Alkaline hydrolysis, a process by which remains are dissolved (with lye, heat, and pressure), is the wave of the future in funeral arrangements ... or is it?Â With it becoming a viable solution to environmental woes in the mortuary world as well as an answer for an ever-increasing land-use issue of cemeteries, many states still won't allow it's approval because it is an "undignified" way to deal with human remains.
On the one hand, our bodies are merely vessles for our minds and souls while we are earth-bound (and I'm doing this gently so as not to offend anyone), but on the other hand, we are to respect those vessels when we pass?Â Why?Â Simply because we have for millions of years since the first homosapiens roamed the planet?
In an MSNBC article entitled "A rival to burial: Dissolving bodies with lye" the author cites strong reasons to promote such a practice, while the only opposition appears to be from religious leaders and state lawmakers.Â He also shows that this is a practice that is already used to safely dispose of human and animal remains in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Personally,Â I think that if express my final wishes by leaving behindÂ written, signed, and notarized instructions, why should I not be able to use this option?Â There is no way a family member could attempt to defile my carcass, so to speak, when they have that documentation to support their decision.Â Right?
What do YOU think?Â Should it be the individual's decision?Â Â Why is this any more undignified than cremation followed by distribution of the ashes?Â Should states openly disallow this option based on custom and traditional practices?Â Is this an option YOU might consider?Â If a family member expressed desire for such final arrangements, would you attempt to discourage them?Â Or would you embrace this option?
---UPDATE to answer cost questions---
"Manchester funeral director Chad Corbin wants to operate a $300,000 cylinder in New Hampshire. He said that an alkaline hydrolysis operation is more expensive to set up than a crematorium but that he would charge customers about as much as he would for cremation." --- from the article referenced above.