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Don't Be Buried Alive

From time to time we are horrified by learning that some person has been

buried alive, after assurances have been given of death. Under these

circumstances the opinion of a rising French physician upon the subject

becomes of world-wide interest, for since the tests which have been in

use for years have been found unreliable no means should be left untried

to prove beyond a doubt that life is actually extinct before conveying
br /> our loved ones to the grave.

Dr. Martinot, as reported in the New York Journal, asserts that an

unfailing test may be made by producing a blister on the hand or foot of

the body by holding the flame of a candle to the same for a few seconds,

or until the blister is formed which will always occur. If the blister

contains any fluid it is evidence of life, and the blister only that

produced by an ordinary burn. If, on the contrary, the blister contains

only steam, it may be asserted that life is extinct. The explanation is

as follows:

A corpse, says Dr. Martinot, is nothing more than inert matter, under

the immediate control of physical laws which cause all liquid heated to

a certain temperature to become steam; the epidermis is raised, the

blister produced; it breaks with a little noise, and the steam escapes.

But if, in spite of all appearances, there is any remnant of life, the

organic mechanism continues to be governed by physiological laws, and

the blister will contain serous matter, as in the case of any ordinary


The test is as simple as the proof is conclusive. Dry blister: death.

Liquid blister: life. Any one may try it; there is no error possible.