X-Message-Number: 11382
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: about relatives and the opinions of the dying about cryonics
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 15:06:45 +1100 (EST)

Hi everyone!

I will tell here a short personal story which bears on resurrection of 
relatives, at least.

About 8 years ago, my stepfather (basically the man who raised me, and 
whose last name I now legally bear) became very ill. I am told that he
asked to see me several times. He knew my interest in cryonics, and
because I had had a brain tumor, I suspect he believed that he would
outlive me, which did not turn out to be the case. 

My other relatives (not including my mother, who had separated from him
for years) did not even inform me that he was ill or that he had died. I
found that out several months after the event. (None of my other relatives
were cryonicists, as you probably have guessed. And all of them knew
quite well how interested ** I ** was in cryonics). I did not even attend
his funeral, since I was not only not invited but not told of his death.

And I have wondered ever afterwards just what he wanted to say to me or
ask me. Perhaps he wanted to ask about cryonics and suspension, which he
could certainly have afforded. Perhaps he merely wanted to see me one 
last time.

This little story has some lessons behind it. First, do not expect
relatives to act to the benefit of your own parents if they are dying.
Once that parent is known to be dying, he or she is seen almost as already
dead, and thoughts about how to split up the estate come foremost in the
minds of many. Second, how do you know how your relative felt just before
he or she died? Perhaps they came to see the merits of cryonic suspension,
but far too late ... and had to depend on their own relatives to help
them do so, a quite fragile dependence which often fails completely.

While I would not advocate changing ANYONE so that they are glad to have
been revived, I will point out that in many cases we simply don't know 
what they would have really felt, even if they ignored the possibility
while they were in good health. And unless you are actually present with
them, you cannot simply accept the word of those relatives who WERE: those
relatives had a strong financial interest in believing that the dying 
person had no interest in cryonic suspension.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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