Hello, and welcome to the Season 2, Episode 22 of the Bones & Bobbins Podcast!
The Bones & Bobbins Podcast, Season 2, Episode 22: Certain Death & The Final Makeover
It was really hard for people throughout history to tell exactly how dead the bodies of other people were, so some questionable decisions were made in the pursuit of confirmation. (Including one involving invisible ink and a very dramatic reveal!) But, now that we’re a bit better at making sure we’re not burying folks alive, that scientific enthusiasm and creative ingenuity is being applied to methods to make bodies look LESS dead. So we’ve come full circle, it would seem.
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Listen on YouTube:
Here are links to the sources and resources we used while researching this episode:
Links to research materials:
Historical Methods for Confirming Death:
- 16 Death Tests Doctors Used to Determine If Someone Was Really Dead in the 18th and 19th Centuries: https://historycollection.com/16-death-tests-doctors-used-to-determine-if-someone-was-really-dead-in-the-18th-and-19th-centuries/
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32145.Stiff
- Medical diagnosis of death in adults: historical contributions to current controversies: https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673696040159.pdf
- Why waking up in a morgue isn’t quite as unusual as you’d think: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/14/waking-morgue-death-janina-kolkiewicz
- Lazarus syndrome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_syndrome
- How Easy is it to Diagnose Death? https://www.bbc.com/news/health-19968625
- Top 10 Ways to Die in Victorian Britain: https://livingwithdying.leeds.ac.uk/2017/08/09/top-ten-ways-to-die-in-victorian-britain/
- Britannica article: https://www.britannica.com/topic/embalming
- National Institutes of Health US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931544/
- All Star Training “A Non-Technical Explanation of Embalming” https://allstarce.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Embalming-Techniques-2016.pdf
- From intro chatter: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/05/us/man-dissected-autopsy-consent.html
- Our Favorite Mortician Gets Embalmed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuaGWDSeqvE&t=287s
- Physicians’ Handbook on Medical Certification of Death:https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/hb_cod.pdf