X-Message-Number: 1194
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 92 11:37:41 EDT
From:  (Perry E. Metzger)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: CRYONICS terminal signups

>From: Brian Wowk <>

>        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 would respectfully and strongly disagree.

With properly structured fees, we can make money off of suspensions.
Given a steady stream of suspensions, we can fund day to day
operations as easily as we could off of dues -- its just a question of
getting enough that the law of large numbers takes over and good
estimates can be done of the load. It may also be argued that our fees
are not such that we make enough money off of suspensions to pay for
staff time devoted; if this is the case, then we need to restructure
the fees, rather than to discourage people from saving their lives.

There is no reason to discourage these other than possible legal
problems. From a practical standpoint, they are great because they
always happen with advance warning -- terminal patients make for much
better suspensions than car crash victims.

Yes, patients in suspension are a "burden", but this is a silly
argument, given that Alcor's primary business is maintaining patients
in suspension. Arguing that these people are a burden is like arguing
that its a burden for Ford to make and sell cars. Indeed, patients in
suspension are a particularly light burden, given that one staff
member can watch over very large numbers of dewars -- the economies of
scale are in fact in favor of large numbers of suspendees, as all
costs, including staff to guard the patients, cost of equipment, cost
of space, etc, fall dramatically with the number of patients.

The real problem is a lack of a large full time professional
suspension staff, which makes large numbers of suspensions a difficult
thing to handle -- Alcor is still at the "startup company" stage with
too many people operating as volunteers and too many people wearing
multiple hats. When we get large enough, none of this will be a
problem any longer.


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