This article is about death in the different cultures around the world as well as ethical issues relating to death, such as martyrdom, suicide and euthanasia. Death refers to the logical end of physical existence of a person i.e. when all biological symptoms of a human being cease to operate. Death and its spiritual ramifications are debated in every manner all over the world. Most civilizations dispose of their dead with rituals developed through spiritual traditions.
In most cultures, after the last offices have been performed and before the onset of significant decay, relations or friends arrange ritual disposal of the body, usually either cremation or interment in a tomb. Cremation is a very old and quite common custom. For some people, the act of cremation exemplifies the belief of the Christian concept of "ashes to ashes".]citation needed[ Other modes of disposal include interment in a grave, or interment of the body in a sarcophagus, crypt, sepulchre, or ossuary, a mound or barrow, or a monumental surface structure such as a mausoleum (exemplified by the Taj Mahal) or a pyramid (as exemplified by the Great Pyramid of Giza).
The Federal Trade Commission, established in 1914 under president Woodrow Wilson as a government agency to investigate and eliminate unfair and deceptive practices in business, enacted the Funeral Rule on April 30, 1984, and amended it effective 1994. The Funeral Rule was designed to protect consumers by requiring that they receive adequate information concerning the goods and services they may purchase from a funeral provider.
All funeral providers must comply with The Funeral Rule. The Funeral Rule defines such terms as, among others, funeral provider, funeral goods and funeral services and specifies various consumer rights, as well as specific parameters in which funeral industry goods and service providers must respect consumer rights and conduct their business.
Natural burial is the interment of the body of a dead person in the soil in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition but allows the body to recycle naturally. It is an alternative to other contemporary Western burial methods.