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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0887263648

From: "Ron Cushman" <>
Subject: Obits confidential ? (was "Please accept my apology")
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 01:07:28 -0500

1) Just a reminder that the list is international, as well as being
In the US, information on a person becomes public immediately after
their death, so we have the Social Security Death Index CD (SSDI).
In Ontario, Canada, the vital records index of deaths only becomes
public 70 years after death. Prior to that, information is available
only with written permission of next of kin...

2) Causes of death can be embarassing to relatives who are living,
depending on culture, religion, etc.

- what is the family reaction to suicide in a Roman Catholic family ?
- to syphilis (sp?) in a married man ??
- to drug overdose if a relative is part of an anti-drug crusade ?

3) Family might consider the information in a small local paper
justified to inform the large number of immediate friends and
relatives, but not see any value, just embarassment if it is
published on the net.

4) Don't forget that EVERYTHING in the paper is copyright at a minimum, IF it is reproduced, either WRITTEN
permission is required, or, under fair use doctrine, at least proper
citation of the source...

I would probably post very old obits, not sure about new ones...just
pointing out that it may not be universally seen in black and white.

Happy Hunting

On Wed, 11 Feb 1998 20:55:01 -0800 (PST), John Carpenter wrote:

>Don't apologize, Jo Ann, you weren't rude or even
>illogical. I can see why references to living people
>might be taboo without their express consent, but
>long dead people are up for grabs for all of us I
>think. And we have reason to want the information.
>It's our heritage.
>---"Jo Ann T. Wright" wrote:
>> I would like to apologize for a statement in a post
>I made earlier. It was:
>> >>I just can't see how the causes of death of my
>great grandparents ( or anyone else as a matter of
>fact) is confidential information. In Obits in the
>newspaper the cause of death is listed isn't it?<<
>> Apparently in some states it is considered
>confidential and I respect that. I hope I did not
>offend anyone by that statement. Some may have taken
>it in the wrong context.
>> Please accept my apology,
>> Jo Ann :~)
>Get your free address at

Ron Cushman

Ontario, CANADA

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