X-Message-Number: 3444
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: CRYONICS: re #3443 and the Oregon law
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 11:25:18 -0800 (PST)

Hi, it's Thomas again!

I have just read Mr. Coetzee's message #3443. It is simply not true that 
animals which can survive freezing at high temperatures will clearly be able
to repair the entropic damage due to storage for 200 years at those 
temperatures. We would need an experiment rather than a statement here. If
Mr. Coetzee can tell of such a MULTICELLULAR VERTEBRATE such as a frog which
has IN FACT remained frozen for 200 years and recovered, that would be
very interesting. The fact that bacteria can recover means very little here.

Furthermore, sperm or eggs frozen for long term storage are frozen in LN, not
just below 0 C. 

I was very interested to learn that it had passed. Joe Havlena, in Australia,
sent me a copy of the law and some of the Cryonet commentary. From reading the
exact provisions of the law, however, it's clear that many situations important
for cryonics simply don't fall under it. The law allows assisted suicide only 
when the disease will kill in 6 months, and furthermore requires that the 
patient administer the suicide drug to him/herself. These restrictions alone
make it very unlikely that any cryonics patient with Alzheimer's could take
advantage of this law. Some brain tumors do act very quickly, but after the
required waiting times (plus the practical problems of obtaining doctor's
assent, etc) it's not clear at all that patients with these tumors will be
able to administer any suicide drugs to themselves by the time permission to
do so comes through (I'm thinking of oligodendrocytomas, particularly).

Furthermore, multiple strokes and brain tumors in general act slowly, with 
the effect that by the time a doctor can state (honorably) that a patient has
only 6 months to live, that patient will not be able to administer any suicide
drugs to him/herself.

Clearly this law was not written or passed with cryonics in mind. It may not
even have been written with the real, practical circumstances which normally
occur in dying patients in mind.

What to do? It's way too premature to start thinking of setting up a cryonics
facility in Oregon. It may help to obtain, prior to any need, a list of 
doctors in Oregon willing to write the required forms... and the final 
prescription. But real cases in which we can use this are likely to be 
rare. If the court cases against this law fail, what we will have will be the
thin end of a wedge, opening up a little crack. Even though we can't expect
to get through that crack now, it may eventually widen, especially if we
work to widen it.

			Long long life,

					Thomas Donaldson

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