Washington Funeral Resources & Education Making Washington Home Funeral Information Easy to Find MEDIA ADVISORY: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 20, 2021 New Public Information Website Launches to Educate Families & Professionals About Washingtonians’ Rights When Death Occurs Washington Funeral Resources & Education, a new non-commercial, public interest website launches this month. Dedicated to providing Washingtonians with information about their legal rights and resources when death occurs, WashingtonFuneral.org helps Washington consumers care for their own dead with or without the assistance of a funeral director. The website is for anyone wishing to avoid unnecessary expenditures for funeral products and services they don’t want or need, and for those wanting to explore the continuum of hands-on after-death care options, including home funerals and green burial. In Washington State, no one is required to purchase the services of a funeral director or funeral home when a death occurs. Under Washington law, families may conduct many or all tasks commonly performed by a funeral home. Many people don’t know about the rights of families to care for their dead—even many first responders, care facilities, and funeral industry pros. That’s why WashingtonFuneral.org, a new, free public information website, is being lauded by medical and funeral industry leaders as a much-needed resource for both families and professionals. Dr. Allie Massaro describes the website as “a remarkable resource” and says, “I plan to share it with our social workers and my physician colleagues, as we often lack information as to how to guide families through non-traditional processes." The website is modeled off of Oregon Funeral Resources & Education, which has spurred changes in hospital body release and family information policies. Washington Funeral Resources & Education has already expanded access for Washingtonians wanting to handle death certificate filing without hiring a funeral director, as provided under Washington law. After outreach to the Washington Department of Health to highlight the discrepancy between Washingtonian’s rights under the law and the current practice of restricting filing to professionals with EDRS access, DOH published a clarification titled Families Acting as Funeral Directors. (Details on the Washington Funeral Resources & Education blog.) In addition to detailing death care law in Washington, WashingtonFuneral.org walks readers through the practical “How Tos” of whichever aspects of after-death care they want to handle, and provides guidance in how consumers can get what they want from professionals they hire or authorities they encounter when a death occurs. The site provides an overview of what’s meant by the term “home funeral”, a glossary of terms, and informative storiesof how others have cared for their dead and concise, professionally-specific in-service training materials along with resources for use incommunity education. Washington Funeral Resources and Education @ WashingtonFuneral.org is a non-commercial public interest website dedicated to helping Washington consumers care for their own dead with or without the assistance of a funeral director. The site is provided as a public service by White Eagle Memorial Preserve and Sacred Earth Foundation in Goldendale. Like its Oregon predecessor, Washington Funeral Resources and Education is based on the New Hampshire Funeral Resources & Education website concept developed by Lee Webster and is expected to serve as a model for replication in other states. See also:
Media Page for full News Release, Public Service Announcement, “What People Are Saying”
Stories of family- and community-directed funerals conducted by Washingtonians
Landscape photos courtesy of Sean Proll Justin Craig All Rights Reserved
Washington Funeral Resources and Education is a non-commercial public interest site dedicated to helping Washington consumers care for their own dead with or without the assistance of a funeral director. See FuneralPartnership.org for more state funeral information. This site is maintained as a project of White Eagle Memorial Preserve and Sacred Earth Foundation, which coordinates responses to inquiries with other Washington-based organizations and practitioners that support the mission of the Funeral Partnership.
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