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Old 04-24-2001, 08:32 PM
Kalt Kalt is offline
Join Date: May 1999
Is it really illegal to have yourself stuffed (i.e. by a taxidermist) when you die? If I put such a request in my will, and my family did not oppose to it - would it really be illegal to have this done? I heard there is a law that forbids this. Is this just an american law? Or do all/most countries have similar laws?

No, I don't really want to have myself stuffed, nor do I know anyone who does - but it would seem like a personal decision, and if someone wants to be stuffed/mounted/freeze dried when they die, what is so wrong with that? We let people burn their dead bodies if they request cremation. Sure many people would find it creepy to have a stuffed person in their house - but because a majority of people find something odd or creepy should not be a reason for prohibiting it. Our law typically gives great deference to a person's dying wishes - so why forbid them from being stuffed if those are their wishes?
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Old 04-24-2001, 08:52 PM
brianjedi brianjedi is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
I don't necessarily think it's a law as much as just finding someone to do it. What self-respecting taxidermist would voluntarily take that job? There may be a law about it, but Google wasn't much help in finding it. I know that an old Roy Rogers joke was that he would be stuffed and put on Trigger after his death.

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Old 04-24-2001, 09:00 PM
Kalt Kalt is offline
Join Date: May 1999
no i actually heard there was a prohibition against it. In other words, if bill gates offered a taxidermist 50 million dollars to do it, he wouldn't be allowed to. It surely wouldn't be cheap, and i would imagine it would be hard to find someone to do it regardless... but everything has a price. Maybe there is an underground, high-priced human taxidermy service?
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Old 04-24-2001, 09:07 PM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
I don't know about the laws; sorry - but I do some fish taxidermy, and I think that your mounted self would look pretty bad. Big animals (I think) almost always have fur, so you don't see much bare skin. I don't stuff animals, but I imagine there would be some heavy-duty work on your skin to make it look half-ways decent since you have no fur to cover it up. I have seen on TV (TLC) where they tried to recreate the mumification process on a body just a few years ago. It worked pretty well too. That's not really a true taxidermy job, but close. The man they used donated his body to the project, and it was all done very professionaly - so it may be possible... although he is in some museum or school now, not hanging above the mantle with a dry fly stuck in his lip.
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Old 04-24-2001, 09:09 PM
Katisha Katisha is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Of course, you could just donate your body to that German (?) guy who runs the scientific exhibit with the plasticized's more or less the same thing...
"Katisha is thunderingly cool. Except for the G&S - and that's so naff it's cool." -- Tansu

"Is this the end of zombie Shakespeare?"
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Old 04-24-2001, 09:16 PM
yabob yabob is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,336
Any discussion of this topic is not complete without mention of Jeremy Bentham:
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Old 04-25-2001, 09:52 AM
handy handy is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Pacific Grove, Calif
Posts: 17,493
I asked this before & they said its illegal..... :-)

Isn't that wonderful? What is this Psycho?
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Old 04-25-2001, 10:13 AM
c_goat c_goat is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
I saw on candid camera once they asked a taxidermist if he would be willing to stuff a human. The host went and brought his mother, saying that his mother was the one to be stuffed when she died. The guy said he would do it if it was legal. They never said on the show whether it actually was. My point? Nothing really, cept that there ARE taxidermists who would do it.
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Old 04-25-2001, 10:20 AM
sailor sailor is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
In general I do not think it is illegal. This would be a state law matter, not federal.

I can tell you there is some old woman in some southern state who has her husband stuffed in her living room. It was on some TV magazine, I forget which.

I doubt there is a law specifically saying you cannot stuff a person. Amybe there are laws of a more general nature which would, in effect, not allow it.
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Old 04-25-2001, 01:19 PM
Whammo Whammo is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Howard Stern has had a quest on his show who claims to have his 9 year old daughter embalmed and displayed in his home.

'course this IS howard stern we're talking about... I really cant stand him.
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Old 04-25-2001, 10:19 PM
Kalt Kalt is offline
Join Date: May 1999
I've done westlaw and lexis searches and I cannot find a statute that says this is illegal... but i was told by my property professor that it was - and got into a debate about it. She said it was a health code violation. I said "so it is okay for me to stuff a filthy, rabies-ridden deer/bear/etc, but not myself? I dont have any diseases and take 2 showers a day" ... she said it would be demoralizing to human dignity and would lead to people buying and selling dead bodies, and eventually we would have "skin lampshades" like the Nazis made. I said the Nazis cremated people too - so why is cremation not against human dignity? I don't see the problem... call me horrible. If i wanna be stuffed for whatever eccentric, nutty reason - it's my body and nobody should tell me i cant. I'm sure it would be a state law question.. but who knows? I couldnt find any law regulating stuff like this, but i have a feeling i didn't search well enough. Any will and estate lawyers out there?
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Old 04-25-2001, 10:57 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 5,665
If any sicko wants to buy some human skin or any other parts of my body when I die, I'll sign whatever contracts you bring me for cash. Prices will vary, but I'd probably let you have the whole thing for $50,000 up front.
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Old 04-26-2001, 12:21 AM
Kalt Kalt is offline
Join Date: May 1999
that's entirely different. you should be allowed to do that too, but that's not what i'm talking about.

now, i do know for a fact it IS illegal to sell your body parts while you are alive. You can give them though, for free. Sorta sucks - your body is your property, you can give it away (well, non-vital parts, i.e. ONE kidney, but not 2, or not your heart)... but you cant sell it. The price of a black market kidney is $18k. By not allowing you to sell it, that's an illegal taking of property in my opinion, and should be compensable under the takings clause of the constitution.

But if ya just wanna put it in your will that you are to be stuffed and mounted, that should be perfectly fine and legal. but is it?
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