Thursday, March 23, 2023

Play

A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

Play

The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

“Death Doulas” Fight for Right to Serve Families

Play

Tuesday, December 14, 2021   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A case which could put so-called "death doulas" out of business gets a hearing this week before a federal judge in Sacramento.

Death doulas support families emotionally through the process of losing a loved one, educate people on their options and sometimes wash and dress the body and assist with home funerals or green burials. The state wants to require them to get a funeral director's license.

Jess Pezley, staff attorney for the nonprofit Compassion and Choices, which has filed an amicus brief to join the case, said the license would require doulas to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a funeral home equipped to embalm and store bodies.

"They don't embalm. They aren't transporting the body. They aren't offering crematorium services," Pezley outlined. "And they're not doing anything that would put themselves or others at risk of blood-borne viruses, things like that."

Two years ago, the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau ordered the doulas at Full Circle of Living and Dying in Nevada County to become licensed funeral directors or cease operations. The doulas sued, and a preliminary injunction allowed them to stay in business. The bureau declined to comment.

Pezley noted the state's order was spurred by an anonymous complaint.

"It would make sense that it was somebody in the conventional funeral industry who has this vested financial interest in dissuading people from home burials or green burials," Pezley contended.

Meagan Williams, a death doula and senior media associate with Compassion and Choices, said if the doulas are required to become funeral directors, it would effectively shut down the field and deny families an important option.

"Doulas can bring comfort and peace," Williams stated. "Knowing that they're not alone, knowing that there's somebody who is educated who understands the process, understands what's coming up ahead of them, and can help them plan."

This week both sides are asking for a summary judgment, and a decision is expected early next year.

Disclosure: Compassion and Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …


Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …


Businesses would have to pay up to $1,000 if they delay releasing their employees' personnel files longer than four weeks. (JRB/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

Environment

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Smoking prevention groups said because there are thousands of flavored tobacco products on the market, teens are gravitating toward them and picking up health risks along the way. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …

Environment

As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …

Environment

New research shows the demand for native seed supply across the Western United States, including Nevada, has increased, but the supply simply is not …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021