X-Message-Number: 1192
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 92 23:44:36 PDT
Message-Id: <>

David Stodolsky wrote:
> Keith Henson (1992. The negative side of  growth. _Cryonics_, 13(8), 7)
> observes that a majority of suspensions in the last five years have been
> of people who signed up terminal. This suggests that making it easier
> for people to sign up just prior to clinical death would be an effective
> way to increase number of suspensions and accelerate the growth of
> cryonics.

And Brian Wowk replied:
>        Huh?  Are we reading the same magazine?  The point of Keith's 
>article was that terminal sign ups are a BAD THING.  That's why the 
>article was entitled the "*negative* side of growth."
>        Patients in suspension are a liability, not an asset.  Healthy, 
>living, dues-paying members are what cryonics needs most, not dying 
>people who will soon need suspending (and burn up enormous amounts of 
>volunteer labor in the process).  If anything, we need to more actively 
>*discourage* terminal patients from joining.

I agree on all of Brian's posting except for the last sentence.  I 
think there is a fairly wide consensus among the board, officers and 
staff of Alcor that we want to suspend all of those who want it and 
can meet at least the minimum requirements.  Brian is certainly right 
in that cryonics needs the healthy ones.  We are, however, going to 
get some with (as the old saying goes) one foot in a dewar and the 
other on a bar of soap.  Our problem is how to keep out of trouble 
from the work load and the costs a significant number of terminal 
cases put on Alcor. 

The recent east-coast suspension of a member who was signed up for 
about a week before we went on standby is certainly a sharp lesson. 
All the bills are not yet in on that one, but those to date for the 
standby/transport phase totaled a little over 21k.  That is *7 times* 
the allocated amount in the suspension funding.  I roughly averaged 
the standby/transport fraction of cost for the last half dozen 
suspensions (all except one were in California) and the amount 
allocated is reasonably close to the actual cost. 

During the early part of standby some of the New York volunteers were 
there (and I can state that they were highly appreciated!) and for a 
good fraction of the time, some Boston locals were assisting (and they 
did an excellent job as well) but, as this one dragged on, we had to 
bring in people from the west coast who (partly because they are 
contractors or in one case a student) have more flexibility in the 
time they take from their work.  (Steve Bridge also flew out from 
Indiana.)  Of course, time off work is money lost--I don't even want 
to think about how much it cost our household.  Shipping and airline 
tickets made up about half of the total.  This is mainly an effect of 
where Alcor is located, and where the most experienced volunteers 

This suspension would have been rough no matter where it was.  But 
even with no complications a suspension on the east coast is going to 
cost a lot more than a California one.  The net effect at the moment 
is a massive subsidy in both money and volunteer labor of east-coast 
members by the west-coast members.  I presume this will improve as 
more volunteers are trained and become experienced on the east coast. 

I would be very interested in any other suggestions about reducing the 
magnitude of the financial and volunteer labor drain for east coast or 
other remote suspensions. 

It is daunting to contemplate the cost of using medical professionals 
for this standby.  My wild guess would be at least 100k or about 2 1/2 
times the entire cost of a nuerosuspension. 

We have two recent remote standbys of signed-up-terminal cases to 
compare.  The one which went well had the full support of the next of 
kin.  One policy change has come out of these experiences.  Before we 
sign up another terminal case, the family is going to be fully up to 
speed on what will be asked of them. 

Keith Henson

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