X-Message-Number: 22784
From: "Aschwin de Wolf" <>
Subject: "Cryonics is incompatible with city zoning"
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 00:50:58 -0500

 Friday, October 31 
Board urges Boca to reject cryonics lab 


By John Murawski, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 7, 2003

BOCA RATON -- For the controversial science of cryonics -- the freezing of 
humans for revival in the future -- acceptance here appears an eternity away. 

The city's planning and zoning board unanimously recommended Thursday that the 
city council deny Suspended Animation's proposal to run a cryonics lab and 
conduct tissue-freezing experiments on rats and dogs at its facilities off Clint
Moore Road.

Board members stressed they were unmoved by emotional statements from cryonics 
believers and from animal-rights advocates, some of whom held up signs in the 
audience proclaiming: "NOT IN BOCA."

Before the meeting, two dozen animal-rights advocates held up signs denouncing 
what they believe is the needless sacrifice of animals in the name of quackery.

A lone cryonics supporter, David London of Delray Beach, stood on the curb, 
waving a shirt that read: "Bury Funerals, Not People." 

Thursday's 6-0 vote is only a recommendation and not binding on the city 
council, which will make the final decision, probably next year. The zoning 
board's decision, followed by little discussion, was based strictly on the city 
planning staff conclusion that cryonics is incompatible with city zoning, board 
members said. 

That was little consolation to David Hayes, a Suspended Animation officer -- 
signed up to be frozen when he dies -- who turned to the audience from the 
podium and tried to reassure them. 

"Cryonicists are people just like you," Hayes said. "We live next door to you. 
We have children who play with your children."

Board Chairman Robert Hagerty took the opportunity to ask about the logistical 
problems posed by cryonics. 

"Where on God's earth are we going to put all these people?" Hagerty asked. "The
world can't support an endless number of people running around." 

But it can, countered company CEO David Shumaker, because people will adapt, 
just as they have adapted to numerous cures for once deadly diseases. 

"In 1890 they were writing scientific reports, saying it is impossible to fly," 
Shumaker said. "In the 1950s, when a farmhand lost his arm, it was thrown away 
because it was impossible to reattach it."

Cryonics, he said, will be the next scientific advance, building on the 
knowledge of heart transplants.

"It's not pie-in-the-sky at all," Shumaker said. "It's the next step out in the 
development of science."

Suspended Animation proposes to "cryosuspend" no more than a few people a year, 
then ship them off out-of-state for storage so they can be revived when science 
finds cures for their terminal diseases. The company might experiment on up to 
several hundred euthanized rats a year to perfect cryosuspension techniques. 
About 1,000 people have signed up for cryosuspension nationwide since 1967.

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