Embalming is the practice of preserving human remains with chemicals to forestall decomposition. It was once widely used in North America and Europe, while it has been historically employed in many other cultures around the world as well. In some countries (such as Germany), only licensed professionals can be involved with the process for safety reasons; however, embalming procedures are typically performed by funeral home staff or trained volunteers under guidance from a professional.
The chemical products and processes currently available make modern embalming much different than methods used throughout most of history. Modern practices have very little in common with those mentioned within Title 18 of U.S Code, which regulates criminal procedure where “body snatching” is labeled a felony. The use of these chemicals has become far less common in recent times, since many funeral homes now opt only to keep the body refrigerated until burial or cremation.
The practice has become less common due to various factors, including the increase of cremation in many countries and cultural changes.
When most people think about embalming they typically imagine an invasive surgical process that includes removing all internal organs and replacing them with formaldehyde-based liquids. In reality, much of today’s modern embalming is done through injection – either directly into a major artery or via a tube inserted into the cavity created for filling (most commonly made by opening up a lengthwise cut down one side of the torso). The location within which this happens will vary depending on where it would be easiest to access blood vessels; generally, areas such as thighs are preferred over arms since there is usually more fatty tissue between skin and muscle covering major arteries.
Embalming came a long way throughout history, but has seen a steady decline in both domestic and international cases. From The Egypians of Ancient Egypt, to the Chinese and Incans – who would mummify their dead; embalming has come a long way. However, in modern times many people prefer cremation over natural decomposition because it is less expensive and more environmentally friendly (cremation uses up fewer resources).
As stated earlier, modern procedures are much different than those performed by early civilizations since they often involve injecting chemicals directly into large blood vessels or cavities created through incisions made along the torso. The preference for chemical injection instead of open-cavity methods comes down mostly to practical reasons such as when accessibility makes either option easier to perform.
Services such as funeral homes offer a wide variety of embalming products, but most modern procedures only involve injecting the chemicals directly into blood vessels or through an incision made in the torso.
Since more and more people are choosing cremation over natural decomposition, chemical injection has become less common than it once was. However, some countries still require that bodies undergo this process before being buried or cremated – such as Germany where safety standards for all involved must be upheld at all times.
Additionally, as of 2018, the practice has become less common due to various factors. This includes an increase in cremations and cultural changes throughout many countries that make it more socially acceptable.
Conclusion: Embalming has come a long way throughout history, but it is now less common for many reasons.