Should a person be embalmed before we are absolutely certain that the soul has left the body?
I realize that we regard death as that point at which the soul leaves the body. This is distinct from the point at which brain activity ceases, and/or when the heart quits beating. Within a few hours of apparent death, though, the embalming process begins. Quite obviously, if the person were not dead before embalming began, they would certainly be dead once the process is completed. (The same can be said of cremation.)
I do know that in certain places (such as Poland, where by the way they typically do not embalm), the presumed deceased were placed in a special room, where they lay for a period of days, again, to be absolutely sure they were dead. I do not know if they do this anymore, but they once did. When putrefaction sets in, then you can know with certainty that the person is dead and that, indeed, the soul has left the body. But I realize it is more difficult to embalm at that point.
Why, then, do we as Catholics acquiesce to the idea that embalming a few hours after the person is pronounced dead is acceptable?