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article imageBizarre ways to dispose of a dead body Special

By Kim I. Hartman     Apr 26, 2010 in Science
The economy is taking a toll on the dead as bodies stack up in morgues across the country. Many are going unclaimed by families who can't afford to bury or cremate their loved ones. One way we look back at a culture is how they dispose of their dead.
Los Angeles County Coroner's office and the Detroit County Morgue both are reporting increases in the number of bodies that are stacking up in the freezer of the morgue as more and more deceased people are going unclaimed. The weak economy is taking its toll, with an increasing number of corpses in Los Angeles County being cremated at taxpayers' expense. In both cases the counties do not have the money budgeted to handle the hundreds of burials needed to clear out the remains of people who have been there for months while funds are being sought to properly dispose of them.
"One way we look back at a culture is how they dispose of their dead," said Michigan's Wayne County Chief Medical examiner, Carl Schmidt. "We see people here that society was not taking care of before they died -- and society is having difficulty taking care of them after they are dead." Schmidt said to CNN.
Deceased Body with Toe Tag Identification
Deceased Body with Toe Tag Identification
Financially strapped families are looking at every alternative to traditional burial when looking for a final resting place for their loved one and not so loved family members. Medical examiners, county coroners and hospitals say this trend in abandoning family members corpses is growing nationwide.
Many alternative do exist for these bodies, some involving science and the need for human corpses for research ranging decomposition rates to medical studies and education. Family participation is needed in giving consent for your family members body to be studied in any setting, including at "the body farm."
Thinking about donating your body to science? Read on to find out about unique body donation programs.
At the University of Tennessee's Forensic Anthropology Center the demand for dead bodies continues to increase. The research conducted at the Anthropological Research Facility (ARF) ranges from general observations on how a cadaver decomposes (color change, etc), to evaluating DNA degradation and biochemical odor analyses.
Some of their more recent projects include working with the FBI testing hair and facial recognition programming as well as training law enforcement officers in techniques of recovering corpses from crime scenes and processing the evidence. ARF does not perform any destructive analysis involving further damage to the remains beyond the condition in which we received them. We will try to work every avenue possible to identify a person once they are donated to us and will work with the families so they can have closure said a representative for the Tennessee Body Farm.
Lee Jantz who has been employed for twenty-years at the "Body Farm", The Anthropology Dept of the University of Tennessee said they have been studying these bodies since 1980 when Dr. Bass began his research. When asked if they have a maximum number of bodies they can take per year she said "That has not happened before and she doesn't expect a sudden increase but space will determine how many bodies they can accept per year." "Dr. Bass has retired she said but the work he began continues to live on in their current and future forensic studies.:
Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, who founded the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility -- the Body Farm -- a quarter-century ago and have become the leading authority in this field of forensic research.
What is the difference between the Forensic Anthropology Body Donation Program and a medical school donation program?
Death s Acre - University of Tennesse  Forenic Anthropology Center
Death's Acre - University of Tennesse, Forenic Anthropology Center
UT - Anthropology Research Facility
"We use the body/remains for research and teaching. We do not return the remains to the family after a period of time. We do not embalm the body. Medical schools typically embalm a body for teaching anatomy to medical students.
After use, the body may be cremated, and at the request of the family the remains are returned says researchers at Knoxville Tennessee "Body Farm" where upwards of a hundred bodies are being observed as they decompose.
These rates of decomposition help medical examiners and police departments properly access a crime scene to more accurately pinpoint time and cause of death said the ARF program at the University of Tennessee.
The United Network for Organ Sharing is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to facilitate organ sharing among transplant centers, organ procurement organizations and histo-compatibility laboratories across the U.S. The primary functions of the Organ Center is to assist in facilitating organ and tissue transplants. These services are also free to the donor's family.
At Science Care, a leading willed body program, we know that the dream of leaving this world in a better place then when we arrived is possible and a dream that many share worldwide. As the nation’s leading whole body donation program, we provide the chance to make a contribution that benefits others. We want our lives to make a difference. We want a brighter future for each generation that follows.
Science Care pays all costs associated with donation: transportation from the place of passing to the Science Care facility, filing of the death certificate, cremation, and return of the cremated remains after they have finished their research and education program learning experience.
Are you a veteran or the family member of someone who served our country?
The casket bearing the body of US Navy Machinist s Mate goes over the edge of the USS Enterprise dur...
The casket bearing the body of US Navy Machinist's Mate goes over the edge of the USS Enterprise during a Burial at Sea ceremony. Burial at Sea are available free of charge to former and active armed forces members.
US Navy
If so you have the option for a free BURIAL AT SEA (BAS) this is is a means of final disposition of a soldiers remains, that is performed on United States Naval vessels. The committal ceremony is performed while the ship is deployed, therefore, family members are not allowed to be present. The commanding officer of the ship assigned to perform the ceremony will make notification to the family of the date, time, latitude and longitude, once the committal service has been completed.
The Navy will take cremated remains in an urn or "cremains" as they're known and whole bodies in caskets. The military ship will send you the flag that was flown on board the navy vessel on the day of services at sea as well as providing the GPS location at the time of launch.
Organ and tissue transplants available through companies such as "Donate Life America" offer patients a new chance at healthy, productive, normal lives and return them to their families, friends and communities. You have the power to change someone's world by being a donor.
The American Association of Tissue Banks offers full body donations to people who are financially unable to bury their deceased family members as long as the body meets their criteria for donation and acceptance of this gracious gift of life. The staff at the AATB informed me that April is National Donate Life Month and a good time to speak with your family about your final wishes and complete the forms necessary for donation after your death.
Cryonics continues to gain popularity among people who want to maintain the ability to be brought back to life someday when science and medicine can heal their disease or grow a new, healthy body around their preserved brain.
The operating room at Alcor s Scottsdale  Arizona  facility. Patient are connected to a perfusion ma...
The operating room at Alcor's Scottsdale, Arizona, facility. Patient are connected to a perfusion machine that replaces blood with a chemical solution that prevents ice formation.
Alcor Life Extension Facility is a leader in the field of cryonics research says costs can run from 80 to 150 thousand depending on whether you choose to preserve your whole body or just your head and brain, where they say the DNA imprint exists that defines who you are as a person.
While cryogenic preservation can be expensive some facilities are accepting donor bodies at no cost to the families for research and experimentation.
What is your dead body worth? Dead bodies have always been used in medicine. But demand for human tissue is outstripping supply, resulting in the gruesome new trade of body brokering, in which unscrupulous traders have used the bodies of those who haven't given their permission, with devastating consequences says CNBC in a special report on the value of your individual body parts.
In Commerce for Cadavers, Michelle Godwin said an underground, illegal market of bodies and body organs has developed largely because of inconsistent federal policies and practices, including poor oversight of university hospitals, organ procurement organizations and biotechnology companies that engage in the exchange of body parts.
USA Today says many family members are distressed with the illegal trade in body parts that may have included the bodies of their loved ones. The Organ Donation: Encyclopedia of Everyday Law can give you general advice to follow when donating entire bodies, organs or cells needed for medical research.
Both e-Bay Terms of Service and Google Base Program Policies prohibit the posting, sale or promotion of body parts or human remains. We don't allow humans, the human body, or any human body parts or products to be listed on eBay, with two exceptions. Sellers can list items containing human scalp hair, and skulls and skeletons intended for medical use says e-bay.
Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak  biologist and head of operations at Promessa Organic is developing a new metho...
Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, biologist and head of operations at Promessa Organic is developing a new method of disposition for the dead called 'promession'. Described as an environmentally friendly form of burial, and could in fact be the greenest of green disposition options.
The Daily Undertaker
A chilling way to say that final farewell to your friends and loved ones
Freeze-drying corpses as an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation or burial is growing as another viable and eco-friendly option to cremation. The technique, called promession, involves dipping the body in liquid nitrogen. Vibration then shatters it into powder.
"The pioneering process freezes the body very quickly, then immersing in liquid nitrogen to cool it to -196C. This makes the body so brittle that even a jolt can cause it to crumble "terminator style." After shattering, the remains are dried and any moisture vaporised, removing about 70 per cent of the original weight. The remains are then placed in a metal separator which removes surgical parts such as replacement hips and metal fillings.
When the process is complete, relatives can opt to bury their loved ones in a coffin made from corn or potato starch. This is put in a shallow grave where it will disintegrate within 6 to 12 months." said in an email response to question's about the procedure known as "promession."
Family members would be encouraged to plant a tree on the grave, and the compost formed by the body would give life to the tree. Promession should cost about the same as cremation.
Bodies, The Exhibition says "Celebrate the wonder of the human form at BODIES…The Exhibition, a phenomenal exhibition about the amazing and complex machine we call the human body."
Body Plastination a preserving process used by BodyWorks in the displays of Cadavers.
Body Plastination a preserving process used by BodyWorks in the displays of Cadavers.
Dr. Gunther Von Hagens, the German inventor of a body-preserving process called plastination, is always eager for volunteers, people willing to donate their corpses for his public anatomical displays. He says 6,800 individuals have pledged their mortal coils so far according to the Boston Globe.
``My aim is to illuminate and educate through the beautiful arrangement" of bodies. Think of it as an alternative to being eaten by worms or going up in smoke," Gunther Von Hagens said from his Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany.
Gunther von Hagens BodyWorks exhibit.
Human rights organisations have attacked the booming industry...
Gunther von Hagens BodyWorks exhibit. Human rights organisations have attacked the booming industry in travelling exhibitions featuring human corpses. They warned that the bodies, which are from China, could include those of executed political prisoners according to The
For other economical and environmentally conscious Eco-friendly burial options be sure to check out:Live Green, Die Green - The Eco-friendly funeral
More about Body farm, Deaths acre, Decapitated, Decapitate, Creepy
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