‘A World Without:’ Space For The Dead | WBEZ
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Worldview

‘A World Without:’ Space For The Dead

We continue Worldview’s limited series, “A World Without”, with a discussion on burial sustainability in America and abroad. Since the 19th century, most Americans have buried their dead in individual burial plots, marked with permanent headstones. In most states, it is illegal to exhume a body without extensive permissions from officials and family members. But the problem this creates is a lack of space to bury more dead. Many urban areas like Seattle now forbid burial in the ground because it’s not seen as an efficient use of space. Most caskets are made of metal, which does not decompose. In most of the world where burial is the preferred method of body disposal, graves are reused. Some countries are building deep tunnels or tall mausoleums to bury their dead. To discuss, we’re joined by Tanya Marsh, a Law Professor at Wake Forest University where she teaches a course called “Economy, Funeral and Cemetery Law.” She is also the author of The Law of Human Remains and Cemetery Law.

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