Hospitals & Asylums
A. This is the second draft of Hospitals & Asylumsí National Cemeteries Amending Title 24 US Code Chapter 7 National Cemeteries ß271-296 and repealing Chapter 7a Private and Commercial Cemeteries ß298.† Death is the consequence of life.† To date no one is reported to have escaped death for more than 120 years.† This is one of the most disturbing facts humans, with their vaunted intellect, must confront in their lifetimes.† Whereas one cannot avoid dying one must try to live a full and healthy life in hopes of living as long as possible and doing as much as one can before they die.† Medical science claims to have prolonged the average life expectancy with their innovations and while there is some truth to the efficacy of modern medicine, sanitation and water treatment, historical biographies indicate that the Founding Fathers lived as long, if not longer than people do today.† The purpose of this Chapter is for the US Congress to grant Americans a more dignified burial.†
1. Federal regulation of the funeral industry is currently limited to the National Cemeteries under the supervision of the Secretary of Veteranís Affairs and a prohibition of unfair and deceptive advertising on the part of the funeral industry that must provide a general price list to consumers.
2. The vast majority of regulation of the funeral and cemetery industry is done by state license boards under state statute that we hope to address in greater length in future years.†
3. This Chapter will bridge the division between National and Private and Commercial Cemeteries in the federal law so that all Americans will be buried under the same law even if some of us prefer flowers to flags.
4. This Chapter will improve the long term solvency of cemeteries by improving the general understanding of burial rights for the benefit of the federal government in their exercise of eminent domain.
B. It can be estimated that 56,597,030 people died around the world in 2004 an average of 863 deaths per 100,000, 0.86% of the population.† The preliminary number of deaths in the United States for 2004 was estimated at 2,398,343, representing a decrease of 49,945 from the 2003 total.
1. The crude death rate was 816.7 per 100,000 population, 3.0 percent less than the rate of 841.9 per 100,000 in 2003.
2. The preliminary infant mortality rate, those children dying in their first year, for 2004 was 6.76 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.†
3. The rate was much higher for black infants whose mortality rate was 13.65 per 1,000.† 4. Having suffered several government sponsored shoot outs and poisonings the death rate has probably increased since January 2005.
5. The FBI homicide statistics were found to be so fraudulent that they have stopped being compiled and the CDC Center for Health Statistics must take over responsibility for compiling the statistics regarding the >22,000 homicides.
6. Death statistics need to be publicly compiled annually for the year before to more accurately monitor and promptly respond to public health crises in governance and society.
C. The preliminary estimate of life expectancy at birth for the total population in 2004 reached a record high of 77.9 years. This represents an increase of 0.4 year relative to 2003.† Record-high life expectancies were reached for white males (75.7 years) and black males (69.8 years), as well as for white females (80.8 years) and black females (76.5 years). The gap between male and female life expectancy was 5.2 years in 2004, down from 5.3 years in 2003, and 5.4 years in 2002. The difference between male and female life expectancy at birth has been generally decreasing since its peak of 7.8 years in 1979.† By state of residence, Hawaii had the lowest mortality in 2004 with an age-adjusted death rate of 623.6 deaths per 100,000 standard population. Mortality was highest for Mississippi, with an age-adjusted death rate of 998.2 per 100,000 standard population.
1. Heart disease: 654,092
2. Cancer: 550,270
3. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,147
4.† Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 123,884
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries): 108,694
7. Alzheimer's disease: 65,829
8. Influenza/Pneumonia: 61,472
9.Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 42,762
10. Septicemia: 33,464
D. In the US, not dissimilar to the rest of the world, in 2004 there were an estimated 250,000 deaths from what can loosely be construed as medical malpractice and product liability. 12,000 from unnecessary surgery, 7,000 from medication errors in hospitals, 20,000 from other errors in hospitals, 80,000 from infections in hospitals, 106,000 from non-error, negative effects of drugs making medical malpractice the third leading cause of death, ten times the homicide rate.† There are other estimates where medical malpractice is the leading cause of death including 100,000 from bedsores.
E. Deaths in
detention, incredibly because the bioterrorist surveillance and corruption of
criminal justice and their friends from the psychiatric hospital is the source
of so much of the morbidity and mortality amongst the free, State prison
inmates, particularly blacks, are living longer on average than people on the
outside. Inmates in state prisons are dying at an average yearly rate of 250
per 100,000, according to the latest figures reported to the Justice Department
by state prison officials. By comparison, the overall population of people
between age 15 and 64 is dying at a rate of 308 a year.† Jail sales have never been so high,
discipline can be found only in the legislature.
1. The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics said 12,129 state prisoners died between 2001 through 2004.
2. For black
inmates, the rate of dying was 57 percent lower than among the overall black
population - 206 versus 484. But white and Hispanic prisoners both had death
rates slightly above their counterparts in the overall population. The death
rate among men was 72 percent higher than among women. Nearly one-quarter of
the women who died had breast, ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer. Eight
percent were murdered or killed themselves, 2 percent died of alcohol, drugs or
accidental injuries, and 1 percent of the deaths could not be explained.
3.. The rest of the deaths - 89 percent - were due to medical reasons. Of those, two-thirds of inmates had the medical problem they died of before they were admitted to prison. Medical problems that were most common among both men and women in state prisons were heart disease, lung and liver cancer, liver diseases and AIDS-related causes. Four percent of the men who died had prostate or testicular cancer.† Eighty-nine percent of these inmates had gotten X-rays, MRI exams, blood tests and other diagnostic work, state prison officials told the bureau.† State prison officials reported that 94 percent of their inmates who died from an illness had been evaluated by a medical professional for that illness, and 93 percent got medication for it. More than half the inmates 65 or older who died in state prisons were at least 55 when they were admitted to prison.
F. To process the 0.83% of the population that dies every year 0.05% of the population is employed in the death care industry.† This means that there is a ratio of 16.6 dead people to every mortuary professional per year although the labor is actually divided into funeral service, cemetery maintenance and manufacturing meaning the annual caseload tends to be much higher, enough to support a comfortable living for the professional. Per death receipts for funeral services are estimated to total $4,166 for a burial and $1,080 for a cremation.†††
1. The 2002 Census Industry Series estimates that in 1997 there were 23,015 death care service establishments with 164,823 employees, generating revenues of $12.6 billion, with a payroll of $3.5 billion, not including the manufacturers of caskets and funeral supplies or monument engravers whose statistics have not yet been discovered. This is roughly the same that was spent at movie theatres.††
2. There were 6,677 cemeteries and crematories with 59,458 employees, generating $3 billion in revenues, with a payroll of $1 billion.† This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating sites or structures reserved for the interment of human or animal remains and/or cremating the dead.
3. There were 16,338 funeral industry establishments with 105,365 employees generating $9.6 billion in revenues, with a payroll of $2.5 billion.† This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in preparing the dead for burial or interment and conducting funerals (i.e., providing facilities for wakes, arranging transportation for the dead, selling caskets and related merchandise). Funeral homes combined with crematories are included in this industry.†
4. There were 177 funeral supply manufacturers with 6,962 employees, revenues of $1.3 billion, and payroll of $212. 5 million.† Like most US manufacturing the number of manufacturers and employees is on a decline and cremation is on the rise to 25% of all funerals. An estimated 1.8 million caskets were sold in 2002.
G. The American funeral industry emerged in the aftermath of the Civil War.† Before then families would normally bury their own dead.† The foundation of the new industry was embalming that permitted family to have a last look at their loved one that was legitimized in the cross country voyage of Abraham Lincolnís body from Washington DC to Springfield, Illinois.†
1. Since then funeral homes sprung up around the country.† As funeral homes multiplied, so did a variety of professional associations organizing funeral directors at the national and state levels, trade publications exclusively catering to an emerging class of authorities of disposal, and educational institutions for the training of funeral directors.†
2. Jessica Mitfordís The American Way of Death revolutionized the death care industry in the 1960s.
3. The Federal Trade Commission began its own investigation of the industry in the late 1970s and issued a series of proclamations based on its findings, including the Funeral Trade Rule in 1984. Some of the regulations imposed on funeral directors included providing clients with a detailed price list of all goods and services, informing them that embalming is not required by law, and allowing families to plan alternative funerals that did not follow traditional patterns.
4. Although cremation had made its appearance on the American scene much earlier, it became a viable option in the late 1960s and grew in popularity in subsequent decades.† Cremation rates at the turn of the twenty-first century rose to 25 percent.†
5. Another significant trend to emerge in the closing decades of the twentieth century was the intrusion of multinational corporations into what has become known as "death care." Inspired in part by the aging of the populous baby-boom generation, big corporations like Service Corporation International and the Loewen Group have been buying up independent, family-owned funeral homes. Even though most funeral homes are independently owned and operated, these corporations will continue to play a major role in U.S. funerals well into the twenty-first century.
H. The registration of deaths is a State function supported by individual State laws and regulations.
1. The original death certificates are filed in the States and stored in accordance with State practice.
2. Each State has a contract with NCHS that allows the Federal Government to use information from the State records to produce national vital statistics.
3. The national data program is called the National Vital Statistics System.
I. The Organ Procurement and Transplant Network is established under the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984.† The network compiles a national list of individuals who need organs and a national system that finds matching organs.† A scientific registry keeps track of all transplant recipients.† The organ donor system is important to the death care industry because it provides the final utility for a persons body.† A personís state drivers licenses indicates whether a person wishes to participate.
J. Within the Department of Veteranís Affairs there is established a National Cemetery Administration responsible for the interment of deceased service members and veterans. The largest of the 130 national cemeteries is the Calverton National Cemetery, on Long Island, near Riverhead, N.Y, that conducts more than 7,000 burials each year.
1. The National Funeral Directors Association is the oldest and largest national funeral service organization in the world, it was established in 1882.†
2. The Funeral Consumers Alliance is a federation of nonprofit consumer information societies protecting a consumerís right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral since 1963.†
3. The Casket & Funeral Supply Association of America was founded in 1913.
4. The Association for Gravestone Studies was founded in 1977.
5. The Funeral Service Foundation is the charitable voice of the funeral services industry that was founded in 1945.
6. The Funeral Ethics Association resolves problems for people having difficulty getting a fair response from a funeral director is was chartered in 1994
K. Funerals, in the US and Canada, can be divided into three parts,
1. Visitation, where the body is on display at the funeral home for viewing for a night or two before the funeral.† The deceased is usually dressed in their best clothes.† If the body is disfigured or someone is unwilling to view the body a closed casket. In Jewish funerals the body is never viewed and embalming is forbidden.† Guests sign a book held by the descendants and exchange photographs.
2. Funeral Service, a memorial service that is often officiate by a clergy from the bereaved church or religion.† Funerals are usually held three to five days after a personís death.† The service usually involves prayers, reading from the Bible and words of comfort from the clergy.† Family members and friends frequently give a eulogy to detail the happy memories and accomplishments in the life of the deceased.
3. Burial Service, is conducted at the site of the grave, tomb, mausoleum or crematorium at which the body of deceased is buried or cremated.† The burial may take place immediately after the funeral whereupon a funeral procession will travel from the memorial service to the burial site or at a time when the burial site is ready.† Flowers are often put on the coffin or in the case of the burial of the member of the Armed Forces the Secretary of Veteranís Affairs will provide an American flag to drape over the coffin
Sanders, Tony J. Hospitals & Asylums. Chapter 7: National Cemeteries. 38 pgs. www.title24uscode.org/NationalCemetery.doc ††