X-Message-Number: 11603
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 14:17:16 +0100
From:  (Chrissie Loveday)
Subject: Should be persuade friends and relations to sign up?

There have been a few ideas passed to me recently about the dangers of not 
making the big decision in time. For those committed to being cryonicists, 
it may seem so short-sighted and foolish not to take the plunge and sign up. 
Get everything in place in good time and it spares those left at a traumatic 
time. Anyone who is really in the know, will make that commitment as soon as 
funds allow. The ones who waver will probably dither till the very last 
minute, causing endless complications for all. Maybe this is the result of a 
lifetime of  It will never happen to me'. Let's face it, how do any of us 
really know when the very last minute has arrived?

I believe there are many similarities to euthanasia, that oh so 
controversial topic always in the news. Arguments for and against have their 
merits. In most countries, it remains a crime and those who do allow it are 
frequently asking the question, is it really too late for any hope? I'd hate 
to have to take that particular decision for myself or anyone else. It was 
most difficult to have to decide on my beloved dog's behalf and he could 
make no comment himself. 

I can feel the committed, all rising to say that cryonics is offering a 
chance for life, not death. Obviously, I agree as I am one of them. But 
always, there has to be the right of choice. I would never want to take the 
attitude that they might be grateful one day. They might not. Imagine taking 
steps to preserve a life that someone hates. On reanimation, they might feel 
the same anger as they had in their first life. Any small errors they 
encountered, would be all my fault for trying to save them. I'm sure that my 
beliefs lie firmly fixed in the idea that anyone who is truly convinced by 
this possibility of survival, will make the appropriate provision.  

As I have grown older, I know my ideas about the approach of death has 
changed. My ideas of so many things have changed. I'm never sure how I would 
react to knowing the expected date or time of my demise. I am fully aware 
that whenever it is, there will be masses of things I intended to finish, to 
begin, to think about. I'll just have to catch up on them the second time 
around. The final limit is perhaps, the end of expectations and the older 
one gets, the expectations may gradually diminish. Walking one mile a day 
instead of three; writing 2,000 words instead of 5,000; cleaning the house 
once a week instead of every day. (The really sensible one!)

Do most of us avoid thinking about our final moments? We may plan what will 
happen afterwards. We (cryonicists) may think a great deal about the 
practical organisation of our suspension and having things neatly in place. 
We may personally, never know the full details of what really happens. But 
those of us still alive, begin to realise the immense difficulties presented 
by those who change their minds at the last moment. It is sometimes too late 
for the smooth running and proper organisation. For those left behind to 
mourn, it presents added stress to an already unbearable time. I firmly 
believe that we can only do our best to persuade people to organise things 
in time. If they do not do this, maybe we can try to help but it seems to me 
there is little point in expending futile energy,  believing we ourselves 
have failed in some way. Those at the cutting edge will feel especially 
angry at the waste of another life but we have to be realistic enough to 
know we can do no more than try.

We need to be responsible, as we all agree. We need to pass on as much 
correct information as possible. If then, the whole thought is revolting to 
someone, there is little point in trying to convince the unwilling. One of 
the UK's worst serial killers, claimed that a childhood belief that his 
much-loved Grandfather had gone  to a better place' had motivated him to 
send lots more people there. He was angry that his grandfather had gone 
without him. Obviously, a rather sick mind is part of his problem but who is 
really to blame? Might not the persuasion of a fervent religious zealot play 
some part? Maybe, some folk see cryonicists as equally ill-guided. Back to 
choices. My own sons do not embrace the idea of cryonics or even 
particularly welcome my own participation but we have all agreed to respect 
our own wishes. They won't object to my suspension and I won't insist they 
listen to endless campaigning and attempts at persuasion from me. Who knows, 
they may change their minds one day just as I did.

Yes, we want our near and dear to seize this chance of a second round. We 
want them to want it for themselves. We can help with advice and 
information. But, I will never try to persuade anyone to do something to 
which they don't give whole hearted commitment. 

Sincerely,  Chrissie Loveday (CI member)
 http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Den/7345 for my on-line novels and more

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