Embalming is defined as the preservation of a body from decay, originally with spices and more recently through arterial injection of embalming fluid.
The current use of the word "embalming" is misleading. The process is generally referred to as cosmetic embalming. It is used to improve the visual appearance of the body, and to prevent deterioration in the period leading up to the funeral.
The embalming process involves removing the body fluids and replacing them with a solution of formaldehyde, often containing a pink dye. The body fluids are treated and disposed of via the public sewer.
Is embalming necessary?
The decision as to the merits of embalming must lie with the individual although a number of issues should be considered such as:
Viewing the body
You need to consider whether you will benefit from viewing the body at the funeral directors premises.
The quality of the embalming
The British Institute of Embalmers offers training and certification for members to maintain an identified standard of embalming.
Tel: 020 3876 8806