MORT 3012W: Organization and Management of Funeral Business

Resources for: How to create an entrepreneurial marketing strategy and business plan for a small funeral business. Various forms of ownership. Financial requirements, risk management, human resources management. Theory supplemented with practical informat

Paper Topics

1)Research the topic of cemetery land use. Your goal in this topic is to understand the perspectives from the various stakeholders and identify the environmental impacts of traditional cemeteries vs. green cemeteries. You will decide what type of cemetery (traditional or green) you support and why.

2)Identify the process for receiving county burial assistance in any county in Minnesota (you choose). Your goal in this topic is to research the various stakeholders involved in this process and decide if it is ethical for a funeral home to deny a family using county burial assistance and why/why not.

3)Identify the current MN laws surrounding the removal of a dead human body from the place of death. Your goal in this topic is to research the various stakeholders involved in this process and decide if Minnesota should allow non-licensed individuals to conduct removals and why/why not.

4)Identify the current American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) requirements as well as the content required on the National Board Exam (NBE). Your goal in this topic is to research the various stakeholders involved and decide if there is a need to update the content of the NBE and why/why not.

5)Research natural organic reduction (NOR). Your goal in this topic is to offer the perspectives of the various stakeholders affected by NOR and decide if our state should offer this as an option to Minnesota families and why/why not.

6)Research the use of formaldehyde in the funeral industry, including the history of its origin through how it's used today for body preservation. Your goal in this topic is to offer the perspectives of the various stakeholders affected by a funeral home’s use of formaldehyde and decide if the Environmental Protection Agency should ban the use of formaldehyde. Why or why not?

7)Identify the rules and regulations surrounding communicable disease communication in HIPPA and define the current access (if any) a licensed funeral professional has in understanding communicable diseases of the deceased prior to coming in contact with them. Your goal in this topic is to offer the perspectives of the various stakeholders who come in contact with the patient/decedent and decide if the funeral professional should be allowed to have additional information on the decedent’s illnesses prior to removal.

8)Research Minnesota Chapter 149A. Your goal in this topic is to identify three ways you believe 149A should be updated, as well as offer the perspectives of various stakeholders involved and how the updates you offer would impact each.

9)While the National Board Exam is required for funeral licensure, each state has their own process for becoming licensed in mortuary science. Your goal in this topic is to offer the perspectives of stakeholders affected by these state licensing variations and decide if there should be a national standard to practice funeral service and why/why not.

10)Identify the current FTC regulations related to disclosing a funeral home’s General Price List to consumers. Your goal in this topic is to research the various stakeholders involved and decide if the FTC should (or should not) require funeral homes to post their GPL online and why.

Paper Topic(s) Resources

Resource list for the paper topics:

Resources that can be used for several of the topic questions

2022 Minnesota Statutes : Use the search box to find Minnesota laws/statutes on such topics as cemetery use, burial assistance or disposition of dead bodies.

Minnesota Department of Health/Choices : consult this document for "Information on the regulations and requirements of the final disposition of a dead human body in Minnesota."

Minnesota Department of Health/Mortuary Science : search this site for all things dealing with the funeral industry within Minnesota

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) : Search this site for information on hazardous substances (like formaldehyde), communicable diseases and HIPAA

OSHA (Occupation of Safety & Health Administration) : Search this site for hazardous substances or other occupational hazards, such as communicable diseases (bloodborne pathogens).

EPA (Environmental Projection Agency) : Search this site for regulatory information on hazardous substances like formaldehyde.

More specific resources

Burial Assistance

Minnesota County websites : search this directory for specific counties and county information

The Complete A-to-Z Guide to Getting State Government Assistance for a Funeral

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (covers Covid)

HIPAA

Minnesota Department of Health/HIPAA

US Department of Health & Human Services/HIPAA for Professionals

US Department of Health & Human Services/HIPAA Privacy rule summary

CDC/HIPAA

Funeral Service Licensing

State Funeral Licensing directory

Minnesota Department of Health/Mortician and Funeral Director Information

International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards/Licensing Requirements

American Board of Funeral Service Education

FTC (Federal Trade Commission)/Complying with the Funeral Rule

Truth in Advertising/Funeral Rule

 

Database Resources

Databases and suggested search strategies for finding information on research topics.

Scopus or Web of Science: Covers the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts and humanities

Search strategies:

  • "green burial" OR "natural burial" OR "natural organic reduction"
  • formaldehyde AND ( funeral OR mortuary)
  • ( cemetery OR cemeteries OR graveyards ) AND pollution
  • "burial assistance" OR "funeral aid" OR "funeral assistance"
  • ( "communicable diseases" OR "infectious diseases" ) AND ( "funeral home" OR "funeral service" OR "funeral industry" )
  • "funeral rule"

Google Scholar -- use the above databases first, but then try Google Scholar (be aware that Google Scholar does not return results in date order, so there will be a mixture of old and new articles and not everything will be available).

Mortuary Science Journals

Select set of Journals in mortuary science and bereavement

Title Years
American Funeral Director 1945-
Casket & Sunnyside: C & S 1945-1984
The Director 1948-

Embalmers Monthly and National Funeral Director

1945-47, 1956-59
Mid-Continent Mortician 1944-1973
Morticians of the Southwest 1955, 1957-1977
Mortuary Management 1945-1948, 1955-
National Funeral Director and Embalmer 1958-1977
Southern Funeral Director 1945-1977

 

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2023 2:00 PM