At Keelia Carver's urging, the chaplain's office at St Charles Hospital in Bend has updated the information sheet given to families after a loved one's death.
When Keelia's son Max was pronounced dead at the hospital, she and her husband were handed a list of local funeral homes and told they would have to hire one of them to secure release of his body. Keelia contacted the chaplain's office a year later, armed with the statutory references to a family's rights to care for their dead. In response, they agreed to revise their information sheet. Now titled with the more inclusive header "Funeral Homes and After Death Resources," the sheet lists Oregon Funeral Resources & Education alongside the commercial funeral home options.
We thank St Charles for taking this small but significant step towards supporting families' rights to access accurate, non-commercial information. More information on how hospitals, care facilities, and hospices can support this legal right is on our For Professionals page. Request an in-service training for your staff here.
When Keelia Carver contacted the newspaper outside the town where she grew up, she never imagined her family would make national news.
The Eugene Register-Guard devoted the front page of their Sunday paper to the story of how Keelia was prevented from caring for Max after his death and this website, created to spare other families and professionals from the mistakes that were made.
Register-Guard editors were so moved by the story that, unsolicited, they followed up with an editorial praising the determination of Keelia and another mother to turn their families’ suffering into something of benefit to others.
Clearly USA Today editors felt the same way, picking the story up to run nationwide, with subsequent posting on MSN.com.
Messages of support and condolence are coming in from across the country, along with inquiries about family funeral rights in other states.
Read other media coverage about the launch of Oregon Funeral Resources & Education here.