Is the Process of Embalming a Body Necessary?

Posted on February 27, 2023 by Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home Ltd. under cremation
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cremation services at Mattoon, IL

Nowadays, many families are choosing cremation for their loved ones as a final disposition. Cremation is a type of final disposition of a deceased’s remains. When someone dies as well, a family member who is in charge of making decisions is curious if the body of their loved one needs to be embalmed. But, before knowing the answer if it is necessary, let’s understand first what embalming is all about. Do not worry, for our cremation services at Mattoon, IL are offering this service and other services, as well as willing to give you knowledge about embalming.


What is Embalming?

The process of preserving human remains by treating them with chemicals to help postpone the body’s natural decay is called embalming. In most cases, this is done with the objective of making the deceased more suitable for the public as well as private viewing or visitation, or with the goal of preserving the body for use in medical research. Embalming serves as a means of sanitation, preservation, and restoration. The decomposition process is slowed by preserving the remains, disinfecting them to eliminate any remaining bacteria, and restoring them to their original state.


Is Embalming Necessary?

cremation services at Mattoon, IL
Now, going back to the main question, do you really need to be embalmed if you’re going to be cremated? The answer is actually no because that’s not the case at all. The decision to embalm a deceased person for a funeral or memorial service rests with the family. This could apply, for instance, if you opted for a visitation when people paid their respects in person at the funeral home, with the body on display for all to view. As a result, embalming would be necessary per the funeral home’s policy. Neither federal law nor any state statute mandates embalming prior to cremation. Only if you plan on holding a public viewing or visitation will you be required to do so, and even then, it is normally at the discretion of the funeral home.


So, another of those questions you’ve probably never thought about before is whether or not embalming is necessary and the best option for you. If you’re also curious if what the law says about embalming, again, it is not legally required. In the case of funeral homes, many of them will not permit public viewing of a body without it having first been embalmed; nonetheless, there is still no particular rule that requires a body to be embalmed and set in a condition that is “lifelike” before it can be displayed. With that, you waste money on something that isn’t necessary or introduces substances that could be hazardous to the environment, always use discretion and get familiar with your options.


Our cremation services at Mattoon, IL offer several types of services that you might be looking for. If you still have more questions about embalming, funerals, or cremations, you can contact us and our staff will be there to assist you with anything. Also, to make cremation arrangements, please don’t hesitate to reach us.