Promession

Promession is an idea of how to dispose human remains by way of freeze drying. The concept of promession was developed by Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, who derived the name from the Italian word for "promise" (promessa).[1] She founded Promessa Organic AB in 1997 to commercially pursue her idea.[2] The company was liquidated 2015 without being able to produce a functioning facility. [3] The idea of promession is questioned and not a functional method according to critics.[4]

Process

The idea of promession involves five steps:

  1. Coffin separation: the body is placed into the chamber
  2. Cryogenic freezing: liquid nitrogen at −196 °C crystallizes the body
  3. Vibration: the body is disintegrated into particles within minutes
  4. Freeze drying: particles are freeze dried in a drying chamber, leaving approximately 30% of the original weight
  5. Metal separation: any metals (e.g., tooth amalgam, artificial hips, etc.) are removed, either by magnetism or by sieving. The dry powder is placed in a biodegradable casket which is interred in the top layers of soil, where aerobic bacteria decompose the remains into humus in as little as 6–12 months.

Criticism

Promession as a functional method is questioned. No facility for promession has been built or put into service. Critics argue that there is a physical[5] impossibility to atomize a freeze dried human body in this way.[4][6]

Current status

The company was liquidated 2015 without being able to produce a functioning module or facility.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Holst, Karen (13 April 2011). "Swedish green-burial firm to turn frozen corpses in compost". Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  2. ^ McNally, Patrick (30 September 2008). "Promession: A Return to the Living Soil". Daily Undertaker. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Promessa slutligen i konkurs". Bohusläningen (in Swedish). Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Radio, Sveriges. "Ekologisk begravning - Studio Ett". sverigesradio.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ 1938-, Möller, Lotte, (2011). Hej då! : begravningsboken. Malmö: Arena. ISBN 9789178433612. OCLC 760982426.
  6. ^ "- Promession fungerar inte / Kalmar / NYHETER / ÖSTRAN / Östra Smålan…". archive.is. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2018.

External links

Algor mortis

Algor mortis (Latin: algor—coldness; mortis—of death), the second stage of death, is the change in body temperature post mortem, until the ambient temperature is matched. This is generally a steady decline, although if the ambient temperature is above the body temperature (such as in a hot desert), the change in temperature will be positive, as the (relatively) cooler body acclimates to the warmer environment. External factors can have a significant influence.

The term was first used by Dowler in 1849. The first published measurements of the intervals of temperature after death were done by Dr John Davey in 1839.

Alkaline hydrolysis (body disposal)

Alkaline hydrolysis (also called biocremation, resomation, flameless cremation, or water cremation) is a process for the disposal of human and pet remains using lye and heat. The process is being marketed as an alternative to the traditional options of burial or cremation.

Burial

Burial or interment is a method of final disposition wherein a dead person or animal is placed into the ground, sometimes with objects. This is usually accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over. A funeral is a ceremony that accompanies the final disposition. Humans have been burying their dead since shortly after the origin of the species. Burial is often seen as indicating respect for the dead. It has been used to prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure and prevent them from witnessing the decomposition of their loved ones, and in many cultures it has been seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life.

Methods of burial may be heavily ritualized and can include natural burial (sometimes called "green burial"); embalming or mummification; and the use of containers for the dead, such as shrouds, coffins, grave liners, and burial vaults, all of which can retard decomposition of the body. Sometimes objects or grave goods are buried with the body, which may be dressed in fancy or ceremonial garb. Depending on the culture, the way the body is positioned may have great significance.

The location of the burial may be determined by taking into account concerns surrounding health and sanitation, religious concerns, and cultural practices. Some cultures keep the dead close to provide guidance to the living, while others "banish" them by locating burial grounds at a distance from inhabited areas. Some religions consecrate special ground to bury the dead, and some families build private family cemeteries. Most modern cultures document the location of graves with headstones, which may be inscribed with information and tributes to the deceased. However, some people are buried in anonymous or secret graves for various reasons. Sometimes multiple bodies are buried in a single grave either by choice (as in the case of married couples), due to space concerns, or in the case of mass graves as a way to deal with many bodies at once.

Alternatives to burial may include cremation (and subsequent inurnment), burial at sea, promession, cryopreservation, and others. Some human cultures may bury the remains of beloved animals. Humans are not the only species which bury their dead; the practice has been observed in chimpanzees, elephants, and possibly dogs.

Dead on arrival

Dead on arrival (DOA), also dead in the field and brought in dead (BID), indicates that a patient was found to be already clinically dead upon the arrival of professional medical assistance, often in the form of first responders such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, or police.

In some jurisdictions, first responders must consult verbally with a physician before officially pronouncing a patient deceased, but once cardiopulmonary resuscitation is initiated, it must be continued until a physician can pronounce the patient dead.

Death messenger

Death messengers, in former times, were those who were dispatched to spread the news that an inhabitant of their city or village had died. They were to wear unadorned black and go door to door with the message, "You are asked to attend the funeral of the departed __________ at (time, date, and place)." This was all they were allowed to say, and were to move on to the next house immediately after uttering the announcement. This tradition persisted in some areas to as late as the mid-19th century.

Death rattle

Terminal respiratory secretions (or simply terminal secretions), known colloquially as a death rattle, are sounds often produced by someone who is near death as a result of fluids such as saliva and bronchial secretions accumulating in the throat and upper chest. Those who are dying may lose their ability to swallow and may have increased production of bronchial secretions, resulting in such an accumulation. Usually, two or three days earlier, the symptoms of approaching death can be observed as saliva accumulates in the throat, making it very difficult to take even a spoonful of water. Related symptoms can include shortness of breath and rapid chest movement. While death rattle is a strong indication that someone is near death, it can also be produced by other problems that cause interference with the swallowing reflex, such as brain injuries.It is sometimes misinterpreted as the sound of the person choking to death, or alternatively, that they are gargling.

Dignified death

Dignified death is a somewhat elusive concept often related to suicide. One factor that has been cited as a core component of dignified death is maintaining a sense of control. Another view is that a truly dignified death is an extension of a dignified life. There is some concern that assisted suicide does not guarantee a dignified death, since some patients may experience complications such as nausea and vomiting. There is some concern that age discrimination denies the elderly a dignified death.

Disposal of human corpses

Disposal of human corpses, also called final disposition, is the practice and process of dealing with the remains of a deceased human being. Like most animals, when humans die, their bodies start to decompose, emitting a foul odor and attracting scavengers and decomposers. Disposal methods may need to account for the fact that soft tissues will decompose relatively rapidly, while the skeleton will remain intact for thousands of years under certain conditions.

Several methods for disposal are practiced. A funeral is a ceremony that may accompany the final disposition. Regardless, the manner of disposal is often dominated by spiritual concerns and a desire to show respect for the dead, and may be highly ritualized. In other circumstances, such as war or natural disaster, practical concerns may be forefront. Many religions as well as legal jurisdictions have set rules regarding the disposal of corpses. Since the experience of death is universal to all humans, practices regarding corpse disposal are a part of every culture. Ancient methods of disposing of dead bodies include cremation practised by the Romans, Greeks, and Hindus; burial practised by the Jews, Christians, and Muslims; mummification practised by the Ancient Egyptians; and the sky burial and a similar method of disposal called Towers of Silence practiced by Tibetan Buddhists and Zoroastrians.

Dysthanasia

In medicine, dysthanasia means "bad death" and is considered a common fault of modern medicine.Dysthanasia occurs when a person who is dying has their biological life extended through technological means without regard to the person's quality of life. Technologies such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, artificial ventilation, ventricular assist devices, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can extend the dying process.

Dysthanasia is a term generally used when a person is seen to be kept alive artificially in a condition where, otherwise, they cannot survive; sometimes for some sort of ulterior motive. The term was used frequently in the investigation into the death of Formula One driver Ayrton Senna in 1994.

Lazarus sign

The Lazarus sign or Lazarus reflex is a reflex movement in brain-dead or brainstem failure patients, which causes them to briefly raise their arms and drop them crossed on their chests (in a position similar to some Egyptian mummies). The phenomenon is named after the Biblical figure Lazarus of Bethany, whom Jesus raised from the dead in the Gospel of John.

Megadeath

Megadeath (or megacorpse) is one million human deaths, usually caused by a nuclear explosion. The term was used by scientists and thinkers who strategized likely outcomes of all-out nuclear warfare.

Necronym

A necronym (from the Greek words νεκρός, nekros, "dead" and ὄνομα ónoma, "name") is a reference to, or name of, a person who has died. Many cultures have taboos and traditions associated with referring to such a person. These vary from the extreme of never again speaking the person's real name, often using some circumlocution instead, to the opposite extreme of commemorating it incessantly by naming other things or people after the deceased.

For instance, in some cultures it is common for a newborn child to receive the name (a necronym) of a relative who has recently died, while in others to reuse such a name would be considered extremely inappropriate or even forbidden. While this varies from culture to culture, the use of necronyms is quite common.

Necrophobia

Necrophobia is a specific phobia which is the irrational fear of dead things (e.g., corpses) as well as things associated with death (e.g., coffins, tombstones, funerals, cemeteries). With all types of emotions, obsession with death becomes evident in both fascination and objectification. In a cultural sense, necrophobia may also be used to mean a fear of the dead by a cultural group, e.g., a belief that the spirits of the dead will return to haunt the living.Symptoms include: shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth and shaking, feeling sick and uneasy, psychological instability, and an altogether feeling of dread and trepidation. The sufferer may feel this phobia all the time. The sufferer may also experience this sensation when something triggers the fear, like a close encounter with a dead animal or the funeral of a loved one or friend. The fear may have developed when a person witnessed a death, or was forced to attend a funeral as a child. Some people experience this after viewing frightening media.The fear can manifest itself as a serious condition. Treatment options include medication and therapy.The word necrophobia is derived from the Greek nekros (νεκρός) for "corpse" and the Greek phobos (φόβος) for "fear".

Obituary

An obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.

Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.

Pallor mortis

Pallor mortis (Latin: pallor "paleness", mortis "of death"), the first stage of death, is an after-death paleness that occurs in those with light/white skin.

Post-mortem interval

Post-mortem interval (PMI) is the time that has elapsed since a person has died. If the time in question is not known, a number of medical/scientific techniques are used to determine it. This also can refer to the stage of decomposition of the body.

Promessa Organic

Promessa Organic AB is a Swedish company with headquarters in Göteborg, Sweden. The founder, biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak has within this Company since 2001, and its Foundation since 2005, tried to developing and providing a new form of ecological burial, named promession, based on a patented biological concept and technical device.The company was liquidated in recent years - http://www.bohuslaningen.se/nyheter/orust/promessa-slutligen-i-konkurs-1.925619

The theory behind promession involves exposure to LIN (liquid nitrogen), a short mechanical vibration, turning the remains to a powder, thereafter freeze-drying and metal separation. It all takes place in a closed, fully automatized equipment, named Promator. The remains are after this preparation, placed in a specially designed biodegradeable casket, which is then buried in the top soil. A memorial tree, smaller plant or bush can be placed at the burial spot. Within a year, the contents have decomposed and turned into soil, nourishing the newly planted memorial.

Promessa and Susanne Wiigh Masak have applied for several patents for the kind of processes described above but none of them were ever granted. The applications are on Google patents and the reference numbers are CA2393368A1, US20060154356A1 and US20030008017A1. One granted patent can be found in the name of Promessa and / or Susanne Wiigh Masak but it is not for the methods described in this article and it is not clear that it would work or be practicable on a human corpse - "Method and device for treating organic matter" EP20000983635.

There is no reference anywhere to be found on the worldwide web at the current time to a Promator having been sold or being in use anywhere in the world yet. The technical proof of concept referred to above is not published anywhere. There is no data supplied by Promessa / Susanne Wiigh Masak as to the amount of force needed for the "short mechanical vibration" to reduce a human corpse frozen in liquid nitrogen to -196C to dust. It would most likely be considerable and prolonged if one takes a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6giz8Kjf3gk .

Several corpses were kept in deep freezers in anticipation of a promator in Jonkoping, Sweden, but it never happened. https://www.jp.se/article/tva-nedfrysta-kroppar-kvar/

Rigor mortis

Rigor mortis (Latin: rigor "stiffness", mortis "of death"), or postmortem rigidity, is the third stage of death. It is one of the recognizable signs of death, characterized by stiffening of the limbs of the corpse caused by chemical changes in the muscles postmortem. In humans, rigor mortis can occur as soon as four hours after death.

Skeletonization

Skeletonization refers to the final stage of decomposition, during which the last vestiges of the soft tissues of a corpse or carcass have decayed or dried to the point that the skeleton is exposed. By the end of the skeletonization process, all soft tissue will have been eliminated, leaving only disarticulated bones. In a temperate climate, it usually requires three weeks to several years for a body to completely decompose into a skeleton, depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, presence of insects, and submergence in a substrate such as water. In tropical climates, skeletonization can occur in weeks, while in tundra areas, skeletonization may take years or may never occur, if subzero temperatures persist. Natural embalming processes in peat bogs or salt deserts can delay the process indefinitely, sometimes resulting in natural mummification.The rate of skeletonization and the present condition of a corpse or carcass can be used to determine the time of death.After skeletonization, if scavenging animals do not destroy or remove the bones, acids in many fertile soils take about 20 years to completely dissolve the skeleton of mid- to large-size mammals, such as humans, leaving no trace of the organism. In neutral-pH soil or sand, the skeleton can persist for hundreds of years before it finally disintegrates. Alternately, especially in very fine, dry, salty, anoxic, or mildly alkaline soils, bones may undergo fossilization, converting into minerals that may persist indefinitely.

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