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Death in the Afternoon

Mar 10, 2023

A court case in California could force death doulas to become licensed funeral directors. We talk to the doula and the lawyer taking on California's Funeral and Cemetery Bureau. 

Episode Guests

Akhila Murphy is one of the original co-founders of Full Circle of Living and Dying, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Grass Valley, CA.  She is a trained End-of-Life Doula and After-Death care educator. Currently she serves on the board of directors for Full Circle of Living and Dying as Founding Director and Co-Chair President. 

Ben Field is an attorney at the Institute for Justice, a national nonprofit public interest law firm that fights to secure the constitutional rights of all Americans against abuses of government power. A major part of Ben’s practice is protecting the First Amendment rights of people to speak freely in their occupations and without fear of government retaliation. He is counsel to the plaintiffs in Full Circle of Living and Dying v. Sanchez, a landmark case challenging the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau’s restrictions on the rights of end-of-life doulas to provide advice and guidance to families about end-of-life care.

Episode Resources

Defending Your Right to a Good Death

Full Circle of Living and Dying

Home Funerals 

Institute for Justice  


Episode Credits

Hosted by Caitlin Doughty 

Guests Akhila Murphy and Ben Field

Produced by the Order of the Good Death,

Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan

Edited by Alex de Freitas

Music by Kissed Her Little Sister

Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng


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