Can the morbidly obese be cremated?

I know that there are companies that make special coffins for the morbidly obese (700, 1000 lb), but is cremation possible? Can they fit in a standard cremation furnace? If not is there a specialty crematorium they can be shipped to? Or does the staff have to dismember the corpse?

More than you ever wanted to know about cremation of bodies over 300 pounds, from the Cremation Association of North America. Short answer: no, it may not be possible to cremate a 700 pound person. Even for smaller people over 300 pounds, certain special procedures need to be followed.

Second link above is a pdf.

So could a person over 700 lb be “divided” into lighter segments and those cremated?

The 750 pound man who died in Ohio. I wondered how they fit him into that little tiny cardboard box.

The guy died? I could not finish watching the show. My wife and I had a late night dinner before going to bed!

One word.


Can the morbidly obese be cremated?

It seems a tad extreme. We should at least wait until they die.

I thought the exact same thing, but then I figured that if the fatty in question was still alive, it would be more a “BBQ” than a cremation, really.

When fat burns, most of the products are gaseous; the amount of non-combustible ash left at the end should not be vastly different.

Yeah, sure. Not that we’re going to dismember him. (Could, but it’s a lot of work, and would be looked on by most people as disgusting.) Just get him an autopsy. During the autopsy, I’ll remove all the internal organs, which will have a combined weight in a morbidly obese person of, oh, perhaps… lessee, heart 750 gm, each lung 750, liver 3000, each kidney 300, crap I don’t know the weight of the guts… well, including three liters of blood and a whole lot of internal fat, say I take out twelve kilograms. I know, that’s not much, but it’s a start, right? Now I can do a pannectomy (remove the abdominal fat that hangs down) in large sections. It’d be extra work for me, but I wouldn’t mind if it’s to allow the person a cremation. When I finish, you can fold the sides of the belly into the cavity vacated by the organs, and he oughta fit. If he doesn’t, I can carve a little more.

Naturally the removed pieces will be returned with the body in a plastic bag, and can be added to the cremation as everything else begins to fit.

For a bonus, you will also have an exact cause of death, and perhaps aid science by documenting grossly and microscopically what being that obese did to the microvasculature of the deceased’s organs.

For negative, unless he dies in a hospital and you can convince the hospital to take on the job, you will have to pay for the autopsy. Because no medical examiner is going to accept the case unless it’s a murder. Morbid obesity at that level doesn’t need an explanation for death on the taxpayer’s dollar.

Let’s not think about him being murdered. Egad.

What show was this?

(with apologies in advance…)

Oh, I can see it now - two guys standing in the morgue with this huge corpse.
GUY #1: You know, the family wants him cremated
GUY #2: He’ll never fit in the furnance
#1: Well, I got this table saw at home… we could dismember him…
#2: No we can’t! That would be disrespectful! Great Og, if the family ever found out…
#1: Well… maybe could scoop out his guts and do them separately…?
#2: We can’t do that either… hey, wait a minute…
#1&#2: AUTOPSY!!
#1: I’ll call the coroner…

I can’t imagine the crematorium staff would be all that handle the job in two installments, particularly if one of them consists of a flaccid plastic-wrapped assortment of body parts.

I can’t imagine the crematorium staff would be all that happy to handle the job in two installments, particularly if one of them consists of a flaccid plastic-wrapped assortment of body parts.

I dunno about if there’s a way to do that sensitively. A pyre takes a while to get hot enough to combust that much flesh instead of just kind of roasting/smoking it. You’d have to build a large pyre, let it get going for an hour or so, and then kind of drop the body on it. Not exactly sensitive to observers. But, it would get the job done.

Or you could go Gilbert Grape and just set the house on fire. But again, I wouldn’t count on that getting the whole job done, not unless it were a cedar house with a lot of wicker and wood furniture.

The Learning Channel — The 750 Pound Man

Meet John Keitz. He has not left his bed in seven years because his legs simply cannot handle the weight of his massive body. He is severely, morbidly obese. Follow his journey as he tries to lose the weight that is slowly robbing him of his life.
John died of heart failure. I had to leave the room briefly at the very end and I think they said that the open sores on his skin had brought on a systemic infection of some type that his weak heart just could not cope with.

2 words

Thermite grenade

Oooo, that’s dangerous.

Um…not explosives.

Heat only.