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BC-World Briefly

By The Associated Press

Mass. embalmer fights loss of license for crude description of bodies to a reporter

BOSTON (AP) ' Troy Schoeller admits he could have chosen his words more carefully when he talked to a reporter about bodies he worked on as an embalmer at a funeral home.

Among a litany of graphic remarks Schoeller made was that he hates embalming fat people. He also described the body of a baby as a "bearskin rug" and made other crude observations about the difficulties of his work.



After his comments were published in The Boston Phoenix, the state board that licenses funeral directors and embalmers revoked his license. Now Schoeller is challenging that punishment before the highest court in Massachusetts, arguing the revocation violates his constitutional right to free speech.

"I didn't lie about anything," he said. "I didn't say anything that was wrong."

Schoeller argues that state regulators chose to enforce a vague and overly broad provision of the code of conduct that prohibits funeral directors and embalmers from commenting on the condition of a body entrusted to their care.


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