X-Message-Number: 2004
Date: 21 Mar 93 20:04:44 EST
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: CRYONICS Funding

To: Cryonet

March 20, 1993

I think "Clarissa Wells" makes a better point than she may 
realize, re the recent suspension of the person who committed 
suicide. From lengthy conversations with Curtis Henderson, 
and from studying the history of Bob Nelson's Cryonics 
Society of California, it seems to me that under-funding has 
been, and still is, a very serious threat to any cryonics 
group. Nelson froze many people who lacked money. Sometimes 
relatives said they would pay for storage; sometimes Nelson 
just hoped for the best. His motive may have been noble, or 
he may have just wanted to LOOK noble. Either way, he ended 
up with bills that he couldn't pay, and the result was 

Curtis Henderson did his best to manage his cryonics business 
in a fiscally prudent fashion, but he too ended up with 
frozen patients whose relatives abandoned them. Fortunately, 
he was resourceful enough to resolve the problem ethically, 
so no one was left to thaw while in his care. But as I 
understand it, there were years of worry along the way, and 
enormous personal and financial sacrifices. 

I have never been in the position where I have to decide 
whether to freeze someone, or say "no." I imagine it must be 
pretty tough, especially if one feels some degree of 
responsibility for the person's death, which may have been 
the case recently, since the suicide case did make his 
intentions known in advance. 

However, the impulse to do a "charitable" freeze seems very 
dangerous to me. It encourages us to think of cryonics more 
as a benediction, "free" in certain circumstances, than as 
the expensive service that it really is. Each person who is 
frozen without proper financial arrangements endangers the 
cryonics organization to some small degree, and reduces the 
security of other patients who have paid the full cost. 

This is the way it seems to me. Maybe others with more 
experience in cryonics can put forward points that I have 
missed; in which case, I urge them to do so. 

--Charles Platt

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