How the dead help the living

17th February 2015 by Judith Harvey

How the dead help the living

How the dead help the livingUntil 2004 it was illegal in this country to practise surgical techniques on cadavers. Dissection, yes, but not surgery. Throughout history attitudes to dead bodies have been shrouded in paradox. In every culture, the living invent rituals to appease the spirits of the dead.

Humans have been preserving their dead for 7000 years. The ancient Egyptians did it so that the former owner’s soul could recognise the body and inhabit it again in the afterlife. Pre-Inca cultures in Peru probably had a similar purpose. In both areas the hot dry sand did a fairly good preservation job. Embalming appears to have evolved as a way to improve the prospects in the hereafter for those who could afford the expensive chemicals and rituals. The poor took their chances in the next world just as they did in this one.

Some things don’t change: in California, cryonics now offers the very wealthy the hope of a future life, though not in the hereafter. Some modern embalming is less satisfactory in the long run. Just take a look at Lenin and Mao in their mausoleums.

Join

Join to view the rest of this content, as well as access all the benefits of joining NASGP.

Join

Login

Already a member? Login to view this content.

Login

"I was delighted to have been invited to join GP locum chambers. I enjoy great peer support from my colleagues via our monthly meetings, which has been helpful to me discussing some specific things that arise with GP locum working.

I have found LocumDeck really straightforward to use and immensely helpful; in particular invoicing and the pension forms A and B has cut down my admin time dramatically, which I’m pleased about. The support from NASGP's membership support manager, is excellent, friendly and knowledgeable.

NASGP membership brings with it a host of benefits, including a range of excellent materials to draw on for support and learning. I would recommend NASGP chambers to anyone working or thinking of working as a GP locum."

Dr Chloe Evans

Dr Chloe Evans

See the full list of features within our NASGP membership plans

Membership