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Indiana ‘Death Doula’ Update

Court order allows Lauren Richwine to keep helping families…for now
February 22nd, 2024

In August 2023, Lauren Richwine of Fort Wayne, Indiana sued in federal court after she was told her “Death Done Differently” business constituted the unlicensed practice of a funeral director.  Richwine is a “death doula” who counsels her dying clients and their families about post-death options.  The state maintained she needed to become licensed as a funeral director and establish a licensed funeral home.  She said such restrictions limit her first amendment right to speak freely.  A federal judge enjoined the state from taking action against her while the case is pending.  “It was clear from the beginning of this lawsuit that the state’s regulations were about censoring speech, and not about protecting public health and safety,” said IJ Attorney Ben Field. “We’re glad the court has recognized the harm of these unconstitutional restrictions, and that it will continue to allow Lauren to operate her perfectly legal business.” Read More:  Institute for Justice


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