DR. ROGER YOUNG ELECTED TO NATIONAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF MARCH OF DIMESBurlington, Vermont – Roger C. Young, MD, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Director of Vermont Perinatal Care at Fletcher Allen Health Care, has been elected to the national Board of Trustees of the March of Dimes Foundation, during their annual summer meeting. March of Dimes trustees, who serve as volunteers, represent the public in governing the organization and advancing its mission and serve five-year terms. “Dr. Young is committed to the core mission of the March of Dimes. We look forward to working with him over the next five years,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President of the March of Dimes. Dr. Young has reviewed scientific grant applications for the March of Dimes for six years, and has been a member of the organization’s Scientific Advisory Committee since 2006. During his career, which also has included academic appointments at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Medical University of South Carolina; and Duke Medical Center, Dr. Young has conducted basic and translational research, culminating in a five-year National Institute of Health-sponsored research project on the physiology of the uterus. He is a recognized leader in the field of uterine physiology of pregnancy, and has a long-range goal of decreasing the rising rates of premature birth in the United States – also a component of the mission of the March of Dimes. He has published 41 peer-reviewed articles and dozens of abstracts, and has presented at numerous national and international meetings. He has also co-edited one book. Dr. Young is a graduate of McDaniel College, Western Maryland College, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He and his wife, Dr. Kathryn Schwarzenberger, have three children and live in South Burlington, Vermont. In accepting the new position, Dr. Young noted: “I am honored to have been elected to the March of Dimes Board of Trustees. One of the major goals of the March of Dimes is to reduce the rate of preterm births, reduce the complications of prematurity, and help each baby get the best possible start on life. Despite decades of research, prematurity rates are sadly rising in the US, and it feels as if we are losing the battle. The March of Dimes has recently renewed its efforts, and stated bold new goals, to reduce prematurity. To accomplish these goals will require a broad spectrum of help – from volunteers, administrators, businesses, and most importantly, individual contributors. It is a wonderful organization, and I am looking forward to helping in any way.” The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies(r), the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. In Vermont, the March of Dimes is investing over $935,000 in 2008 to further its mission within local communities, including two major research projects at UVM College of Medicine and several local community projects. For the latest resources information and supporting activities visit marchofdimes.com/Vermont.# # # #
Is the law of the body a body of law? June 1, 2004 Regular News James W. Martin I remember studying Florida Jur for answers to mundane questions that budding probate lawyers ask. Questions such as who owns a deceased person’s body? I recall Florida Jur saying nobody owns a dead body, but the next of kin have a right to decide how to dispose of it. It cited a case or two, but no statute. There was not much of a body of law for the law of the body back then.Today, as aging baby boomers watch the Schiavo case on national news and ponder their own end-of-life decisions, the question of who owns a deceased person’s body begs for the black-letter law of statute. The 2004 Florida Legislature has answered their pleas by enacting SB 528, effective October 1, 2005, to amend F.S. Ch. 470 and 497 governing the funeral and cemetery industries. Under the new law, a “legally authorized person” will be empowered to instruct funeral directors on disposition of dead bodies.SB 528 adds a definition of “legally authorized person” to F.S. §497.005 by listing a series of persons of various priorities. The first person in the list of priorities is the deceased person himself or herself. Probate lawyers call this person the decedent. Since no longer living, the new law empowers the decedent by recognizing “written inter vivos authorizations and directions provided by the decedent.” This makes sense: If someone goes to the trouble of visiting a funeral home and writing out instructions for disposition of his or her body after death, their instructions ought to be followed.Unfortunately, the new law does not say whether a direction in a will is allowed for this purpose. Many people, lawyers and judges included, would expect the will to be a logical place for someone to state their post-death body disposition wishes. However, a will is testamentary in nature and is not effective until death, so it is arguable that it is not inter vivos. Since the new law requires an inter vivos direction, a direction in the decedent’s will concerning disposition of his or her body after death might not be valid under this new law. This would, perhaps, be contrary to legislative intent. It would certainly be contrary to existing case law which at least implies that a decedent has a testamentary right to decide on disposition of the body. (See below.)The second “legally authorized person” in priority is the surviving spouse, and the third in priority is a son or daughter who is at least 18 years old. This is interesting because the Florida Probate Code provides that the heirs of a deceased person who dies intestate (without a valid will) are generally the surviving spouse as to half the estate and the lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) as to the other half. Thus, the surviving spouse shares the decedent’s property equally with the children under the Florida Probate Code. The new law treats disposition of the decedent’s body differently by clearly stating that the surviving spouse alone is the “legally authorized person” to decide on disposition of the body if the decedent left no written inter vivos authorization or direction.However, there is a twist that favors the children and will surely give their lawyers room for argument. The new law adds a subsection to F.S. §406.50 (unclaimed bodies) that says, “In the event more than one legally authorized person claims a body for interment, the requests shall be prioritized in accordance with [Florida Statutes] §732.103.” You might think this is the statute that says the spouse gets half and the children get the other half. That is probably what the legislature thought. But it’s not. F.S. §732.103 says: “The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under §732.102… descends…[t]o the lineal descendants of the decedent.” Thus, the new law has the effect of saying that if more than one legally authorized person claims a body, the spouse is not counted in determining priority, and the children are the ones who get to decide, which is directly in conflict with the new law’s definition of “legally authorized person.”Was all of this really necessary? Was it important for the Florida Legislature to try to codify the law of the dead body? Was it attempting to change case law?Well, I went back to the old cases and here is what I found. It was way back in 1950 that the Florida Supreme Court cited Am.Jur., Dead Bodies, and said: “It is well settled that, in the absence of testamentary disposition to the contrary, a surviving spouse or next of kin has the right to the possession of the body of a deceased person for the purpose of burial, sepulcher or other lawful disposition which they may see fit.. . . And the invasion of such right by unlawfully withholding the body from the relative entitled thereto is an actionable wrong, for which substantial damages may be recovered.” Kirksey v. Jernigan, 45 So. 2d 188 (Fla. 1950).As everyone knows, possession is nine-tenths of the law, so recognition of a right to possession might be a form of property right. It is at least such a strong right that the Florida Supreme Court held its invasion to entitle the relatives to substantial damages. But is it a property right in the same way that owning a car or a house is a property right?The Florida Supreme Court examined this question at length in 2001 and concluded that it was kind of like a property right. The court said, “Based upon these statutory rights of the next of kin in their dead relatives’ bodies, along with the case law on this issue, we conclude that in Florida there is a legitimate claim of entitlement by the next of kin to possession of the remains of a decedent for burial or other lawful disposition. We also find that referring to the interest as a ‘legitimate claim of entitlement’ most accurately describes the nature of the interest.” Crocker v. Pleasant, 778 So. 2d 978 (Fla. 2001). The court earlier in the opinion noted that, “This conclusion is consistent with the approach of other courts that have found that this right constitutes a legitimate claim of entitlement or a quasi-property interest.”The Crocker court explained a quasi-property interest by quoting Lawyer v. Kernodle, 721 F.2d 632 (8th Cir. 1983): “In the sense in which the word ‘property’ ordinarily is used, one whose duty it becomes to bury a deceased person has no right of ownership over the corpse; but, in the broader meaning of the term, he has what has been called a ‘quasi property right’ which entitles him to the possession and control of the body for the single purpose of decent burial. If the deceased person leave [sic] a widow, such right belongs to her….”Of course, the Crocker court noted in footnote 10: “Unlike other traditional property interests, however, there is no recognized right to possess the remains of a deceased relative for commercial purposes.”Well, perhaps the cases are a bit confusing and do take some time to read. They do not set out in black and white in one place a list of persons who have the actual quasi-property right to decide the disposition of a deceased person’s body. It would probably be helpful to funeral directors if the cases or statutes had such a list that was clear and not ambiguous. While the new law is a step in that direction, it appears to have some glitches that a future legislature will need to address. James W. Martin is a corporate, real estate, and probate lawyer in St. Petersburg, who has written for Florida Bar Journal and News , ALI-ABA Practical Lawyer, and West Publishing, and has more information on his Web site, www.jamesmartinpa.com. Is the law of the body a body of law?
With a James-Leonard-Paul nucleus, it wouldn’t even matter if LeBron is getting up there at 33 and Paul gets hurt every spring. They could just play LeBron 50 games during the season, and let CP3 take the whole thing off and just play in the postseason!Oh, right, and then there’s real life.What’s the difference between “headlines” and “events?”In an “event,” something happens.In a “headline,” nothing has to happen. Popovich has long cautioned against deals that help West rivals. In a notorious exception in 2007, his trusty GM, R.C. Buford, got him to trade the rights to Luis Scola to Houston. Scola became a Rockets mainstay and the Spurs received nothing from the deal. Popovich is said to have clenched his teeth for months.If seeing Scola in Houston would have been a 1 on the Spurs’ 10-point scale of devastating, Kawhi in a Lakers uniform would be off the charts.Far likelier is a deal to an Eastern Conference team. With Boston sure to be as interested as the Lakers, that could mean San Antonio acquiring a glowing prospect like Jayson Tatum or, perhaps, two, such as Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.Interestingly, there might be another local option for Leonard if Pop bars the door to the Lakers. … the Clippers, who would presumably offer all they have – take DeAndre Jordan, please – to rebuild around Kawhi.With less fear of building a Clippers dynasty than helping create yet another Lakers dynasty, Popovich might go for that.All this will remain speculation until something actually happens, presumably in July, although more reports from the Worldwide Leader will be along momentarily. VIDEO: Watch Kyle Kuzma’s game winner and what he said about it Video highlights, social media reaction after Blazers shock Lakers, 100-93 How social media reacted after Lakers rout Blazers on Kobe night, 135-115 On Mamba’s day, councilmen aim to create Kobe Bryant Boulevard Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Coming early this year … it’s Christmas in Lakerdom!Kawhi Leonard wants to be a Laker!LeBron James might want to, too! With Kawhi here, the Lakers could move from co-favorites with Houston into leading contenders!LeBron might still be able to bring yet another big free agent, like his pal, Chris Paul, or Paul George. Jubilation, anguish as race for NBA’s Western 8th seed gets as close as ever Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Even before ESPN scoopmaster Adrian Wojnarowski reported – credibly, as ever – that Leonard wants to be traded to the Lakers, a pundit for the Worldwide Leader in Sports had thrown out the fantastic possibility of Kawhi, LeBron and CP3 – all – joining the Lakers.That story, by Kevin Pelton, is speculative … but technically possible.What has changed are the presumed ground rules in the LeBron Derby: The Cavaliers, long aware James might leave, are now expected to seek something back by agreeing to trade him to the team he chooses.Interested teams no longer need to create a $36 million maximum salary slot on their own. The Lakers, who already have close to two max slots, could get LeBron and two more superstars.If the Cavs take back salary along with prospects, what had concerned only a few teams has been broken wide open. The result will be a fantastic level of wheeling and dealing, possibilities, and headlines, such as today’s.Since anyone can say anything, it’s wise to stick with the little that we know … which suggests, at least to me, that Kawhi is exceedingly unlikely to become a Laker.It has long been known that the newly enigmatic Leonard, coming off a season that he largely took off with a minor-looking injury, wants to be a Laker. Wojnarokwsi reported as much months ago.Woj also reported that the Spurs have put their mis-spent season behind them and will sit down with Kawhi in the hope of finding out where his head is and, if still on Earth, wooing him back with the super-maximum $219 million extension only they can offer him.Kawhi’s people have reportedly not conveyed his desire to be traded to the team. Without risking a tampering bust, they can’t have told the Lakers … although the Lakers not only know about it but are assuredly wide-eyed at the prospect, which would take precedence, even over James, who’s seven years older, almost two generations in NBA time.That’s as far as anyone has reported it has gotten, until now with the season’s end and the yawning news hole prompting the speculation that’s now racing ahead of events.This thing still must proceed in steps.• Leonard and the Spurs will presumably meet although no timetable has been reported.They’ll either fall into each others’ arms and agree last season was a big misunderstanding, or not, in which case the team really will shop Kawhi.• If Leonard is leaving, Spurs boss Gregg Popovich will help decide where he’s going, with Kawhi under contract for next season.I can’t imagine Popovich, who is as transparent as he is principled, trading Leonard in a deal that could create another Western Conference super-power … and, worse still, in the person of their old arch-rivals, the Lakers.Related Articles