[ExI] Cryonics is getting weird

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue May 18 08:14:59 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----
> From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Sent: Mon, May 17, 2010 6:19:21 PM
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Cryonics is getting weird

Spike wrote:

Avant, which quadrant and why?  
> Offlist OK if you want to be anonymous.
Imagine yourself as having been 
> drafted as Benevolent Dictator of Alcor with
absolute power.  What would 
> you have done?  
> Reasoning?

Quadrant four. Exactly what Alcor did. For several reasons.

First and foremost, it was what the customer wanted and paid me for. The customer knew that cryonics is an imperfect science and it has inherent risks associated with it. There is no guarantee of revival even in an ideally performed preservation. With that knowledge, the man nonetheless wrote into his will that cryopreservation is what he wanted to be done to his remains. It would be no different if someone had contracted with Alcor to be cremated and have his ashes scattered over Red Light District of Amsterdam. Even if the scattering of the ashes fulfills nothing more than the dying man's whim, if Alcor was contracted to do it, they should do it.

Secondly, most cultures take great pains that funerary practices are performed according to the respective traditions. Corpses are routinely flown around the world at great expense to ensure that the proper rites are performed. For example if a Christian dies in an explosion in Afghanistan and the only remains that are recovered are his foot, they will send his foot to the US and hold a funeral for and bury his foot. It doesn't matter that the burial does not benefit the foot or the man it belongs to except to fulfill his desire to buried as a Christian. Why should our funerary rites hold any less weight than those other traditions? The only reason that the family did what they did was *because* they did not take cryonics seriously as a funerary tradition. It was no different than if the man had bought and paid for a casket and a burial plot and his family had instead ordered him cremated and tried to get a refund on the grave and casket. The family
 was wrong and they needed to be humbled.

Thirdly, this case needed to go to court so as to establish precedent for all future conflicts of interest between a cryonicist and his heirs. This case will be cited in future court cases of similar circumstance and now judges and attorneys have a "legal road map" to guide them. That road map did not exist before this case and it was worth the money Alcor paid to have him disinterred.

Now as to what I would do as "Benevolent Dictator" of Alcor to prevent this kind of debacle in the future is that I would recommend clients sign a limited power of attorney granting Alcor the right to sue for damages, on the clients behalf, any and all relatives or medical personnel who either negligently or purposefully interfere with timely preservation of the client.  

 Stuart LaForge 

"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight." - Joseph Joubert 


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