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Is embalming a dead body required by law in the USA?

also, does anyone else find this practice morbid?

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Sas I think I read that it varies by state and depends on the handling of the body. I actually wanted to be an embalmer, yes it is morbid in that it's mostly done to make the family cope better.

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that's what I think-- funerals are for the living, but I prefer to remember the deceased as they had lived, not what they look like in a casket. Thanks for your answer:)

I recently met a "mortician" (do they still call themselves that?)-- anyway, very classy guy but I just don't understand how someone could do that for a living... money is good though and I don't begrudge anyone their choice of profession
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I completely understand. For me it would have tied in many things I find interesting1. Science 2. Counseling 3. Artististry. I'm sure the majority of people feel as you do, you are def normal. LOL
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I don't think so, although it could vary by state. I don't think it's odd; depends on a person's preferences for how they want their funeral or memorial service conducted and if there will be a viewing of the body.

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thanks for your answer, kimkay
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I think it's macabre-- did you know they drain all the blood etc out and refill with embalming fluid? They also sew the eyes shut so they don't pop open at an inopportune moment. Gawd but is that horrid:(-- there's lots more that they do but I won't go into it-- I'll spare you:)
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Oh, I've read about it. Fascinating book, "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach, goes into a lot more detail than many people would have the stomach for. She also talks about how crash test dummies were developed, the use of cadavers at medical schools, various methods used in the past in case of accidental live burials, and lots of other stuff. Some of it is a little gross, but it's all quite interesting. Really, I don't care much what happens to my body after I'm dead.
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thanks kimkay! The book sounds interesting in a strange way:)
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No, I don't think so

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thanks for your response
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Lol, and your welcome
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I believe it is unless one wishes to be cremated

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thanks:)
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hawkgirl-- I didn't say you were wrong
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The only times it would usually be required by law is if the deceased died of a contagious disease or if the corpse is being tranferred between states by a common carrier.

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thanks odog!
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No problem.
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No

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thank you for your response:)
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No. It is done as standard practice to preserve the body and prevent the stench of decomposition. If you dont want to be embalmed then you need to make provisions for a speedy burial.

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thanks, Mr. Williams
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Not if you bury the body the next day

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Thank you, Marty:)
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Can't speak for the US of A but I should think that if we had a life-challenged (new-speak for dead) Sasquatch in Oz there'd be no need to consider embalming it. Any number of zoos and universities would fight for the privilege of carving you up for examination.

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Egadz!

I guess I could donate myself in the name of science-- just don't embalm me, that sh*t's creepy
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Crap-- Ask informed me that bellydncr answered my question, but I don't see her-- musta been a good answer:)
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You should see her answer now. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes for the answer to show.
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austinlinda

Sas-
In the Jewish religion, quite often the deceased is not embalmed. There are no "open casket" services for that reason.
By Jewish law, the deceased are buried within 1-2 days of death, unless the first of these days fall on a Saturday, when cemetaries are closed for the sabbath.

It is also appropriate for the deceased to be buried in a plain wooden coffin.
(How depressing is this subject?)

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lol-- yes it's depressing but I really wanted to know. Thanks for pointing out the Jewish tradition-- ima gonna ask for that kind of service:)
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austinlinda
Being Jewish, I thought that was the way everybody did it.
Then an accounting clerk working for me lost her grown son to asthma, and asked that I come to the funeral.
I had never been to an open-casket funeral---it was quite a shock to me. That's how I learned about embalming.
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austinlinda
Was today the service for your mother-in-law?
I thought that might have provoked your question. Sorry you had to go through that. Must have been pretty awful.
My condolences to you and your family, my friend.
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Not sure why I never saw this. Thanks for your kindness, Austin. yes, that was exactly why I asked the question
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If in the unfortunate event that someone close to you has died, such as a family member, you or another family member will be able to decide what is done to the body, whether you cremate it or embalm it. Personally, I dont think embalming is morbid, more respectful to the person who once was, would you rather see him/her all rotted? Not me

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well, we rot anyway-- embalming or no. Thank you, my friend for your time and your answer:)
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Anytime.(: The point of embalming is to slow that process.
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JadieMac

Sorry for the late answer on such a fascinating question. The law of common sense is what seems to be prevalent. Here's an interesting link, if you haven't been to it yet. http://fcasocal.org/embalming-facts.html There are loads of references after the article.

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Better late than never, Jadie:) thanks for your answer and I'll check out that link!
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