X-Message-Number: 12157
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 13:44:25 EDT
Subject: morticians

Olaf Henny (#12153) writes:

>It occurs to me, that providing integrity and efficacy of this 
>funeral transporting service can be confirmed, that there may be 
>an advantage to cryonics services providers in cooperating with 
>this company.  If they are licenced undertakers, it might even be 
>feasible to utilize their services for pre-perfusion cool-down 
>procedures in such cases, where they can get to the patient 

I'm surprised Mr. Henny apparently doesn't remember that Cryonics Institute 
has worked with funeral directors in this way for a long time. We (and ACS) 
are gradually building a network of known morticians, and have seldom had 
difficulty finding one in almost any required area, sometimes even on an 
emergency basis. 

The services provided by the mortician could be just quick pickup and 
shipment in ice; or it could include local washout and perfusion, using 
procedures, supplies, and equipment that we can provide. It all depends on 
how much the local member(s) may be willing to pay, and how much CI may be 
willing to contribute in individual cases, and how much the mortician wants 
to charge, for the required training and practice and maintenance of 

We believe that in virtually all cases, perhaps even including the more 
expensive procedures now being researched at 21CM and elsewhere, it makes 
much more sense to train and equip morticians than to use medical personnel. 
The morticians already have some training in surgery, and could certainly 
learn any specific procedure, even if they could not respond to unexpected 
complications as well as M.D. or D.V.M. surgeons might.

The local morticians can respond MUCH more quickly than any traveling team 
based at a distance (minutes vs. hours or longer). They are also much less 
costly than medical personnel. They are also much more reliable than 
volunteers. They are often eager to cooperate--in fact, lately there have 
been a couple expressing interest in becoming members themselves.

If there is plenty of warning, a traveling team of professionals or/and 
volunteers might provide more expert service on a stand-by basis, albeit at 
much higher cost and perhaps with much less reliability. 

Given the small number of suspensions yearly so far, obviously the 
professional traveling team members must do something else for a living and 
may have conflicts of priority; and volunteers may also find it very hard to 
drop everything--on the job or in the middle of the night or on vacation 
etc--and rush to a distant standby. In any event, the cases with plenty of 
warning have been few and far between.  

Again, CI hopes and intends to achieve maximum flexibility in all areas, and 
to offer professional traveling team services (third party or otherwise) to 
those members willing to pay, if and when that becomes feasible. But 
morticians fill an important niche right now, and we think their importance 
will grow.

Here in Scottsdale there is a mortuary, with a large and competent staff, 
located just a few minutes from either our home or our hospital. Its people 
have been trained and equipped, with periodic refresher training, to take 
care of Mae or me when necessary and then ship us back to Michigan for 
storage at CI.

In Europe, Albin's in London has training and experience, and can reach 
almost any part of Europe much more quickly than any team based in the U.S. 

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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