X-Message-Number: 14856
Date: Sun, 05 Nov 2000 20:11:33 -0500
From: david pizer <>
Subject: Being careful is not being ignorant

Being careful is not being ignorant - A Reply to Donaldson.
By: David Pizer

These opinions are my own and do not represent Alcor or any other

>From: Thomas Donaldson <>
>Subject: foreigners members of Alcor

>Hi everyone!
>This message will (hopefully) be a short reply to Dave Pizer.
>As a US citizen who has lived overseas for some time, and come to 
>understand well how at least one foreign country works, Dave Pizer's
>comments seem to me to do no more than show his ignorance. 

<In what
>way will a foreign life insurance company risk not paying off? The
>existence of life insurance companies which DO risk not paying off
>occurs both in the US and in foreign countries. I see no special
>reason why a foreign life insurance company will be more risky than
>a US one.

Here you are not calling me ignorant, you are calling the present
management of Alcor ignorant, because *Dave Pizer* never refused anyone
membership because of concerns of funding with foreign life insurance, the
present Alcor management has.

But I am confident that the present management has good reasons to want to
be positive that Alcor will get paid for doing a suspension and would not
refuse anyone who had unquestionable funding.  As I have said many times,
careful funding policies protect the patients.

In real estate, there are only three things that count: location, location,

In cryonics, there are only three things that count: patients, patients,

My position is, and has been, that the *member* has the responsibility to
be sure that Alcor gets paid.  The heart of the agreement is NOT that the
cryonics company agrees to suspend a member and the member agrees to get
some questionable insurance. The heart of the agreement is the cryonics
company agrees to suspend a member and the member agrees to pay the company
a certain amount of money.  Accepting anything other than a cash prepayment
should be the exclusive decision of the company as to what they will or
will not be comfortable with.

> I must point out also that a variety of countries use
>English as their standard language, so that even the problem of 
>language need not arise.

So you are saying that if Alcor has to talk (in an urgent manner), to a
nurse on the floor of a hospital in Spain or France or China, the nurse
will probably be able to converse in English and its ok for members to be
their lives on this being the situation.  Come on Thomas!

>Again, in terms of treatment, Dave seems to believe that treatment
>must NECESSARILY occur with no warning at all.

You come close:  Dave believes, based on a lot of experience, that most
suspensions do not have enough warning.

> This happens despite
>what often happens in the US: someone is known to be so gravely ill
>that they might "die", and a cryonics team comes to wait. That can
>easily happen outside the US also, and the only requirement for the
>team is to organize the required visas before any problem occurs.
>Yes, someone living overseas MIGHT be found dead in their apartment,
>but that is far from the only way suspension can happen. If that
>happens, the patient may well be in worse shape than if they were
>found in the US, but the really important factor is that of just
>how fast their condition is discovered. 

There are usually four ways Alcor gets involved a suspension, of the many
that I have been involved in.

1.	Plenty of warning.  The team is there ahead of time.  Has time to set up
the equipment and draw the meds, before legal death.  Has lined up someone
(perhaps a licensed medical person or legal government authority), to also
be there that has legal authority to *pronounce* death (in the legal sense)
in that state or country and so Alcor has the legal authority so they can
begin their work at the instant of legal death.

2.	Alcor knows the patient is terminal.  Alcor is on alert. The patient
dies suddenly and Alcor gets there shortly thereafter, in one to several
hours.  Lots of work needs to be done before Alcor can start.

3.	The patient was not known terminal and dies suddenly, heart attack or
homicide.   Alcor gets there 6 hours to 12 hours, maybe longer.  Just like
number two, only worse.

4.	The patient has been dead for more than a day before Alcor gets involved.

What Thomas seems to be describing is situation number one above.  Most of
Alcor's cases have NOT been number one!   I think that cryonicists should
plan for how things usually happen and then if they can control them
better, so much the better.  One way to plan is to be near the cryonics
company that is going to suspend you when you are terminal and let them know.

>So far Alcor has had TWO Australian patients. In one case, the 
>patient was already known to be dying, and came up to the US for
>suspension. In the second case, the patient was treated by a largely
>American team, which came to Australia for that reason.

So what?  I have been involved in many cases that were not like the two you
were involved in and have described.  

>Why is it that after all the years in which foreign members were
>accepted, Alcor has now decided against it? 

Unless you have more evidence than what has been presented in this forum so
far, Donaldson logic seems to take a leap (of conclusion) from "Alcor
wanting to be sure they get paid"  to  "Alcor deciding against taking
foreign members."  

This seems to be the dissagreement on this issue:

1.	Alcor wants to be sure they get paid in foreign suspensions.

	Therefore, Alcor does not want to take foreign members.

1.	Alcor wants to be sure they get paid in foreign suspension.

	Therefore, Alcor wants to be sure they get paid in all suspensions.

>Or is Alcor aiming only
>not to accept FURTHER foreign patients? Even if a suspension has
>failed for a foreign patient, and Alcor has not told its members
>about that incident, in what way is that failure more likely than
>with those living in the US? (Not to mention that Alcor would now 
>be remiss in not telling its members of this failure). 

I can't speak for Alcor but I remember Alcor has been telling its members
for years the problems of doing suspensions, there are lots of articles
about this in the magazine.  

They continue telling members that the members have to take some
responsibility for getting a good suspension.  Alcor always tries to
educate the members on things each member can do to improve their own
chances.  This whole discussion started when Alcor told a member to get
less questionable funding.  Alcor wants that suspension to get paid if and
when it is done.  

It is ALSO in the member's interest to see that he has unquestionalble
funding.  If his insurance company does not pay, the board of directors at
that time will have to decide whether to unfreeze him or not.  I can't
speak for Alcor but it seems they are trying to help him avoid ending up in
this situation.

Perhaps the question here, that needs to be answered, and I can't answer
it, is:
"If a member has insurance and the insurance does not pay Alcor, does Alcor
have to keep the person suspended, or can/should Alcor unfreeze the person
and have him/her returned to relatives to be burried.

If the answer to this question is 'yes' then it is in the member's interest
MORE than Alcor's interest to be rock-solid certain that Alcor is going to
get paid!

>Finally, it should be clear to everyone that founding a cryonics
>society is far from easy. It requires more people than are available
>in some countries, and so long as the US has the main societies,
>then it's logical for others to try to join them. In terms of policy,
>Alcor should try to get independent abilities elsewhere, if only 
>to protect its own members against problems that may arise with
>Alcor Central... but that is quite different from policies which make
>it far harder for foreigners to join Alcor.

Please reread my conclusion and see if we still have a difference.

Pizer's Conclusion:  Foreign members will probalby get a better suspension
if they build a foreign cryonics company similar to Alcor in their own

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