I recall* a Dr Who episode in which the cost of burying one's relatives triggers a debt cycle leading to slavery. A parable of the Thatcherite takeover of the UK, it points to the Autonomia spin on the notion of "real subsumption," that is, the commodification of every social relation, even mourning. Which brings us to Monday's Baton Rouge Advocate story, "East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office to charge families for cremated remains."
Families that turn over the bodies of loved ones to the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner for a pauper’s cremation will have to pay if they want the ashes returned. Coroner Dr. Beau Clark said his office will begin enforcing state laws that kick in when family members agree to a pauper’s burial, which means they sign over the rights of the body to the state because they cannot afford or refuse to pay funeral costs, Clark said....
Clark said he decided to begin enforcing the law after funeral homes approached him with a concern that people were choosing what they thought was a free cremation over paying a funeral home when families could afford funeral or cremation costs.
Three steps remain, but they won't be long in coming: 1) billing the families whether they claim the ashes or not, 2) arresting those who can't pay, and 3) placing them in Louisiana's thriving private prison industry.
* Although I remember the episode, I have not been able to identify it, so please help in comments. Cites of other fictional treatments, or real historical parallels, are welcome too.