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Date: 29 May 90 03:46:09 EDT
To: KEVIN <>
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     Regarding Message #172 from Miron Cuperman and Kevin's reply:

     Kevin, you are very correct about the problem with Donaldson 
"committing suicide"; the coroner would likely perform an autopsy.  
There is one way around that, perhaps.  Thomas could, at such time as 
the cancer begins to grow, simply refuse to take fluids or nutrition 
and starve/dehydrate himself into a condition which the state defines as 
"dead." This is probably well within a patient's rights to refuse 
treatment and PROBABLY would not be considered a suicide or cause an 
autopsy.  On the other hand, it is an extremely unpleasant thing to do 
to oneself, and it may actually create its own physical problems, including 
maybe even some brain damage.  Such a choice, Thomas would probably agree, 
is a last resort only.

     On the legal defense fund:

     CEL (Citizens for an Extended Lifespan) is handling the Thomas
Donaldson Defense Fund.  The donations will be used only for the expenses
of the legal battle, not for Dr. Donaldson's cryonics arrangements.  Those
are well in place.  Dr. Donaldson's attorney estimates that between
$35,000 and $70,000 will be required, depending on how far the appeal
process goes.  Donations for legal defense funds such as this are NOT
tax-exempt (it has nothing to do with cryonics).  Please send donations
to:  Allen J. Lopp, c/o Citizens for an Extended Lifespan, 9144
Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 139, Los Angeles CA 90045.  Make checks payable
to "Citizens for an Extended Lifespan" and note they are for the Thomas
Donaldson Defense Fund.


     On Tim Freeman's message #173, concerning the feasibility of an
electronic science court on cryonics:

     It WAS tried at a conference in Michigan two years ago.  They
couldn't really come up with any solid opposition.  We have had the same
problem as well.  The cryobiologists and many other possible opponents
really know very little about cryonics, but they know they could be
embarrased easily by that lack of knowledge.

     The other problem with this is that we at Alcor do not have easy
access to electronic forums.   It might be costly for us to set something 
up.  I have Compuserve, but I assumed you meant something quite a bit more 
extensive.  If something COULD be worked out, Alcor-Riverside will 
definitely have some worthy participants eager to be a part.


     On Miron Cuperman's other message, (#175):

     Traditionally, the Coroner does not have to have GROUNDS for ANY-
THING.  A coroner could legally request an autopsy on EVERY patient, if
he had the time and inclination.  There may be some religious grounds
for forced lack of autopsy for some groups; but even then, "the needs
of society" may overrride the individual rights.

     Brains are ALWAYS autopsied in a full autopsy.  They are removed from 
the skull and sliced into at least 4 sections.  There are a number of
conditions the coroner may be looking for: evidence of stroke or head
injury (not always visible on skull), drug overdose (there are several 
brain clues), and infectious disease which leaves a trace on the brain,
such as AIDS, syphillis, encephalitis, etc.

     Miron seems to make the same mistake I did when I was younger --
thinking that politicians and bureaucrats primarily behave with reason
and flexibility and that they attempt to really do a service for the
people.  They may perform a service, but it is usually secondary to
other concerns.  The coroner in many states is the most powerful 
person in town, especially in legal situations involving death. 
Within only a few limits, the coroner sets his own criteria as to 
who becomes a "coroner's case."

     Alcor's successful challenge to the Riverside Coroner in January,
1988 resulted in a restraining order which prevents the coroner from
autopsying already frozen patients.  The ruling does not set precedent,
however, because it was never appealed to a higher court for confirmation.
This victory for Alcor was a stunning surprise because it is very rare
(if not unique) that a court has in any way limited the powers of the 

Steve Bridge

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