X-Message-Number: 22442
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2003 01:36:56 -0400
Subject: Cryonics and the government

To Cryonet
From Steve Bridge
August 31, 2003

I have to be brief here; but two writers on CryoNet are a bit off-base on 
understanding Cryonics Institute's problems with the State of Michigan.  That's 
not surprising; these issues are arcane and at least one of the writers is from 

Without going into legal strategy or getting into arguments, it is generally not
the right thing in *any* dispute with a governmental entity to immediately roll
over and do what the official in question first asks you to do.  The official 
usually does not know much about  cryonics and may truly not understand that 
cryonics is NOT like a funeral home or cemetery.  Cryonics operates under the 
Uniform Anatomical Gift Act in the United States.  Members donate their bodies 
to the cryonics organization, just like people may donate their bodies to a 
medical school for research.

If a cryonics organization were to take what at first seems like the simple 
approach and allow a government official to label it as a cemetery or funeral 
home, then that designation would subject the organization to hundreds of 
statutes and regulations which may be perfectly reasonable for funeral home 
preparation and burial but disastrous for cryonics.   The most obvious would be 
regulations which require embalming and prescribe a certain method.  One cannot 
find a simple answer for cryonics, which is NOT a simple subject.  Education, 
patience, and discussion are still the keys.

>Message #22426
>From: "Paul Pagnato" <>
>Subject: Re: Michigan ruling
>Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 12:35:58 -0700

>It is distressing that the Consumer Agency would state "Cryonics knowingly 
>functioned without proper authorization".  The word  "knowingly"  is the big 
>problem with litigation. It can be construed as  "willful intent" and give 
broad >powers to government agencies.  As in the immediate past I highly advise 
not >pursuing legal action, or publicity about the present situation. Cryonics 
cannot >and will not win in court battles against our fundamentalist present 
political >administration, especially in the case of our Federal Supreme Court. 
Just back off >immediately and do whatever pacifies those in power.
>Paul Pagnato

An additional note to Paul:  Any legal action would have nothing to do with the 
Federal government.  This is strictly about the State of Michigan.  States and 
even each department in a state vary widely in their political makeup and in how
they react to things.  Besides, this is probably not even a "state" action at 
all, but just a reaction from a state official (a human being, not an office) 
who took action without knowing the facts.  If people worried about national 
politics for every local problem, even less would get done in the country than 
gets done already.  Most of politics is *local.*

And cryonics has won many    battles    before     usually through discussion 
and reason and by NOT letting the disagreements become labeled as    battles.
The only action that will reliably    pacify those in power    is simply 
never doing anything that is outside the norm.  Sorry, friends, cryonics will 
not fall into the category of    norm    for a long time, if ever.  If you want 
to be involved in cryonics, the first thing you must learn is that it is a great
idea that is NOT as immediately obvious to everyone else as it is to us.

Steve Bridge
Former President of Alcor but writing for himself in this regard.

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