The latest investigation into the funeral industry by ABC’s Four Corners – aired on Monday night – has again exposed a series of poor industry practices that can no longer be ignored. From placing rubbish in coffins to identifying bodies in loading bays, the ABC has revealed a series of jaw-dropping incidents it claims happen regularly across the country.
‘Bodies identified in car parks and rubbish dumped in coffins: Inside the ‘ludicrous, disrespectful and humiliating’ practices that shame Australia’s funeral industry’
As highlighted in previous posts, the funeral industry in Australia is fragmented and self‐regulated by multiple associations which exist at national and state levels. Membership to one or more of these bodies is voluntary. However, not all funeral directors and/or industry participants are members and subject to a professional code of conduct or sanctions for non‐compliance of industry‐based standards.
Although most funeral homes do the right thing, the industry shouldn’t wait on government regulators to keep funeral directors in check. The industry needs to respond to ABC’s Four Corners program, in the interest’s of consumers, even when there are marketplace reasons not to do so. Otherwise, these shocking stories will continue to be raised time and time again.