X-Message-Number: 15524
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 22:54:39 EST
Subject: distant mortician preparation

I think I forgot to answer a question about patient washout and perfusion by 
a local mortician at a distance--the advisability of doing that and allowing 
toxic effects of the CPA to accumulate while the patient is being shipped.

One alternative, to have the local just do washout and then ship the patient 
to Michigan for perfusion, is something on which we don't have any clear 
data. Our sheep head work indicated that promptness of washout and perfusion 
is more important, within limits, than some of the details of perfusion. Of 
course, there are many variables, and the experience of our Michigan people 
could in some cases offset any time advantage in having newly enlisted local 
morticians do it. It's worth another look, and we'll figure out a priority 
for it.

I do want to try to clarify the balance between being responsive to questions 
on the one hand, and on the other hand using staff time unproductively by 
long exchanges with individual inquirers, however sincere they may be. In the 
main we probably must ask readers to refer to our web site, and of course 
keep improving the site as experience suggests, which we are doing. 

One of our ongoing projects is to develop a semi-automated response to the 
questions of individuals, patching together appropriate segments quickly for 
a personalized answer without much staff time. This will be essential when 
volume picks up, as it inevitably will.

As for ongoing, detailed discussion of procedures, possible new procedures, 
and the research program generally, this will necessarily be limited mostly 
to staff and a very few consultants in whom we have confidence. 

CI is not a business, and the "customer" is not always right. We are not 
selling a product or a service in the usual sense, where there is a clear 
delineation between owners, management, employees, and customers. Nobody owns 
CI, and nobody profits from it financially, unless you count our very few 
employees. The "customers" (new members) help "us" (present members and 
directors and officers and patients) but not as much as we help them. 

All of us living owe what we have to the usually unwilling and unknowing 
sacrifices of our forebears, human and prehuman. New members of cryonics 
organizations owe their chance to the work of those who built the 

New members are welcome, even if they contribute nothing further, and those 
of us who do more do not begrudge it. But potential members should still 
realize that they are getting more than they are giving. We don't ask for 
gratitude, which is cheap and fragile, but a little perspective wouldn't hurt.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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