X-Message-Number: 22764
From: "John de Rivaz" <>
Subject: the facility for Suspended Animation 
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 12:30:47 -0000

After running it past several people first, I have sent this letter to all
the Boca Ration officials on the list as individually addressed emails.

It is probably better not to copy it, but people living outside the USA
could make a similar global stance.

I am writing from England, having heard of the debate about the facility for
Suspended Animation (SA) in your state. What you decide affects not just
your own area but the whole world. Progress in medical technology affects
many people in the present and the future. At one time solutions for things
like plague, polio, heart disease and so on were considered impossible. It
was only the actions of far sighted people that enabled what we now consider
commonplace to be achieved.

I understand a pressure group is against the SA proposal. Such pressure
groups often contain many people who have not thought the problem through,
and a vociferous small number of people who enjoy imposing or supporting
suffering and destruction from within the safety of a group. This is
particularly irrational, and indeed offensive to many people, when the group
claims to be against suffering.

It is also inappropriate in this instance, because SA are only proposing
research on creatures which are dead anyway. They will be dead regardless of
whether you permit SA's facility or not.

When pressure groups are allowed to dictate public policy often enough, we
end up with administrations such as were seen recently in Afghanistan and
Iraq where authority was totally dysfunctional because it was driven by
irrational beliefs, such as "If you die in battle defending your faith you
go to heaven regardless of how bad you have been otherwise".

Denying the citizens of your state, and indeed the whole world, research
that may extend their lives is little different to **permitting** life
shortening medical experiments on **people**. Historians in the future may
judge any political decision that denies life extending research just as
harshly as other excesses of authority in the past. The research will be
done somewhere but maybe much later in time, and if successful then it will
be noticed that it could have been done before. Suppose, by way of example,
some politicians had stopped research on polio in the past, and some
maverick state had permitted someone to conduct it and found the solution in
1995. Think of the numbers of people that would have died or been crippled
in the meantime. Then consider how historians would have looked back on the
personalities and motives of the politicians who denied it previously. How
would their descendants be treated by their contemporaries? They could not
take comfort in the fact that at the time most people thought success for
the research to be impossible. This is often the case for any research -
that is the nature of research.

Do you want to take this risk?

Sincerely, John de Rivaz:  http://John.deRivaz.com for websites including
Cryonics Europe, Longevity Report, The Venturists, Porthtowan, Alec Harley
Reeves - inventor, Arthur Bowker - potter, de Rivaz genealogy,  Nomad .. and

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