (e.g., airline, train, etc.).

Contract Carrier- provides transportation for compensation only to those with whom it desires to do business with. E.g., livery service).

Private Carrier- those who transport only in particular instances and only for those they choose to contract with (e.g., funeral home vehicles and livery).

Transportation of the Dead

Funeral Home Equipment

Transportation by Family

Transportation of the Dead

Restriction Due to Cause of Death

Preparation for Shipment

Un-Embalmed Remains

Embalmed Remains

Casket Remains

Cremated Remains

Forwarding and Receiving Remains


Intrastate and across county line

Within a state


between two or more states


Purpose of Transportation

For Embalming or Cremation

For Final Disposition

To Another Funeral Establishment

For Anatomical Purposes

Fulfill Laws/Requirements Relative to

Departments of Health

State Boards

Intrastate and Interstate Commerce

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Qualification for License…




Moral and Legal Character

Formal Education

High School or Equivalency


American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) accredited program

Qualification for License…


Board Examinations





Qualification for License…


Renewal and/or Reinstatement

Continuing Education

Grounds for Revocation, Suspension, or Refusal to Renew or Issue Licenses


Fraudulent certificate, license, or diploma

Altered license, certificate, or diploma

Misleading advertising

False statements to obtain license

Soliciting or employing solicitors of death human bodies

Removal/Embalming without permission

Conviction of a criminal act involving felony/moral turpitude

Grounds for Revocation, Suspension, or Refusal to Renew or Issue Licenses


Use of indecent or obscene language in the immediate hearing of the family

Unfit by reason of substance abuse

Unfit due to a state of insanity

Performing service outside authorized limits

Refusing to surrender a body when properly ordered to do so

Willful false statements on death certificate

Untrustworthiness in Financial Dealings

Failure to fulfill continuing education requirements

Grounds for Revocation, Suspension, or Refusal to Renew or Issue Licenses


Failure to comply with state funeral establishment requirements

Misleading or deceiving advertising

Solicitation of dead human bodies

Failure to provide licensed personnel

Willingly falsify records

Vital Statistics

Death Certificate

Fetal Death Certificate

Burial/Transit/Cremation/Disinterment Permits

Regulatory Agency Procedures

A written complaint from a consumer or practitioner should be filed with the state board/licensing authority

Board conducts investigation and/or sets hearing

Respondent is advised of charges and time of hearing

Respondent may reply to charges, appear with counsel and subpoena witnesses

Judgment/administrative action may be issued by:

State board

Court action

Respondent may appeal decision

Reciprocity, Endorsement and Courtesy Cards

Determined by individual states

Special arrangements may exist between or among certain states

State may issue temporary permit to a licensee of another state

License may be issued to a licensee of another state if appropriate requirements are met

After a probation period

Upon review by the licensing agency board

Upon successful completion of examination(s)

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