X-Message-Number: 22823
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 14:58:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeff Davis <>
Subject: Re: impact of the most famous cryonicist


I respectfully disagree with Doug's characterization
of "unmitigated disaster" below.

I'm reminded of Ghandi's statement:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at
you, then they fight you, then you win."

For years cryonics was ignored.  Then for years it was
laughed at.  I had no problem with that.  People are
free to have whatever opinion suits them.  Free to
laugh hale and hearty at whatever.  It was nothing to
me.  I was still free to make my cryonics contract. 
Their attitude was strictly the "names" part of the
"sticks and stones" protocol.  

But now, things are changing.  People have stopped
laughing and are getting a serious look in their eye. 
A little scary perhaps, but on balance a GOOD thing. 
Regulation can be good.  Why?  How?  Well, people who
are laughing and not taking you seriously are under no
obligation to study what their laughing at, to be
informed.  But regulators are supposed to get the full
inventory of facts, from all concerned parties, and to
weigh those facts rationally, and come to a decision
that is legally and ethically consistent, and in the
best interest of society. (Now, I say "supposed to",
when in fact, those with the power to regulate can be,
and often are expedient, corrupt, or just plain
close-minded.)  But--remember Ghandi's 'protocol'--you
DO have to put up that fight.  You do have to beat
them about the head and shoulders with a stick.  As
the recent events in Boca Raton bear out.

You go to the hospital and place your health, you
life, your fate in the hands of certified and
regulated medical professionals.  Society holds these
professionals to the highest possible standard, there
is no tolerance for abuse or neglect on their part,
enforced by innumerable layers of regulation.  This is
a cultural norm with a loooong history.  The
Hippocratic oath.  The golden age of Greece, if I
recall correctly.  "Do no harm."  With the advent of
cryonics (Cryonics trivia: Year on for cryonics was
1877, when nitrogen gas was first liquified.), the
declaration of death violates the principle of "do no
harm".  The declaration of death: begs the
question--of whether you are indeed dead--you're not;
covers up the mournful and somewhat embarrassing truth
that the medical profession has reached the end of its
capability, and stands now naked in their humility,
gazing out across the abyss of helplessness; and then,
in accordance with a long and contextually reasonable
cultural tradition, legitimizes your disposal on a
burning rubbish pile in a hole in the ground.

This does harm.  Grave harm, in light of what is now
known about cellular viability at the moment of
declaration, and those further possibilities with
which readers of this list are so familiar.  

Thus the 'battle' lines are drawn.  We must redefine
death.  We must claim the right, and do so by
insisting that the basis of the definition be rational
rather than traditional. We must point out that
medical helplessness cannot serve as the foundation of
a definition of death.  Ethics is compulsory.  It
forces the issue.  Challenge for the ethical standard,
and take possession.  The time has come for cryonics
to claim its proper place as the penultimate logical
step in the medical protocol.  The current practice of
dumping your patient in the trash and turning your
back violates the ethical standards to which both
medical and regulatory professionals have long been

Cryonics is medicine--emergency medicine--and should
bear the burdens and enjoy the benefits of a
regulatory regime that recognizes it as such.

We've waited a long time for this fight.  Don't shy
away from it.  Embrace it.  It's a good thing. 

Best, Jeff Davis

"Our father was not a religious man. The faith that
many people place in God, we place in science and
other human endeavors."
                 John Henry and Claudia Williams

Message #22796
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2003 10:15:40 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: impact of the most famous cryonicist

Doug wrote:

 The most famous cryonicist was Ted Williams. For
years there has been hope that a truly famous person
would throw his/her hat into the cryonics camp, raise
the public awareness of cryonics, and accrue massive
"benefits" to this small cottage industry. Earlier an
attempt to lure Timothy Leary into the fold floun-
dered, and it wasn't until Ted Williams was frozen
that "success" was acheived.

 The fallout of this "success" has been an unmitigated
diaster where all cryonics related companies have come
under regulatory threat. Suspended Animation may be
shut down by animal activists. CI has been temporarily
shut down, and Alcor's president has fallen, and this
company is now also under acute threat, with a serious
attempt at a shut down expected from this corner.

 In retrospect I submit that the above or a similar
sequence of negative events was inevitable after the
first truly famous person was suspended.

Do you Yahoo!?
Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=22823