X-Message-Number: 23999
Subject: Re: CI Member Cremated by Cousin
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 08:36:52 US/Eastern

> From: Kennita Watson 
> On Sun, 25 Apr 2004 20:18:12 US/Eastern,  wrote:
> >      An elderly CI Member who died of coronary artery disease at the
> > end of March was cremated by a cousin who had signed a
> > Consent/Release form for cryonic suspension. Because the
> > Member was cremated rather than cryopreserved, the cousin
> > will inherit the money that would have gone for cryopreservation.
> > More details can be found in the upcoming issue of THE IMMORTALIST.
> Can you sue?  Whether you can or not, is there something that
> can be written into cryonics arrangements to make sure that
> greedy a**holes like this don't see a dime?
> I would love to see a wrongful death lawsuit brought against
> this guy.  Even if we lost, it would bring the issue into the
> public eye and get people thinking about the arguments.

   I appreciate your sentiment, Kennita. Many of us were very upset
about this. But I don't think that efforts to "hurt" the cousin are very
productive -- and actually have a good chance of causing more harm.

   After some discussion the CI Board concluded any attempt to sue
would be counterproductive. At this state of our existence the public
and the media have a very lopsided view of cryonics. Perhaps half 
of people already think that cryonics is a money-making scam. For
us to refuse to provide the money when we have delivered no service 
would make make us look like bad money-grubbers, aside from the 
fact that I don't see a justice in this. 

   Again, the lopsided view of cryonics in the public eye makes me
think that we would not get a fair trial or fair media coverage if 
there was an attempt at a lawsuit. A judge or jury would likely
be mostly skeptical about cryonics and the motives of cryonics

   Additionally, it was the choice of the CI Member to make his 
cousin both the person responsible for his cryopreservation and
the person who would most benefit (his primary heir) from a 
failure to cryopreserve. The explicit directions of the Member 
were that if he was not cryopreserved, the money would go to
his cousin. Those were his written wishes. 

    We can revise our paperwork somewhat, but the main effort
should be toward directing cryonicists not to be so naive or 
make themselves so vulnerable. Leave cryopreservation money
to the cryonics organization even if there is no cryopreservation.
Ensure that the person responsible for your remains is someone
you trust -- relative or not. Appoint a Power of Attorney for Health
Care who is a cryonicist or a friend who supports cryonics. Perhaps
even cover your body with colorful tatoos that give the phone 
number of your cryonics organization to be called in emergency
(as Bobby June has done).  A cryonicists retirement community
such as David Pizer has been wanting to build for years (and will
apparently soon succeed in creating) is also an excellent idea. 

                     -- Ben Best, President

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