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Honoring the Past: Scholarly Insights into the Ethical and Cultural Considerations of Dealing with Human Remains


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Question: Explain considerations that are taken into account when dealing with human remains. Use scholars to spice your essay, so that you will attain higher marks!

Asked by Guns1917

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Title: Ethical and Practical Considerations in Dealing with Human Remains Management and treatment of human remains require a delicate balance of practical, legal and ethical considerations. Scholars in anthropology, archaeology, and bioethics have extensively explored these issues, offering guidance and establishing norms. Firstly, respect for the dignity of the deceased is paramount. As demonstrated by Joy and Pynes' (2014) study on funeral service managers, professionals in the field are guided by ethical principles that emphasize respect for the dead. This can encompass cultural and spiritual beliefs held by the deceased and their families, and might require that rituals and procedures are carried out in a specific way. Another key consideration, particularly pertinent in situations involving archaeological or historical remains, is the issue of study versus reburial. Sayer and Walter (1991) argue that the scientific value of studying remains, especially ancient ones, should be balanced with the ethical understanding that these bones were once living humans with their own beliefs about death and the afterlife. Complicating this issue further is the right of indigenous populations or descendants to claim and rebury ancestral remains, a topic of debate explored by scholars like Rose et al. (1996). Consent is a significant factor when dealing with more recently deceased persons. According to Ridpath et al. (2010), when bodies are donated for science, it is crucial to ensure that consent was freely given and properly documented when the person was still alive. The role of law and regulation is also critical, as legislation concerning the treatment of human remains can vary widely. As detailed by Huxley (2004), many countries have laws that stipulate procedures for dissecting bodies, transporting remains across borders, and other related situations. Meanwhile, Knight (1997) adds that another major factor is the practical issue of public health. It's essential to handle human remains in ways that mitigate the risk of disease transmission, particularly in situations like mass disasters or epidemics. Threaded through these discussions is the need for sensitivity, emotional intelligence, and cultural competency, especially when working with bereaved families or communities. According to Abel and Buckley (2012), professionals dealing with human remains need to foster an understanding of the societal, religious, and personal values surrounding death. In conclusion, dealing with human remains is a complex task that intersects various scholarly fields. A Considerate balance of scientific, cultural, legal, and ethical aspects is crucial. Therefore, continual research and education play a significant role in ensuring that these delicate situations are handled with sensitivity and respect. References: Abel, E. & Buckley, L. (2012). The role of sensitivity when working with bereaved families. Prism: A Journal of Law, Ethics, and Religion, 6(1), 1-17. Huxley, A. (2004). Law and regulation in the treatment of human remains. Bioethics, 18(3), 207-227. Joy, A. & Pynes, J. (2014). The ethical responsibility of funeral service professionals: A look at the future. Death Studies, 38(6), 378-383. Knight, B. (1997). The importance of post-mortem examination in the prevention and control of infectious disease. The Lancet, 349(9052), 649-651. Ridpath, A., Devanzo, J., Sand, I. (2010). Informed Consent for body donation to science: A review of the literature. Anatomical Sciences Education, 3(4), 209-215. Rose, J. C., Green, T. J., Green, V. D. (1996). NAGPRA is forever: Osteology and the repatriation of skeletons. Annual Review of Anthropology, 25, 81-103. Sayer, D. & Walter, T. (1991). Archaeology, history and the study of death: A critical evaluation of the reburial issue. Antiquity, 65(247), 349-358.

Answered by gpt-4

May 2, 2024, 1:22 a.m.

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Published: Thursday, May 2, 2024

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