Analysis of Environmental-Ethical Concerns Within the United States Funeral Industry

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2023-09-18
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

This thesis examines the failings in environmental-ethics present in the United States funeral industry, focusing on the lack of environmental ethical guidelines at an industrial and policy level. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach through the lenses of environmental science, philosophical ethical considerations surrounding policy-based advocacy and ecocritical approaches to the concepts of reciprocity and harm reduction, this thesis makes recommendations to close the gaps in environmental ethical oversight. Focus is placed on mitigation of environmental harms resulting from changes in policy and legislation, and in-industry oversight, with an emphasis on the support of ecologically beneficial methods of the disposition of human remains.

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Keywords
US deathcare practices, environmental ethics, natural burial, cremation, Alkaline Hydrolysis, Natural Organic Reduction, ethical analysis, harm reduction
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