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DNA in Cremated Remains

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Just last week, the HelpCard sent notice to their funeral home customers that they are no longer providing credit for funeral consumers.  I have written many posts (At Need Payment PlansWho Pays Funeral CostsSecret Sauce) concerning the growing problem of funeral professionals face collecting funds for their goods and services from consumers that have limited life insurance (or none), cash or credit card balances.  At Need Credit is accepting inquiries from HelpCard funeral home customers to provide funeral payment plans.

At Need Credit offers 3 tiers of payment plans to funeral consumers ranging from excellent to poor credit ratings with no recourse to the funeral home. As a note, Danial O’Connor of At Need Credit will be a guest for interview on the October 6th Funeral Nation web show (stay tuned for details of how to view the show).  The problem of consumers having difficulty paying for funeral expenses is not going away and companies offering payment plans/credit to those with mediocre to poor credit is diminishing.  For inquiry, visit http://atneedcredit.com/ for details.  From the desk of The Funeral Commander, cheers y’all!  #thefuneralcommander #funeralnation #funeralnews

An oath is written in different languages and left on the witness chair in the courtroom at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) during its open day for public in Hague

With all the media resources available today, communicating a clear message should be simple.  However, often we have a propensity to “sugar coat” the message to the intended audience for whatever reason.  For me, I think the softening of the message often misses the point intended to deliver.  One of my favorite sayings “I’m not going to tell you to go to hell, but I am going to tell you the truth, and that feels like hell.”

The message is clear: The cremation process is irreversible.  All DNA is destroyed by the cremation process.  As a funeral professional, it’s your obligation to provide this information to a family so they may make an educated decision; the last chance collect a DNA sample from their deceased loved one, or not.  Of course, there are those funeral directors that will say “well, the family has never asked me about this” or “we don’t have a legal or regulatory obligation to tell a family that.”

Recently, a funeral home owner provided an interesting perspective to his leadership team about providing families they serve information regarding cremation destroying DNA: “In a few years, this is going to be a big story in the local news.  Because we shared this (the last chance to collect DNA from their loved one) with a family and they chose to collect a sample, the sample made a significant difference in their lives…or we did not tell the family, and they are suing us.  Which is the best story?”

In the event an uniformed family (not provided the facts that cremation is irreversible and cremation destroys DNA by you, or your staff) returns to your funeral home with their loved ones cremated remains (that your firm cremated), and asks you (their funeral director/funeral home owner) to collect the DNA from those cremated remains, your answer is: __________________?  Please share with us your answer; we really want to hear what you have to say. Got the message? Cheers y’all!  #thefuneralcommander

ashes in cremationThe question continues to arise; is there DNA in cremated remains? The fact is no DNA in cremation remains of humans which are properly cremated. Cremation temperatures in the retort range from 1400-1800 degrees and any of the organic compounds, which contain the nucleotides to derive viable strands of DNA necessary to perform the test, are destroyed.  The conversation is growing along with the rate of cremation…know the answers.

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