Braindead vs. Actual Dead


Today's Washington Post explains why Maryland is a bad place to die:

There's no good time to lose a loved one, but in this case, the timing could hardly have been worse. That day, the mortician who held the license to run Brown's funeral home had quit unexpectedly, and in Maryland—unlike in any other state—there are only two ways to own a funeral home: Be a mortician, or possess one of 59 special ownership licenses.

Brown called the state's funeral regulators, begging for an exception. "Look, we have a body in the basement," he recalled telling them. "No," they replied. "You're closed."

The prevailing argument for the licensing requirement? Charming mom-and-pop funeral outfits might have to compete with big box burial services:

Maryland's leading mortuary owners say the law guards against an invasion of mega-corporations. But the law also has given those owners a virtual lock on the local trade, which some believe is why the state's funeral costs are among the nation's highest.

Whole thing here.