Human Corpse Disposal

Topics: Death, Cemetery, Burial Pages: 3 (1015 words) Published: December 17, 2012
Human Corpse Disposal
According to the Wikipedia article, “Disposal of Human Corpses,” human corpses present both a sanitation and public health risk. Like most animals, when humans die, their bodies start to decompose, emitting a foul odor and attracting scavengers, bacteria, and disease. For these reasons copses must be disposed of properly. The problem of body disposal consists of two parts: disposal of the soft tissues, which will rapidly decompose, and of the skeleton, which can remain intact for thousands of years under certain conditions. Some commonly practiced methods of human corpse disposal are burial, cremation, and permanent storage in an above ground tomb or mausoleum. Burial is the ritual act of placing a dead person or animal into the ground. This is accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased inside and covering it over. According to the Wikipedia article, “Burial,” human burial practices are the manifestation of the human desire to demonstrate “respect for the dead” send to prevent the possibilities of revenants (ghosts) harming the living. Removing the deceased body from plain view can bring closure to the deceased’s family and friends. It is sometimes believed to be necessary in order to gain access to the afterlife, preventing the odorous, decomposing gases from entering the atmosphere and preventing the spread of disease. The body is often put on display which is referred to as an open casket ceremony; many cultures feel that the deceased should be presented in nice clothes. The body may be dressed in clothes ranging from casual to fancy or ceremonial. Personal objects such as favorite pieces of jewelry, photographs, toys, documents, etc., of the deceased may be included with the body (“Disposal of Human Corpses”). The inclusion of personal effects can be driven by the beliefs that in the afterlife a person will want to have with them what was important to them on earth. Also, in few cultures, it...
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