X-Message-Number: 2412
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: CRYONICS Re: Friend has terminal brain cancer
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 93 19:51:35 PDT

Hi Will!

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I was much luckier, with a Grade 2. I was
treated at UCSF, which is one of the best centers in the US for brain tumors
of any kind. I would strongly suggest that your friend, or whoever can and
is willing to act for him, look into finding one of the best treatment centers
in his area (going out of state is not to be spurned, either!).

One of the consequences of our loss of the "suicide" law case is that there
is little that a cryonics organization can do directly for people in his
situation. The current best suggestion of cryonicists (assuming that someone is
already signed up at the time) is that while they are still in command of
their faculties they should commence to starve themselves to death. This act
will not cause autopsy and (even though it causes some damage of another kind)

is the current best suggestion for preserving your brain for cryonic suspension.
Several cryonicists in the same or similar situation have done this; it works,
but it's not pretty.

I will also have to say that even now it's much harder to sign up at the last
minute than to do so before there is terminal disease. The problem is that if
you sign up at the last minute, you lay yourself wide open to claims by 
relatives or other interested parties that you chose cryonic suspension because
the cryonicists manipulated you into doing so, or because your fear of death
took away all your rationality, or because you were grasping at straws and 
unwilling to face the "truth". This means that these people can (even and 
perhaps especially after you have been frozen) sue to get back the money you

put into your suspension fund ... sometimes plus damages. Cryonics 
organizationsare not large enough to pay for many such suits; if they lose (and 
they very
well may, given that most people WOULD AGREE that you would have to be quite
irrational to arrange for your suspension) then they will simply turn you over
to the Coroner to be autopsied --- or to your relatives to be buried.

In my own case, I have at least one sister who would be eager to try that. But
I made my arrangements many years ago and they would be very hard to break.
That woman isn't even mentioned in my Will.

Saul Kent, of the Life Extension Foundation (which has been battling the FDA
to allow life extension drugs of all kinds) keeps a list of medical clinics
outside the US that use unconventional treatments. Your friend (or you) can
join and get this book by calling 1-800-841-5433. Such clinics, do, however,
also cost significant amounts of money. Since they are not in the mainstream,
your friend's health insurance will not pay for them, so that he can spend a
great deal of money which may, in the end, have no effect (nobody, innovative
or not, has a guaranteed cure for cancer).

Finally, your friend should understand that the amount of money he must provide
for his cryonic suspension by Alcor, at least, will be significantly more than
that which he would have paid if he joined earlier. The extra (I don't myself
know how much it is --- $25000 or more, I recall --- ) is Alcor's attempt to
provide funds for the lawsuits which may ensue from your friend's suspension.
I personally think that Alcor asks too little, especially in view of the
expense of lawyers. 

I know this isn't very consoling, but I'm trying to state the bare facts. The
universe, after all, despite almost everyone's attempt to make believe it's
friendly, isn't very consoling either. I do hope the information will prove
				Best, and a long long life,
					Thomas Donaldson

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