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December 9, 1899

Is the Present Method of Disposing of the Human Dead the Best That Can Be Adopted?

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(24):1501. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450760057017

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Whitehall, Ill., Nov. 27, 1899.

To the Editor:  —The numerous objections to the present methods of burial of the human body after death must have presented themselves to a great many thinking minds; but, such is the force of custom, we will go on from generation to generation perpetuating the same grievous errors, solely because it is custom. In the present iconoclastic age, every individual should rise above being governed by such trivial motives, and squarely question every important act concerning the affairs of life, striving to see if it be not possible to leave to posterity a better series of customs than our ancestors have left us. There should be no superstitious veneration that perpetuates an evil, simply because it is hoary with age. A human body clad in woollen garments, incased in a wooden casket, this in turn placed in a wooden box, is in a condition to

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