[extropy-chat] To All Alcor Members

Stephen J. Van Sickle sjvans at ameritech.net
Fri Feb 27 02:29:21 UTC 2004

>From Joe Wanick
Alcor Foundation

To All Alcor Members;


I am happy and proud to say that Alcor, its members, and the state of
Arizona have won a great victory today! 


Early Wednesday morning, Barry Aarons, Tanya Jones, and I met with
Representative Stump and several of his advisors for nearly forty-five
minutes to discuss HB 2637. We were very pleasantly surprised at the
openness and flexibility demonstrated by Mr. Stump in our sometimes
frank discussions. During that meeting, we were able to successfully
communicate to him the sincere concerns we had with his bill as
originally proposed and why our membership was so strongly opposed its


It is our opinion that prior to this meeting, Mr. Stump sincerely did
not understand the unintended negative consequences his bill would have
on Alcor, its members, and on the science of cryopreservation as a


After patiently listening to our concerns Mr. Stump expressed a
willingness to modify several key provisions of the bill as a show of
good faith to the constituents of this legislation in exchange for a
commitment from us to continue dialogue for appropriate oversight of
cryonics as practiced in the state of Arizona.


Since representation at the negotiation table is what we’ve been
requesting from the day Alcor first became engaged in the legislative
process, we were of course elated at the opportunity to sit with
representatives of the legislature and their advisors in a spirit of
cooperation and craft legislation that will provide the level of
oversight legitimately required by the state while simultaneously
securing protection for patient privacy, guaranteeing the constitutional
right of self-determination of our members, and establishment once and
for all the legislative legitimacy of cryonics.


At the conclusion of that meeting, Representative Stump demonstrated
outstanding leadership and courage by agreeing in principle to consider
amendments to his bill that would eliminate some of the most serious
concerns of Alcor and its membership in a show of good faith. We were
most impressed.


Today, literally an hour before the hearing was to begin, we received
word that amendments had been filed and that Representative Stump was
receptive to hearing the balance of our concerns that blocked agreement
to a bill. After reviewing the amendments and exchanging negotiating
points with Representative Stump that outlined some of our remaining
issues we were able to secure the following understanding:


1.                 Alcor’s ability to utilize the UAGA was restored via


2.                 The requirement for an embalmer to store our patients
or participate in our procedures was struck from the bill via amendment;


3.                 In addition, we committed to meet with all interested
parties and seek agreement upon the following:

a.     Expand the Funeral Board by up to two members to include experts
in the field of cryopreservation or change the composition of the
existing board to include up to two experts in the field of

b.     Require a cryopreservation expert on the staff of the Funeral
Board to execute oversight;

c.     To establish the statutory legitimacy of cryonics through a
legislated definition of cryopreservation;

d.     Define the scope of the oversight through legislation and not
left singularly up to a rules committee;

e.     To extend the effective date of the bill to September 1, 2005 to
leave open our option of legislative redress in the unlikely event that
appropriate rules cannot be agreed upon between Alcor and the Funeral


Due to the good faith agreements obtained prior to the committee hearing
in conjunction with the proposed amendments, Alcor reduced its
opposition to passage of HB 2637 on the condition that agreement can be
reached on the verbal understandings listed above.


It should be noted that several members of the Health Committee
expressed reservations about having Alcor overseen by the Funeral Board,
but conceded that if legislation were necessary, it would be placed
there but reserve the right to find a more appropriate place to house
cryonics oversight in the future. Moreover, many of the committee
members reserved the right to change their vote when the bill is
presented on the House floor if agreements cannot be reached on the
aforementioned items. Our heartfelt gratitude, respect and admiration go
out to the courageous Representatives who agreed to support our cause.


After the hearing, I had the opportunity to have some very constructive
dialogue with Randy Bunker and Rudy Thomas who both enthusiastically
looked forward to engaging Alcor and finalizing the framework of the
proposed oversight. 


The progress of today’s hearing would not have been possible without the
tireless efforts of a number of good people, including Barry Aarons,
David Brandt-Erichsen, Saul Kent, Tanya Jones, Aubrey de Grey, and Steve
Rude. In addition, we must thank all the brave souls who traveled to
Phoenix to testify but were unable to do so due to legislative time
constraints including Steve Harris, Mark and Judy Muhlestein, Ted and
Bobby Kraver, Jim Lewis, and two organ preservation scientists who wish
to remain anonymous.  


We must also thank those members who attended the hearing as a public
show of support for Alcor. Lastly, but certainly not least, we must
thank all of the members who took time away from their busy schedules to
eMail, fax, and call Arizona state legislators, urging them to oppose
this bill. When they revealed to us that they were receiving from
150-200 eMails per day we realized that you all really made a
difference! Thank you!!!


Joe Waynick


Alcor Life Extension Foundation


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