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Essay Peer Partner 3 - 1 Embalming Christina Sayfoot ENC...

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1 Embalming Christina Sayfoot ENC 1101 Section V1 Dr. Rene’ O’Brien-Hughes December 2, 2007
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Sayfoot i Embalming I. History of Embalming A. Egyptians began before 4000 B.C. B. First attempt of arterial embalming 1600’s by Dutch biologists C. After American Civil War is when embalming became the norm in western society II. Embalming procedure A. Tools and equipment B. Pre-embalming C. Arterial embalming D. Cavity embalming E. Post embalming III. Complications A. Autopsied bodies B. Intravenous drug abusers IV. Common myths and concerns A. Embalming is required by law B. Protects public health V. Alternatives A. Cremation B. Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve direct burial
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Sayfoot 1 Embalming Embalming is the skillful artisans way of an undertaker to preserve the human remains long enough until the viewing can take place at the funeral. Historically, it has been the American way for us to say farewell to our ancestors. The procedure it self (one word) can take less than an hour to perform, without complication, yet leaves a lasting memory for the loved ones of the deceased. However, common myths and health concerns still plague the practice and are steering individuals to other alternatives to disposing the dead. Dating as far back as 4000 B.C. the Egyptians were the first to experiment with embalming. Suitable only for the rich and (those of) higher ranks, usually, the bodies would be soaked in carbonate of soda, so the viscera (internal organs) and brain could be taken out. The body cavities were stuffed with different herbs, salts, and aromatics, then wrapped in cloth and soaked in preservatives (Carlson 131). They would commonly use pearl onions to fill out the eyes (Roach 76). It was not until the late 1600’s, that Dutch biologists Swammerdam, Ruysch, and Blanchard attempted arterial embalming. It was described in Blanchard’s book as “opening up an artery, flushing the blood out with water, and pumping in alcohol” (Roach 78). When the American Civil War broke out embalming began to flourish. Approximately 35,000 dead soldiers needed to be sent back to their native U.S. and embalming was the only means of doing so (Roach 78). Still, many were skeptical about the practice, most likely because it was glorified by the
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funeral industry. Even though embalming was not publicized for the actual procedure, many were curious as to what happens behind closed doors. Sayfoot 2 To set the scene, the preparatory room, tiled and sterile looking, consists of scalpels, scissors, augurs, fluids, pastes, creams and so on (Mitford 69). To further the scenario: There are cosmetics, waxes and paints to fill and cover features, even plaster of Paris to replace limbs. There are ingenious aids to prop and stabilize the cadaver: a Vari-Pose Head Rest, the Edwards Arm and Hand Positioner, the Repose Block (to support the shoulders during the embalming), and the Throop Foot Positioner, which resembles an old-fashioned stocks (Mitford 69). The actual embalming process begins with the cleaning and disinfecting of the corpse.
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Essay Peer Partner 3 - 1 Embalming Christina Sayfoot ENC...

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