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November 26, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(22):1285-1288. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.92450220020002h

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The question most intimately following a useful existence here is a harmless absence after we are through. It is evident that some suggestion for the disposal of our dead, other than earth-burial or cremation, is needed, from the unsanitary character of the former and the natural repulsiveness of the latter.

To show that ocean burial is practical, sanitary, and will meet most of the requirements of sentiment and religion, and all those of sanitation, will be the endeavor of this argument. That the beautiful fealty of genealogy and consanguinity and the sacred associations of religion are factors to be considered in this as well as any other method for the disposal of the dead is recognized; but above and beyond these is the unpurchaseable boon of health and its attendant uses and beauty.

Every expedient that human thought could devise has been resorted to in all times past to conceal

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