X-Message-Number: 13469
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 19:29:42 EDT
Subject: funding etc.

Rudi Hoffman raised some points that could bear further discussion, even 
though this is well worn ground.

First, Rudi notes that Alcor's patient care fund is over $1million and 
growing. For the benefit of newcomers, CI does not have a segregated patient 
care fund, but our equivalent resources are also well over a million, and 
growing. We also have the ability, in a crunch, to hunker down and operate 
entirely with volunteer personnel and very low overhead.

Second, on alternatives to life insurance funding. (a) CI has an approved 
form of Revocable Living Trust, through which many types of asset can be used 
for funding. Also, bank accounts or brokerage accounts or mutual fund 
accounts can often be labeled TOD (Transfer On Death) with CI as beneficiary, 
using standard forms. (b) Subject to individual evaluation and negotiation, 
we can accept a pledge of real estate. In the case of two elderly people 
whose only substantial asset is their home, we can arrange for the survivor 
to retain residence for life. (c) Ordinarily, a last will and testament 
cannot be used for primary funding, because of the delays and uncertainties 
of probate. Again, exceptions can be made, subject to individual evaluation 
and negotiation. (d) In a FEW cases, we can accept part payment in kind-i.e., 
we can credit work done for us against the suspension fee. Someone working at 
home with a computer could build up credit. Or someone who becomes qualified 
to do recruitment for us could be paid commissions from membership 
fees-again, very uncommon but possible. (e) There are a couple more 
initiatives that are not yet ready for disclosure. And additional suggestions 
are welcome.

Important reiterated note: What we CANNOT do is extend credit-i.e., accept 
instalment payments from relatives on behalf of a patient after death. The 
reason is simple. If the person's or family's credit is good, banks and other 
professional lenders are available. If their credit is not good, we would be 
remiss to accept it, even if we were in the money lending business, which we 
are not.  

Third, on the plight of the disadvantaged. Just a day or two ago I received a 
bitter letter from a young man with a physical affliction who can't afford 
cryonics. He accused us generically of being "corrupt" and our members of 
being a selfish elite of  "lollipop suckers." I explained that very few of us 
are rich, and our total numbers are very small, and we probably average no 
lower in generosity than others, maybe higher.

Of course, the question of those better off helping others  with cryonics is 
similar, in principle, to that of the better off helping the worse off in 
many other ways. But there is indeed a special poignancy in the cryonics 
case, because it can be seen as reserving to ourselves not just the ordinary 
limited life, but potentially boundless life. And even though every ordinary 
life ends prematurely and with unrealized potential, it seems worse for those 
who were dealt a relatively (as well as absolutely) bad hand the first time 
around. There is some evidence that physically handicapped people are better 
than average prospects for cryonics recruitment, aside from their financial 
resources. We need to do more work on this.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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