Texas Funeral Ebook Continuing Education

This interactive Texas Funeral Ebook contains 16 hours of continuing education. To complete click the Complete Your CE button at the top right of the screen.

Elite Learning

TEXAS Funeral Continuing Education

Includes mandatory topics required for license renewal.

ELITELEARNING.COM/BOOK Complete this book online with book code: FTX1624 16-hour Continuing Education Package $84.95


THIS COURSE FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENT FOR ETHICS Chapter 1: Ethical Standards in the Funeral Industry (Mandatory)


[2 CE hours] This course has been developed to create a framework surrounding ethics within the funeral service industry. The principles of ethics are critical in this field of service, since human interaction and empathy are the driving force behind what funeral professionals do. This course will identify the impact of basic ethical principles not only on an individual level, but also on an organizational level, and their overall influence on the success of our industry. THIS COURSE FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENT FOR TEXAS MORTUARY LAW UPDATES Chapter 2: Texas Mortuary and Crematory Law Update, 2nd Edition (Mandatory) [2 CE hours] The Texas Mortuary and Crematory Law Update course provides a review of regulations governing the funeral service and death care industry in Texas. The course covers updates to statutes and rules in the Texas Occupations Code, Health and Safety Code, and Administrative Code related to licensing, inspections, continuing education requirements, and ethical standards for funeral directors, embalmers, and funeral establishments. Key topics include the Texas Funeral Service Commission’s responsibilities, license renewal procedures, new legislative changes, complaint investigation processes, and required documentation for embalming services. The course is intended to keep Texas funeral professionals informed on current laws and regulations that impact their licensure and professional responsibilities when serving clients. THIS COURSE FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENT FOR VITAL STATISTICS REQUIREMENTS AND REGULATIONS Chapter 3: Texas Vital Statistics 2024 Update (Mandatory)



[2 CE hours] This course is intended for Texas funeral service professionals seeking to renew their licenses. The course reviews Texas legislation, administrative code, and regulations pertaining to vital statistics, death records, cemeteries, cemetery organizations, lawn crypts, and disinterment permits. Relevant sections of the Texas Health and Safety Code and Texas Administrative Code are summarized with a focus on recent updates to the code. The course satisfies the two continuing education hours in vital statistics requirements and regulations mandated by the Texas Funeral Service Commission prior to license renewal. Chapter 4: The Funeral Rule 68 [3 CE hours]

Along with an understanding of state and local laws, it is vital for funeral professionals to be familiar with the federal government’s Funeral Rule. This course will assist the funeral provider in complying with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) Funeral Rule. Chapter 5: Infectious Disease Control for Funeral Professionals [4 CE hours] Professionals in the funeral industry must have knowledge concerning different types of infectious disease, their modes of transmission, and the virulence that make them dangerous and difficult to contain. This basic-level course provides specific references for downloading guidelines and training resources from the CDC, OSHA, and the WHO and includes information on infectious diseases that rise to the level of serious public health concern. Chapter 6: Military and Line of Duty Funeral Services



[3 CE hours] When a member of the Military is killed in action, the death can be a tragic and devastating loss for the family, the comrades, the friends, and the country. When a member of law enforcement, fire service, or emergency medical service is killed in the line of duty, the tragic loss is felt by the family, the professional family, and the community who was served. The funeral service for a person killed in action or in the line of duty can be more detailed and complex than other funeral arrangements. This course is designed to aid funeral directors in understanding many of the honors and traditions used in these types of services. The content of this course will include the origin and symbolism of many funeral honors observed, discuss the detailed planning required to properly arrange these types of services, and serve in preparing directors to serve the ones affected by Military and Line of Duty Deaths. Final Examination Answer Sheet 115

©2024: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge in the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal or professional services advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation or circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials.



Book code: FTX1624

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What are the requirements for license renewal? Licenses Expire Contact Hours

Mandatory Subjects

16 The “in-person” requirement for Continuing Education has been waived until further notice. You are still required to obtain all 16 hours. All 16 hours can be completed online.

2 hours of Texas Mortuary Law Updates 2 hours of Vital Statistics 2 hours of Ethics

Licenses expire on the last day of the licensee’s birth month.

How much will it cost? If you are only completing individual courses in this book, enter the code that corresponds to the course below online.





2 2 2 3 4 3

$19.95 $19.95 $19.95 $25.95 $31.95 $25.95 $84.95


Chapter 1: Ethical Standards in the Funeral Industry (Mandatory)

Chapter 2: Texas Mortuary and Crematory Law Update, 2nd Edition (Mandatory)

Chapter 3: Texas Vital Statistics 2024 Update (Mandatory)

Chapter 4: The Funeral Rule

Chapter 5: Infectious Disease Control for Funeral Professionals

Chapter 6: Military and Line of Duty Funeral Services

Best Value - Save $58.75 - All 16 Hours


How do I complete this course and receive my certificate of completion? See the inside front cover for step by step instructions to complete and receive your certificate. Are you an Texas board-approved provider? Colibri Healthcare, LLC is an approved continuing education provider by the Texas Funeral Service Commission, Provider No. 125. Colibri Healthcare, LLC is also approved by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP). Provider No. 1046. Are my hours reported to the Texas board? No, the Texas Funeral Service Commission requires licensees to certify at the time of renewal that they have complied with the continuing education requirement. The Board performs audits at which time proof of continuing education must be provided. What information do I need to provide for course completion and certificate issuance? Please provide your license number on the test sheet to receive course credit. Your state may require additional information such as date of birth and/or last 4 of Social Security number; please provide these, if applicable. Is my information secure? Yes! We use SSL encryption, and we never share your information with third-parties. We are also rated A+ by the National Better Business Bureau. What if I still have questions? What are your business hours? No problem, we have several options for you to choose from! Online at EliteLearning.com/Funeral you will see our robust FAQ section that answers many of your questions, simply click FAQs at the top of the page, e-mail us at office@elitelearning.com, or call us toll free at 1-888-857-6920, Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, EST. Important information for licensees: Always check your state’s board website to determine the number of hours required for renewal, mandatory topics (as these are subject to change), and the amount that may be completed through home-study. Also, make sure that you notify the board of any changes of address. It is important that your most current address is on file.

Licensing board contact information: Texas Funeral Service Commission 1801 Congress Avenue, Suite 11.800 | Austin, Texas 78701 I Phone (512) 936-2474 I Fax (512) 479-5064 Website: https://tfsc.texas.gov/index.html


Book code: FTX1624


Chapter 1: Ethical Standards in the Funeral Industry (Mandatory) 2 CE Hours

Learning objectives After completing this course, the learner will be able to: Š Define ethics and its impact on the funeral industry. Š Understand and practice the code of ethics. Š Discuss the Order of the Golden Rule. Course overview This course has been developed to create a framework surrounding ethics within the funeral service industry. The principles of ethics are critical in this field of service, since human interaction and empathy are the driving force behind what Implicit bias in healthcare Implicit bias significantly affects how healthcare professionals perceive and make treatment decisions, ultimately resulting in disparities in health outcomes. These biases, often unconscious and unintentional, can shape behavior and produce differences in medical care along various lines, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic status. Healthcare disparities stemming from implicit bias can manifest in several ways. For example, a healthcare provider might unconsciously give less attention to a patient or make assumptions about their medical needs based on race, gender, or age. The unconscious assumptions can lead to delayed or inadequate care, misdiagnoses, or inappropriate treatments, all of which can adversely impact health outcomes. Addressing

Š Identify obligations for the care of the decedent. Š Identify obligations to the public. Š Identify obligations to the government.

funeral professionals do. This course will identify the impact of basic ethical principles not only on an individual level, but also on an organizational level, and their overall influence on the success of our industry. implicit bias in healthcare is crucial for achieving equity in medical treatment. Strategies to combat these biases involve education and awareness programs for healthcare professionals. These programs help individuals recognize and acknowledge their biases, fostering a more empathetic and unbiased approach to patient care. Additionally, implementing policies and procedures prioritizing equitable treatment for all patients can play a pivotal role in reducing healthcare disparities. Ultimately, confronting implicit bias in healthcare is essential to creating a more just and equitable healthcare system where everyone receives fair and equal treatment regardless of their background or characteristics.


However, applying an ethical framework to these conflicts can alleviate some of the stress and offer a path forward. This chapter will define ethics and the guidelines that have been designed and presented to and by funeral professionals who conduct or seek to conduct operations within the death care industry. Understanding and practicing ethical standards is at the forefront of what makes funeral professionals respected and trusted. As funeral professionals, the integrity of our funeral home relies on all members of the staff working together to follow these guidelines and principles. Chapter objectives In this chapter, we will: Š Discuss a brief history of the funeral ethics that shaped the industry of today. Š Define ethics and its impact on the funeral industry. Š Understand and practice the Professional Code of Conduct. Š Discuss the Order of the Golden Rule. attempts to regulate the business nationally until the 1960s, when investigative journalist Jessica Mitford’s 1963 book, The American Way of Death , brought to light dramatic abuses committed by funeral homes. Mitford publicized already existing concerns about the industry, accusing funeral homes of bilking stunned, grieving customers; pushing expensive caskets, funeral packages, and ridiculous “extras” while omitting less expensive options; and, in general, taking advantage of grief-stricken survivors. The book’s first edition sold out in just one day. Robert Kennedy was so moved by what he read in the book that he decided on a relatively simple funeral with a closed casket after the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. Even this was controversial, with public opinion strongly opposing Robert Kennedy’s (who was then the U.S. attorney general) decision.

At the top of the list of primary responsibilities of the funeral professional is the ethical care of a deceased person and the families and communities in which we serve. Each day funeral professionals are confronted with impossible decisions and numerous difficulties that are now more complicated than they’ve ever been in our profession. Ethics and ethical thinking can be applied to every aspect of human life. When problem solving and decision making are approached using a framework of ethical thinking, the number of lawsuits decrease, consumer complaints decrease, and people seem happier and more content. There may be an ever-increasing complexity of the culture and communities in which we live and work, and situations often arise that are so complex it seems impossible for even the most ethically conscious people to find their way through. Decisions frequently have to be made quickly and with limited information; competing priorities and demands may pull in opposite directions, and right is not easily distinguishable from wrong.

A brief history of the funeral ethics that have shaped the industry of today The funeral industry, more popularly known as the death care industry, has evolved drastically, as have Americans’ views regarding what is appropriate and inappropriate when conducting a funeral service, burial, or cremation. The subject of death is endlessly complex and multifaceted, as is the industry surrounding it. By looking at the progression of major trends and regulations in the industry, funeral professionals can understand the foundation of their industry as well as the context for current practices.

By the mid-1950s, there were more than 50,000 funeral directors and 25,000 operating funeral homes in the U.S. About 70% of the country’s funeral homes were independently owned, and many were beginning to organize into a powerful trade group. Because many state funeral directors’ associations had their own code of ethics, the federal government made no

Book Code: FTX1624

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State rules also regulate funeral homes to various extents, but the FTC is by and large the main governing body of the funeral industry. In recent years, consumer attitudes about funerals have changed significantly, generally shifting away from traditional funerals. The Internet, among other sources, allows consumers to access extensive information about funeral practices and options. Consumers can research religious traditions that pertain to their culture and belief systems and incorporate these traditions into their funerals. They can learn about federal regulations and industry conflicts. They can even buy their own merchandise, such as caskets, urns, stationary, and so on from a third party. This mainstreaming of the funeral industry is likely to continue as information becomes even more widely available.

Mitford’s 1963 book and the strong consumer response to it prompted increased attention and government oversight of the funeral trade. Hearings eventually culminated in the enactment of the Funeral Industry Practice Trade Regulation Rule (16 C.F.R. 453) in 1984. The Funeral Rule, or “the Rule,” as it is usually called, was reenacted and changed slightly in 1994. The Rule focuses on disclosures regarding funeral goods and services. It specifies what a funeral business must include on a general price list (GPL), when the list must be offered, and what consumers cannot be required to buy. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the government agency that interprets and enforces the Funeral Rule. The FTC has two central missions: To keep the marketplace competitive and to stop unfair and deceptive trade practices. The FTC Act, of which the Funeral Rule is one part, broadly prohibits “unfair business practices and false advertising” (FTC, 2002). So what is ethics? Ethics is defined as the principles that govern a person’s behavior or conduct during an activity. According to the peer-reviewed academic resource Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP; Snedegar, n.d.), the field of ethics, also known as moral philosophy, involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Standards of ethics are written into our everyday laws but go far beyond what is strictly legal. Laws are associated with minimum requirements, whereas ethical standards appeal to an even higher level of responsibility regarding the right thing to do and our purpose—our reason for being physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They give life to our values and principles. The terms ethics, morals, values , and principles are often used interchangeably, but are they really the same thing? Ethics, morals, values, and principles are all factors that govern our character and behavior. Yet there are differences between each of these concepts. Ethics vs. Morals While the terms ethics and morals are related, they are not synonymous. Ethics speaks to rules and principles that stem from an external source such as work environments, religions, cultural institutions, or particular groups. Morals come from within and reflect an individual’s sense of right versus wrong. Ethics vs. Values Together, ethics and values lay the framework for sustainability. As we have previously discussed, ethics are established by a group or culture. Values, on the other hand, refer to the beliefs for which a person has an enduring preference. Values and Principles Principles are essentially behavioral guidelines that are based on values. These principles, which emerge as a belief or rule based on values, can even influence the direction of an entire society. Many principles are collectively agreed upon by society, and many people have their own individual principles as well. Whenever we make a choice, it is or was possible for us to have made a different one. A Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, once captured this sense when he described standing on the edge of a cliff. The only thing that will prevent us from falling is us and our choice to do otherwise. Ethics is possible because we can act against our own nature based on our conscience. It stops

us from simply describing what is likely to happen, and allows us to make judgments about what we think should happen. The field of ethics can be further broken into four subcategories that identify the environment and relevant factors to determine the scope and practice of prerecognized standards: ● Meta-Ethics.

● Descriptive Ethics. ● Normative Ethics. ● Applied Ethics. Meta-Ethics

Meta-ethics is an attempt to understand the nature and meaning of various ethics systems, moral judgements, and attitudes. It does not reflect whether an action is good or bad, right or wrong, but rather examines the nature of goodness, rightness, or morality itself, for example. It is a highly abstract look at ethics. The key theories in meta-ethics include naturalism, nonnaturalism, emotivism, and prescriptivism. Descriptive Ethics Descriptive ethics is the branch of ethics that deals with psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other social factors. It is often called comparative ethics, as it compares the ethics of past and present, or the ethics of one society to another. Normative Ethics Normative ethics is the study of the moral course of action through practical means. It is also called prescriptive ethics, as it rests on the principles that determine whether an action is wrong or right. The Golden Rule of normative ethics is “Do unto others as you’d have done to you.” Applied Ethics Applied ethics is the branch that tells us how we can achieve moral outcomes in a particular circumstance. Applied ethics deals with what is wrong or right within social, economic, cultural, and religious settings. This field of ethics is the most relevant when discussing industry-specific ethics and is further broken down into six general domains: ● Decision ethics. ● Professional ethics.

● Clinical ethics. ● Business ethics. ● Organizational ethics. ● Social ethics.


Funeral ethics falls under the category of professional ethics, which is a vast field of study relating to ethical conduct within the scope of business and professional practice. Unlike personal ethics, which are flexible and open to debate, professional ethical codes are formally defined, mandatory standards of conduct established by and for members of professional associations to ensure quality and integrity in the profession.

Ethics in funeral services involves the professional application of guiding principles of right conduct to the study, practice, and business of funerals. Applying these ethical frameworks to the industry results in a respectful and principled environment, wherein transactions respect the feelings and emotions of the grieving, maintain respect for the deceased, and do not take advantage of consumers who are making funeral or memorial purchases.

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issues of fair treatment and quality have been legislated and are the basis of the current code of conduct. Within the funeral services industry, the question of ethical practice covers broad ground and encompasses everything we do as professionals—from the way we behave toward each other, our colleagues, and the families we serve to the treatment of a deceased human body. which have in turn led to the development of ethical standards and codes of conduct. Adhering to prescribed levels of ethical standards within the industry means that funeral professionals, especially the funeral director, are not only responsible for their own actions but also take on the responsibility for all members of the staff, both paid and volunteer. complaints and conducting investigations, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. While there are few establishments with truly poor reputations, the majority of complaints that do occur have to do with pricing and consumer abuse. They include issues such as high costs that take advantage of the grieving, fraudulent prepaid funeral plans, high-pressure merchandise sales, and sales of unnecessary products. Rule also allows consumers to compare prices among funeral homes and to freely choose the home from which they will purchase services. The Rule does not apply to third-party sellers such as casket and monument dealers, or to cemeteries that lack an on-site funeral home. those guidelines be translated into actual behavior. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is responsible for making it possible to fulfill those guidelines by providing appropriate training, support, and follow-up. ● Members shall comply with all applicable federal or state laws or regulations relating to the prearrangement, prepayment, or prefinancing of funeral services or merchandise. ● Members shall release deceased persons to the custody of the person or entity who has the legal right to affect a release without requiring payment before the release. ● Members shall not use any funeral merchandise previously used and sold without prior permission of the person selecting or paying for the use of the merchandise. ● Members shall comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Industry Practices Regulation. ● Members shall protect confidential information pertaining to the deceased or the family of the deceased from disclosure. ● Members shall carry out all aspects of the funeral service in a competent and respectful manner. ● Members shall properly account for and remit any monies, documents, or personal property that belongs to others that comes into the member’s possession. ● Members shall not engage in any unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the families they serve in the course of providing professional services. Family members of the deceased should be provided counsel and treated in a caring and ethical manner throughout the duration of the funeral process and into the future, postservices. The funeral director and staff members of the funeral home

Codes of conduct may never be complete and may not include rules and regulations that apply to every situation. These codes should therefore be considered within the additional frameworks of company policies, procedures, ethical standards, and legal requirements. In our society, ethical concerns tend to escalate and are often raised to the consideration of a government level. In the field of death care and funeral services, cases regarding Impact of ethics on the funeral industry The death care industry has attracted the attention of both the government and the media over the years because of the social impact of its services and its growing size in the business sector. The industry in which funeral professionals operate is what some may consider nontraditional and is complex in that it exists at the intersection of deep human emotion and business. It is therefore not surprising that there have been thousands of complaints in regards to pricing and consumer exploitation over the years, Ethical concerns The death care industry in the U.S. consists of professional divisions of funeral homes; cemeteries, which include mausoleums; and crematoriums, which together were estimated to have generated approximately $68 billion in annual revenue between 2018 and 2023, according to the United States Death Care Market Report . Services within the funeral services and death care industry continue to be necessary for virtually every family. The Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection stops unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices by collecting The Rule The Funeral Rule, often referred to as “the Rule” and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), mandates that the consumer has the right to choose only those goods and services they want or need and to pay only for those they select, whether making arrangements when a death occurs or in advance. The Code of Professional Conduct Codes of conduct provide concrete guidance on how to act in accordance with industry ethics standards. Within the death care industry, that code is known at the Code of Professional Conduct (NFDA, 2022a). While codes of ethics provide essential guidelines for a given industry, it is even more important that Professional obligations As of January 1, 2004, the NFDA’s enforceable Code of Professional Conduct took effect. This code outlines ethical and professional practices to which NFDA-member funeral homes must abide. These standards raise the bar for member funeral directors by ensuring the highest-quality professional practices and also allow consumers to file a complaint with the NFDA if a funeral professional does not adhere to these standards. The Code of Professional Conduct addresses the obligations of the funeral professional in five key areas:

● Services to the Family. ● Care of the Decedent. ● Obligations to the Public. ● Responsibilities to the Government. ● Obligations to the NFDA. Services to Families

Ethical principle : Members have an ethical obligation to serve each family in a professional and caring manner, being respectful of their wishes and confidences, being honest and fair in all dealings with them, and being considerate of those of lesser means. ● Members shall provide funeral services to families without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability.

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● Members shall not pay or offer to pay a commission or anything of value to third parties such as medical personnel, nursing home and hospice organizations or employees, clergy, government officials, or others to secure deceased human remains for funeral or disposition services. ● Members shall not use alcohol or drugs to the extent that such use adversely impacts the members ability to carry out their obligation as funeral professionals. ● Members shall not be convicted of any felony or any crime involving immoral conduct. ● Members shall not offer to sell or arrange the sale of funeral goods or services on a preneed basis in violation of any applicable federal or state laws or regulations. It is the duty of every funeral director and funeral professional to know and strictly adhere to the requirements of the Code of Professional Conduct for the protection of the families served, the deceased that are cared for, the profession that funeral directors dedicate themselves to, and the communities in which they live and serve. Obligations to the Government Ethical principle : Members have an ethical obligation to maintain strict compliance with the letter and spirit of all governmental laws and regulations that impact the funeral consumer, the funeral profession, and public health. ● Members engaging in the profession of funeral directing or embalming shall hold all necessary licenses to engage in such businesses. ● Members shall require any person in their employ or under their control who serves as a funeral director or embalmer, or as an apprentice or intern, to have all appropriate licenses. ● Members shall not knowingly make a false statement on a death certificate. ● Members shall not knowingly make or file false records or reports in the practice of funeral service. ● Members shall comply with all federal, state, or local laws, rules or regulations governing or impacting the practice of funeral service. ● Members shall comply with all federal, state, or local laws, rules or regulations that were enacted to protect consumers. ● Members shall comply with all federal, state, or local laws, rules or regulations that were enacted to protect the environment. Obligations to the National Funeral Directors Association Ethical principle : Members have an ethical obligation to promote, participate in, and support the National Funeral Directors Association in its mission to help all members enhance the quality of funeral service to families. ● Members shall comply with the Constitution and Bylaws of the National Funeral Directors Association. ● Members shall conduct themselves in a proper and appropriate manner while attending or participating in NFDA-sponsored events and in all communications with NFDA staff. ● Members shall cooperate in a timely, professional, and respectful manner in all phases of an investigation, hearing, and resolution of a complaint brought before the Professional Conduct Committee.

establishment work with families in a critical stage of their life and partake in intimate and confidential details of their personal lives. Under no circumstances should the funeral director or any member of the staff discuss the cause or nature of the death, or details that have not been made public, such as the obituary, with anyone outside of the funeral home or relevant third parties such as employees at the cemetery, crematory, church or clergy, insurance companies responsible for payment, or other legal entity such as Social Security or local and state registrars. Care of the Decedent Ethical principle : Members have an ethical obligation to care for each deceased person with the highest respect and dignity, and to transport, prepare, and shelter the remains in a professional, caring, and conscientious manner. ● All deceased persons shall be treated with proper care and dignity during transfer from the place of death and subsequent transportation of the remains. ● Only authorized personnel of the funeral home or those persons authorized by the family shall be in attendance during the preparation of the remains. ● Members shall allow only embalmers, apprentices, and interns who are licensed to the extent required by state law to embalm human remains. ● All deceased persons in the preparation room shall be treated with proper care and dignity and shall be properly covered at all times. ● Members shall not transport, hold, or carry out the disposition of human remains without all permits and authorizations required by law. ● Members shall not violate any statute, ordinance, or regulation affecting the handling, custody, care, or transportation of human remains. ● Members shall not knowingly dispose of parts of human remains that are received with the body by the funeral home in a manner different from that used for the final disposition of the body unless the person authorizing the method of final disposition gives permission that the body part may be disposed of in a manner different from the disposition of the body. With respect to the care of the deceased, strong ethical standards must remain in place at all times. No unlicensed or prohibited persons, including staff, should be in contact with the deceased individual throughout the embalming and preparation procedures. The body shall be in the care of the funeral director and their permitted members of the staff. The body shall remain covered at all times and treated with dignity and respect. Obligations to the Public Ethical principle : Members have an ethical obligation to the public to offer their services and to operate their businesses in accordance with the highest principles of honesty, fair dealing, and professionalism. ● Members shall not engage in any unprofessional conduct that is likely to defraud or deceive the public. ● Members shall not engage in false or misleading advertising. ● Members shall not personally or through an agent or employee solicit deceased human remains, whether the solicitation occurs after death or while death is imminent— provided, however, that general advertising directed to the public at large would not constitute a violation of this section. The Order of the Golden Rule During the 1920s, funeral homes began to move out of furniture stores and establish a place for themselves among the business community. This was a new concept to the general public, and consumers had no way to determine the reliability of a particular firm in what was then considered a relatively new industry.

In 1928, a group of funeral directors developed the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), an associate of interpedently- owned funeral homes centered around the Golden Rule (do unto others as you’d have done to you). Members of the OGR across North America and abroad pledge to abide by a strict code of ethical standards (see the pledge in the following section).

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● Our charges, which are commensurate with services rendered, are based on our known costs of operations and shall be set forth in such a manner that the public may know what is included in such charges. ● We pledge to clearly explain charges. ● At the time that funeral arrangements are made, we will furnish each family with a complete and clear explanation of the charges for the services provided and merchandise selected, together with an itemization of monies to be advanced as an accommodation to the family and the agreed-upon method for the payment of the account. ● We pledge to provide the highest level of competence and care. ● We will maintain and provide to the public complete facilities and equipment, including a highly competent and well- qualified staff. ● We pledge to further our education to better serve our clients. ● We recognize the fact that funeral service is a practice affecting the public health, safety, and welfare; funeral directors are called upon to serve during one of the most trying periods human beings can experience. We pledge ourselves to the pursuit of our continuing education to the end that those who look to us may be well served. ● We pledge to help meet the needs of those in grief. ● We will provide the public with full information pertaining to all aspects of funeral service, and we will cooperate with all others with whom we share caretaking responsibilities as we develop facts, research, and knowledge that will better enable us to meet the needs of those who mourn.

OGR members believe in the validity and the application of the Golden Rule and pledge their efforts to the pursuit of this standard in all of their personal and professional relationships. Golden Rule Funeral Homes Pledge ● We pledge to treat the customers and their loved ones with compassion and respect. ● We pledge ourselves to attend to the preparation, care, and disposition of deceased human bodies with compassion and understanding, and having due regard and respect for the reverent care of the human body, to those bereaved, and the overall spiritual dignity of people. ● We pledge to serve any family in time of need. ● We pledge ourselves to serve any deserving family in time of need, regardless of monetary consideration. ● We pledge to abide by a strict code of ethics. ● We will observe the laws governing the practice of funeral directing and abide by the codes of ethics of our professional association to the end that funeral service and this firm shall merit and receive the confidence of the public. ● We pledge to be truthful in all we do. ● We will adhere to high standards of character, integrity, and responsibility; we will make no false representations; we will be truthful in our dealings with the public and within the profession. ● We pledge to respect all faiths, creeds, and customs, and to be responsive to the needs of those we are called upon to serve. ● We pledge to keep families’ confidences. ● We acknowledge our fiduciary relationship to the families that we serve and pledge to hold their confidences inviolate. ● We pledge to disclose prices fully and clearly. Chapter summary A well-drafted code of ethics provides a concrete set of standards that can serve as a guide for funeral professionals to complement federal and state mandates governing the industry. Government agencies and licensing boards also play

an important role in keeping funeral homes, directors, and employees’ actions in check via their ability to take action against offending individuals.


funeral industry and our obligation as professionals to adopt the principal standards of ethics. Chapter objectives In this chapter, we will: ● Discuss ethics in advanced funeral planning. ● Understand and apply the Certified Preplanning Consultant Code of Ethics.

A funeral service professional has an ethical duty and obligation to serve each individual with whom they interact—including staff, community members, grieving families, and the deceased—in a professional and considerate manner. In this chapter, we will discuss the importance of advanced funeral planning and the impact it has on members of our community. In addition, we will identify concerns affecting ethical due diligence within the


One example published in newspapers nationwide concerned an outraged woman who wrote to “Dear Abby,” explaining that a funeral home where she had attended a funeral took her contact information and called her two days later advocating preneed arrangements. These strategies tend to backfire as potential customers (both boomers and generation X) are becoming increasingly savvy and informed about funerals—and increasingly turned off by pushy sales tactics. State statutes may limit the way a provider or agent can contact a customer. Some states, for example, prohibit paying money or other valuable consideration to secure business or obtain the authority to dispose of a dead body. They may also prohibit an agent from visiting a hospital, gravesite, or visitation to solicit. Without a specific request from the individual involved, providers and agents cannot solicit from a person whose death is imminent or, for a certain period after death, from the person controlling the decedent’s body. Most states have requirements regarding the ways in which preneed information is presented, requiring that descriptions of services be written in clear, concise language using everyday words and avoiding complicated legal terms. If a complex term

In addition to the Professional Code of Conduct discussed in the previous chapter, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) further enacts a code of ethics for the purpose of advanced funeral planning. The Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC; NFDA, 2022b) program offers NFDA members an opportunity to promote their expertise and experience in advanced funeral planning, which is defined as the process of discussing, arranging, and recording specific and unique funeral wishes with a funeral home provider before the services are needed. Participating members receive a certification after completing an exam. Advanced planning options, also referred to as preneed arrangements, or simply prearrangements, are by no means a new aspect of funeral planning. Preneed arrangements and prepayment of services began informally in the 1930s as verbal agreements between directors and community members. These informal contracts were part of “Main Street” business and were sealed with a handshake. Some efforts to obtain preneed business have historically been met with disdain from the public and professional associations.

Book Code: FTX1624

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casket, the funeral director must comply with all provisions of the Funeral Rule. The FTC has focused strong efforts on conducting unannounced “sweeps” of funeral homes, with agents acting as members of a family or “shoppers” to make certain the funeral homes are complying with the law. Again, it is essential for funeral professionals to know their specific state regulations regarding funerals, embalming, preneed contracts, and Medicaid (each state has its own limit as to how much a person can put into a preneed account for Medicaid spend-down purposes). Additionally, there are often rules specifying that any money left after a funeral paid for by such an account must be returned to the state, not kept by the home or given to the beneficiaries. Penalties for funeral home establishments that are found to be in violation will most likely require any violators to attend training, undergo additional testing, and pay fines. An ethical and reputable funeral home and its provider will ensure the following rights and protections during the sale of preneed arrangements: ● Provide a detailed price lists of goods and services before the customer makes their selections ● Provide a written statement listing all of the goods and services selected and the price at the conclusion of the funeral arrangement conference ● Give a written preneed funeral contract explaining, in plain language, the customer’s rights and obligations ● Guarantee in the contract that if any of the goods or services that have been selected are not available at the time of need, goods and services of equal or greater value will be substituted at no extra cost ● Explain in the contract the geographical boundaries of the funeral home’s service area and under what circumstances the customer can transfer the preneed contract to another funeral home if the customer were to relocate or if the death were to occur outside of the service area ● State in the contract where and how much of the funds will be deposited until the funeral is provided ● Explain in the contract who will be responsible for paying taxes on any income or interest generated by the preneed funds that are invested ● Inform in the contract whether, and to what extent, the funeral home will guarantee the price of goods and services selected and purchased; if the prices are not guaranteed, the contract will explain who is responsible for any additional amounts that may be due at the time of the funeral ● Explain in the contract whether and under what circumstances a preneed contract can be canceled and how much of the funds that have been paid will be refunded Obligations to the Public ● I will make no representation, written or oral, that may be false or misleading or that is likely to defraud or deceive the public. ● I will abide by the provisions of the NFDA CPC Statement of Use regarding the appropriate and responsible use of the CPC designation. ● I will continue my professional education in this field. ● I further pledge to conduct myself at all times in a manner that deserves the public trust. Obligations to the Government ● I will continue to hold all necessary licenses to engage in providing preneed services and products in the state or states in which I practice. ● I will maintain my accountability to the client by complying with all applicable state and federal regulations and standards governing funeral preplanning, trust and insurance funding for funerals, and consumer protection.

is necessary, its meaning should be clarified. Copying legal language from a document without explaining it is prohibited. Professionals who are offering services should use short explanatory sentences and bulleted lists, and they should avoid passive voice. The language must avoid repetition, wordiness, and multiple negatives such as “this contract is not irrevocable” so as to give consumers a clear sense of what is offered. Many of the individuals purchasing preneed arrangements are elderly, and some may be impaired by various disabilities that make decision making more time-consuming and/or difficult. In fact, people of any age, not just the elderly, may have some impairment. It is the obligation of the provider or agent to present information clearly and ensure to the greatest extent possible that the customer understands the terms of the agreement. One must also make every effort to understand the requests of customers who are elderly and/or impaired. Ethical concerns are particularly important with regard to senior citizens because elderly people may be more vulnerable to scams and less assertive with pushy sales tactics. Many seniors are not aware of their rights under the Funeral Rule. In an AARP study, for example, most elderly customers did not know they could pick individual items instead of buying a funeral package. The FTC also notes that senior citizens often do not know where to report fraud, do not know they have been scammed, or are ashamed to reveal it. Indeed, a 2007 AARP survey of preneed customers found that 37% did not know where they would go if they had a problem with their funeral plan. They may be less likely to question authority figures, more socially isolated, and less able to gather information through other sources such as the Internet. All funeral professionals are required to comply with the Funeral Rule when making a preneed contract at the time of purchase, just as for an at-need contract, as well as at the time of the death of the person who made the contract. If the survivors ask about goods and services, change the preneed arrangements, or must pay additional amounts of money (e.g., in a contract that is nonguaranteed), the provider must give them the price list and make all disclosures required by the Funeral Rule. If the preneed contract was made before 1984 and has not been changed since, the rule does not apply unless the survivors of the deceased desire to change provisions of the original contract. For example, if a person made a preneed contract in 1983 and dies now without having changed any parts of it, the funeral director does not need to make the now-required disclosures and otherwise follow the set Funeral Rule. In contrast, if the deceased’s family wishes to purchase a more expensive CPC Code of Ethics Following is the Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC), pledge. Service to Families ● I will treat the information shared with me during the preplanning interview with confidentiality and integrity. ● I will offer my services to all without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability. ● I will at all times maintain the standards and obligations of the funeral home that I represent. ● I will provide my clients with detailed price lists of services and merchandise before they select services or merchandise, and at the conclusion of the funeral arrangement conference will provide a written statement listing all of the services and merchandise that have been purchased. ● I will properly account for and remit any monies, documents, or personal property belonging to others that come into my possession. ● I will answer any questions the client may have pertaining to the preneed agreement, including any guarantees and representations, and will attempt to resolve any problems efficiently and fairly and with due consideration given to the views and concerns of the client.

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Book Code: FTX1624


its public policy position is that all individuals who arrange funeral services on a preneed basis must be licensed funeral directors, via the CPC program, NFDA is committed to raising the professional standards of all individuals who are currently allowed by their state laws to plan funerals.

To maintain the highest ethical and moral standards, in accordance with the NFDA Code of Professional Conduct, NFDA and its funeral directors are committed to the long-term vision of ensuring that every consumer receives the best, most caring, respectful, ethical, and lawful professional service when they choose to plan a funeral in advance. In addition, although Chapter summary Many consumers do no realize that they are not legally required to use a funeral home to plan and conduct a funeral. However, because many people have little experience with the various details and legal requirements involved in the funeral planning process and are often emotionally distressed when they are required to do so, the services of a professional funeral director and their staff can be a comfort. Similarly, some customers find Conclusion A history of less-than-honest practices within the funeral industry as well as the industry’s rapid growth led to the need for both government is an important component of ensuring a high level of service to grieving families, community members, and deceased persons. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of the primary governing bodies that regulate commercial practices within the funeral industry. It oversees the industry and is the enforcer of the Funeral Rule, which disallows false advertising and deceptive services, while striving to keep the market competitive. In addition to the Rule, the National Funeral Directors’ Association (NFDA) provides a code of conduct to which member funeral homes should adhere. This raises the bar of service and creates an honest, transparent environment within the industry. Funeral homes also have the option of joining the Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), which applies the golden rule of conduct to all business transactions. Further certification for funeral professionals wishing to engage in preneed arrangements for customers who want to specify their Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (2002). Review of the Funeral Industry Practices Trade Regulation Rule . 16 CFR Part 453 Public Record (215-266). http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/ rulemaking/funeral/mandreview.shtm. Š National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). (2022a). Code of professional conduct . https://nfda.org/Portals/0/NFDAORG/About/Professional_Conduct/Code-of-Professional- Conduct.pdf References Š

comfort in making arrangements for their own funeral before their death. These preneed arrangements are subject to the same regulations as at-need funerals and should adhere to the CPC code of ethics. Regardless of whether a funeral professional is certified through the CPC examination, they should treat all preneed customers and their families with dignity and respect, and they should consider their wishes. future funeral wishes is available through the NFDA’s Certified Preplanning Consultant exam. The modern funeral director is a self-regulated professional who provides goods and services to the general public with the highest level of dignity and respect while demonstrating these same standards to their colleagues and apprentices. There is no premade plan or set of rules to deal with or established ways to react to ethical challenges; however, the aforementioned governing bodies, professional associations, and codes of conduct provide a solid framework within which we can deliver high-quality and respectful service. This course is intended to help all licensed funeral directors recognize and think through ethical issues when they arise, predetermine ethical dilemmas that may present themselves, and contribute to their overall knowledge of the ethical decision- making process.

Š National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). (2022b). CPC code of ethics . https://nfda. org/education/certification-programs/cpc-code-of-ethics Š Snedegar, J. (n.d.). Ethics and contrastivism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy . https:// iep.utm.edu/ethics-and-contrastivism/

ETHICAL STANDARDS IN THE FUNERAL INDUSTRY Final Examination Questions Select the best answer for each question and mark your answers on the Final Examination Answer Sheet found on page 115, or complete your test online at EliteLearning.com/Book

4. ______ ethics is the branch tells us how we can achieve moral outcomes- in a particular circumstance. a. Descriptive. b. Applied. c. Meta. d. Normative. 5. ______ are written into many of our laws, but ethics in and of itself goes beyond what is deemed strictly legal. a. Principles. b. Funeral Rules.

1. By the mid-____, there were more than 50,000 funeral directors and 25,000 operating funeral homes in the United States. a. 1940s. b. 1960s. c. 1950s. d. 1980s. 2. The Funeral Rule, or “the Rule,” as it is usually called, was re-enacted and changed slightly in ______.

a. 1994. b. 1984. c. 1996. d. 1985.

c. Ethical Standards. d. Codes of Conduct. 6. The Funeral Rule is enforced by the ______.

a. FTC. b. FDA. c. NFDA. d. CPC.

3. ______ is defined as the principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. a. Values. b. Funeral Rule.

c. Values. d. Ethics.

Book Code: FTX1624

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