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From att!harald.ruc.dk!david Wed May 30 14:28:25 1990
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Date: Wed, 30 May 90 19:01:59 DNT

Options for early suspension

Donaldson seeks a court order, but it could be a long and expensive option. As
far as legal precedent is concerned, this is the way to go, it is an ideal
situation (accept for the US being a bit backward legally these days [maybe its
time for Alcor to set up an office here in Europe?]). I recently heard about a
women who had run up $1,250,000 in medical bills before the doctors gave up.
Surely, suspension would have been a better idea in that case. 

If the bills and delay get to be too great, here are some other options:

"Assisted death" is accepted in The Netherlands (after considerable
controversy). Whether that precedent could be extended to this situation is not
clear. I guess if two doctors could be found who would go along with idea, it
would be hard to prosecute them. Is there a Netherlands registered ship in LA
harbor that could put out to sea for a few hours?

A bit farther travel would take one over the south pole, a legal no man's land,
I have heard. No legal authority, so no prosecution. Would a plane have to land
at the pole to make this legal?

Suicide is against the law, but it would be pretty hard to prosecute Donaldson

after suspension, and after revival, it would be a hard case to win. One problem

here is to avoid anyone becoming an accessory to the crime. Having a sympathetic
coroner would also be nice. I recall suggesting, after the Dora Kent case, that
one of the competent and well trained members of the Cryonics movement might
seek such a position.

Some time back, I argued that political dynamics were the key to the acceptance
of Cryonics. This situation makes it entirely too obvious. This case would be
great publicity for Cryonics if it was made a California referendum issue.

I don't have great confidence that the current legal strategy will succeed. This

is a question of public policy, thus a political question more than a legal one.
The legal options are troublesome. If the patient is considered "dead" after
suspension, then the court must agree to license euthanasia. Not much chance of
this in the USA. If the patient is still legally "alive" after suspension, then
the suspension authority could be tried for murder or at least manslaughter if
the patient later "dies". This means bringing suspension maintenance activities
within the supervision of the state and under the criminal code. 

The "dead" can have legal rights, or at least this has been suggested. On the

other hand, if the suspended person is considered "alive" then, of course, their
rights are automatically protected. There must be some kind of balance between
the rights of the suspendee and the responsibilities assumed by the suspension

authority, or the whole thing could become impossible. It seems that a new state
of being ("suspended") must be defined legally. I do not see how this can be
done through a court order.

David S. Stodolsky                            Internet: 
Department of Psychology                      IP No.:
Copenhagen Univ., Njalsg. 88                 Voice: + 45 31 58 48 86
DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark                  Fax: + 45 31 54 32 11

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