Historical examples of how corpses are handled

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People who intentionally donated their bodies:

Jeremy Bentham

the head thing is super creepy.

Bodies as religious artifacts

(bodies and parts of bodies used by institutions to conduct the power (for positive or negative means) they have in society); your arrangements are in essence a vote for increasing the power of the receiving institution.

Memento Mori



(science too)

People who unintentionally have had their bodies used by others

Funerary remains, and controversies with museums, academics, governments


Victorian Post-mortem Photography

Books made of Human Skin

Notable Embalmed People


Elmer McCurdy

people thought that his body was a mannequin

People who have arranged for their works to live on in possibly modified states

We don't yet know how to classify

Phineas Gage

can be seen at the Warren Anatomical Museum on the Green Line

Examples in Pop Culture

  • DKP systems
  • Foundation series (example of someone's will over time reaching into the future, in tension with the will of people in a given time)
  • The Ender Saga - Speaker for the Dead
    • I have a proviso for someone to fulfill this role at my memorial service in my Last Will and Testament.
  • Shadowrun - Dunkelzahn: Portfolio of a Dragon