X-Message-Number: 13839
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 20:51:07 -0500
From: david pizer <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #13831 - #13835

At 05:00 AM 6/4/00 -0400, CryoNet wrote:

>Message #13831
>Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2000 10:22:56 -0400
>From: Thomas Donaldson <>
>Subject: re: vitrification + bacterial computers
>Hi everyone!
>Some comments:
>1. It's very good that Alcor is thinking seriously about using vitrific-
>   ation even before it's been proven to work. Independently I decided to
>   write an editorial on just that subject for the upcoming PERIASTRON.

>   However I personally would prefer that the price of such suspensions
>   be worked out before it is given as simple the price of a whole body
>   suspension. It may be more, it may be less, but identifying it with
>   that of a whole body seems to me rather unthinking. Moreover, if we
>   really want to talk about price, the whole slew of possibilities by
>   which Alcor originally worked out its prices should be gone through
>   again. 

I agree with Thomas that more specific information is needed so the
cryonics public can be better informed.  In Alcor's recent reply to my
comments that Alcor is pricing themselves out of reach and that Alcor would
do better financially if they priced their suspensions more reasonably,
Alcor replied and gave reasons for their high prices like they did not want
to fold like other companies did in the past, but did not support their
position with figures.  The implication was that it was this fear of
folding that is one of the primary reasons why the costs are higher at Alcor.

Alcor also said it uses medical personnel and technologies rather than
mortuary practices although I know of many exceptions in the past.  In
other words, Alcor *wants* to deliver the best service possible; Alcor
wants to do vitrification and other improved technology; but in the
meantime they should price for what they can and do deliver right now - not
vitrification, not full-time human medical doctors and nurses.  (There may
be a few, but most of the rescue team and volunteers spread out over the
country are not full-time human medical professionals.)

There was no detailed response to my statements that proceedures being used
at Alcor do not seem that advanced (oh sure there are some updates but no
evidence of any specific *MAJOR CHANGE* in preparation protection) over the
basic proceedure that Jerry Leaf and Mike Darwin were doing years ago.

Alcor also mentioned that they *charge* $33,000 for suspension preparation
and then $17,000 for storage for neuro and $70,000 for storage for whole body.

The neuro figures of $50,000 ($17,000 and $33,000) add up.

The whole body figures of $120,000 ($33,000 and $70,000) do not.

In addition there were no figures showing Alcor's cost on storage ($13,000
and $70,000 is not Alcor's cost).  I remember when these storage figures
were compiled awhile ago, the actual cost with some margin added in was
about half these figures and then the figures were doubled (to what they
are now) for what some directors felt was a safety margin.  I always felt
that the doubling was an *unsafety* margin that caused Alcor to charge too
much.  I felt those high prices make Alcor look dishonest, (looks like they
are in it to make big bucks), when the opposite is true.  One of the first
comments most reports mention in their story is what they consider the very
high charges from Alcor.  I think it is those high costs that make Alcor
seems far apart from mainstream America.

In addition, by the way it was presented, the figure of $33,000 for
preparation could be misinterpered as Alcor's *cost*.  The $33,000 is not
the *cost* but what Alcor *charges* for preparation.

Suspension costs are hard to predict.  The best and worst financial cases I
can remember are where: Alcor recieved $50,000 in a suspension and was not
able to do anything for the member; and where Alcor preserved and stored a
patient who's life insurance did not pay off and all Alcor recieved was a
few thousand dollars.  Also one might count the Dick Jones suspension where
Alcor did receive an extra couple hundred thousand dollars, but that figure
might have been a lot more (perhaps a million) if there was not so much
adverse litigation involved.

The idea here is that costs are hard to figure.  But they can be listed.
Although I respect the goals of those who oppose my thinking (their goals
and my goals are the same we differ on how to reach them), I think that if
Alcor did list its actual costs, those figures would support my claim that
Alcor is charging too much for their own good.  What I mean by that is that
if the cost were more affordable, Alcor would be doing a lot more
suspensions.  I think that would be good for Alcor and cryonics because
that would generate more income for Alcor for annual operations, help Alcor
personnel get better at doing suspensions, and generate many more members,
and increase the Patient Care Trust.

When people ask what is wrong with cryonics in that we are not growing, I
think Alcor's pricing policy  can be mentioned as one of the main reasons.  

Respectfully submitted

Dave  Pizer

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