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In this paper we present and contrast two approaches, Cooperative Network Coding (CNC) and Cooperative Diversity Coding (CDC) to achieving reliable wireless body area networks. CNC combines cooperative communications and network coding, while CDC combines cooperative communication and diversity coding. These approaches also provide enhanced throughput and transparent self-healing which are desirable features that Wireless Body Area Networks should offer. Additionally, these feed-forward techniques are especially suitable for real-time applications, where retransmissions are not an appropriate alternative. Although, these techniques provide similar benefits, simulation results show that CDC provides higher throughput than CNC because of the fact that the network topology is known and few hops between the source and destination. Moreover, CDC has lower complexity, since the source and destination nodes know the coding coefficients.