X-Message-Number: 13608
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 19:03:56 EDT
Subject: hospice cases

As we have reported several times, dying under hospice care is the best 
current way to minimize delay in initiating cryonics procedures after death 
of the patient. We have had several such experiences, all good ones.

In Oakland County, Michigan, if the patient dies at home under hospice care, 
and if there is no one there authorized to pronounce death, then someone 
calls the EMS, which usually arrives within 5-10 minutes; they phone the 
nearest hospital emergency room and report the (lack of) vital signs, and the 
ER physician pronounces over the phone. This is what happened with Walter 
Runkel and Helmer Fredriksson. There were also others, including Andrea Foote 
in Washtenaw County.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, under local law and custom, if the patient dies 
at home under hospice care, a family member can pronounce death--so long as 
you know a physician will later sign the death certificate. A hospice nurse 
will come out if requested, but it isn't necessary. 

When Mae died, her daughter Bonnie had the watch; she called me immediately 
when Mae stopped breathing, and I confirmed death and we started the 
cool-down etc. Not more than a minute or two delay.

I plan to move back to Michigan this summer. Suicide is not illegal there, 
although assisted suicide is illegal. Before my death, if I have the luxury 
of anticipating it while still compos mentis, I hope to persuade a medical 
examiner to have a representative present at my suicide and ready to 
pronounce death and waive autopsy, with our perfusion team on hand.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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