X-Message-Number: 12165
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 11:31:09
From: "Henry R. Hirsch" <>
Subject: My experience with mortuaries

				July 21, 1999

Before I contracted with Cryonics Institute (CI) for cryonic suspension
earlier this year, I checked with local mortuaries to make sure that I
could find one that is willing to prepare people for transport to CI.
Briefly, it was no problem.

Here in Lexington KY, there are two firms which do most of the funerals. I
made appointments at both in order to see supervisory personnel rather than
sales staff. Neither of the mortuaries had handled a cryonics patient
before, but both were willing to cooperate and to keep the information I
provided confidential on a "need to know" basis, even within their own
organizations. Both called a mortician in Michigan who works with CI in
order to find out what is involved in suspension.

A special container called a "Ziegler box" is available for transporting
unembalmed bodies on ice because certain groups have religious objections
to embalming. Normally mortuaries keep a Ziegler box in stock, but it would
be expedient to have some warning if one might be needed.

The current cost, apart from transportation to CI, is roughly $2000 but
will, of course, increase in time with inflation. Perfusion with fluids
supplied by CI should be routine and costs less than $500.

The representative at one of the mortuaries said that airlines sometimes
refuse to fly bodies that are not embalmed. If this should happen, or if
the airline schedule should prove inconvenient, he recommended highway
transportation for the 6-hour drive to CI. If the weather is bad, he has a
4-wheel drive truck available.

All in all, the approach of both mortuaries is impressively professional.
Both have been in business for a very long time, one for over 150 years.
While they lack the technical skills of a trained cyronics suspension team,
I believe that this drawback is compensated by their intimacy with the
local community. In the event that medical or governmental authorities were
to delay the release of the body, they would be in a far better position
than people from out of state to cut through the red tape.

Of course, all of the above is anecdotal, but it suggests that the use of
mortuaries is entirely practical in the preparation and transport of
cryonics patients.
Henry R. Hirsch                      
Department of Physiology                   Phone: (606)323-5438
MS508 Chandler Medical Center              Fax:   (606)323-1070
University of Kentucky                     E-Mail: 
Lexington, KY 40536-0298

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