When a loved one passes away, there are many different considerations that go into preparing them for their eternal rest. There is often a question around whether or not the body should be embalmed or whether a natural funeral would be more appropriate. If your friend or family member did not leave specific instructions for about embalming, this important question is left up to the family to make based on the circumstances and their belief system. 


Reasons for Embalming 

In the past, laws were enacted to encourage families to have the bodies of their deceased embalmed to protect public health. These reasons have been invalidated by scientists, as a body that has not been embalmed does not harbor any sort of dangers to loved ones or the general public. However, it remains customary in the U.S. that bodies are embalmed after death in many cases for the sake of convenience and appearance, specifically if there will be an open casket.


When Embalming is Required

There are specific times when embalming a body after death is required, such as when a body will need to be transported across state lines or via a commercial carrier in certain states. There are some legal challenges to laws that require embalming under these circumstances, but transportation laws are still in effect in Idaho, Kansas, Montana and California to name a few of the states. 


When Embalming is Recommended

If you live in a warm area of the country, embalming is a recommended method of preservation for your loved one’s body. The process slows down decomposition by replacing bodily fluids with formaldehyde, a preserving agent. This is especially recommended if friends and family members will be traveling for several days in order to attend the funeral. 

Want to learn more about your options for bodily preservation for your loved one’s eternal rest? Contact the caring and knowledgeable staff at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery at 480-832-2850 or read a brief history of embalming on our blog. Our funeral directors are here to help you understand your options so you can make the decisions that make sense for your family.