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December 13, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XV(24):864. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410500020005

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A considerable amount of attention has recently been directed to the possible extinction of traces of criminal destruction of life, through the methods now in vogue among funeral directors and their agents for the beautification and preservation of the corpse for burial. One of the chief objections urged against cremation has been that the evidences of willful murder might be incinerated with the body, and medico-legal investigations thus be set at naught. Certainly the same wholesale obliteration of the direct instrumentation of crime must occur, when the undertaker, as soon after death as in his wisdom sees fit, injects into the vessels and into the stomach of the silent victim, a liquid mass of potent chemical ingredients, for embalming purposes, which must inevitably affect or completely change the composition of any poisonous agent that may have been introduced during life for nefarious purposes. There is a prevailing tendency, at any

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