X-Message-Number: 3527
Date:  Thu, 22 Dec 94 19:16:26 
From: Bridge Steve <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Financial Arrangements

To CryoNet and sci.cryonics
>From Steve Bridge, Alcor
December 22, 1994

In reply to:   Message: #3519 - Financial Arrangements (Was Re: Neuro vs. 
                                     Whole Body)
               Newsgroups: sci.cryonics
               From: Peter Merel <>
               Message-ID: <>
               References: <>
               Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 04:47:58 GMT

>Bridge Steve <> writes:
>>     For example, we don't know which organizations will be in existence 
>>30 years from now, much less which will have done the best job at 
>>suspending and caring for patients.

>Has Alcor made arrangements for its patients to be taken over by another 
>organisation in the event that it becomes insolvent? If not, why not? It
>seems to me that reciprocal arrangements among the major organisations
>would be highly desirable, and that the added risk (one insolvency
>leads to an overload of the facillities of the others, who then go over
>like dominoes ...) could be insured against.

     Yes and no.  It's a complicated issue.  We do have provisions in our 
Suspension Agreements for Alcor to create or locate a successor 
organization for the patients should that become necessary.  I do not 
believe that any cryonics organization currently has a specific back-up 
arrangement created with another organization.  Some of the complexities 
(at least from Alcor's point of view) are:

1.  Alcor's funds for patient care are in a separated account from 
operating funds.  They are only used for direct patient care expenses.  We 
are still working on the mechanism for a Patient Care Trust to provide 
greater separation (in fact, I will be sending a lot of documentation on 
that to our attorney this week).  This kind of separation should make it 
extremely unlikely that any future perturbations in Alcor's operating 
income will affect patient care.  The only way that the patients will be 
jeopardized is if the patient care funding disappears.  This would take a 
particularly bad and unlikely (but not impossible) set of events, from 
terrible investments or a terrible economy over a long period of time to a 
massive lawsuit against Alcor that manages to break the veil of the Trust.

2.  Many of the current Alcor patients have devoted family and friends 
involved in cryonics.  These family members are unlikely to allow patients 
to be thawed.  

3.  If the worst happens and the patient funding becomes very low or non-
existent, finding another organization to voluntarily take over care of 
the patients would be difficult.  We would probably have to find a 
similarly set-up non-profit to legally transfer left-over funds.  If we 
didn't have any funds left, what organization could afford to take-over 
that liability without jeopardizing the safety of their OWN patients?

4.  Shared cooperation between organizations for future patient care is 
well to discuss; but writing contracts is hard.  I can imagine a number of 
circumstances where, say, Alcor has an agreement to take over patients; 
but the legal custody of those patients is in question (it may even be the 
reason a lawsuit is taking place which jeopardizes the funding).  If Alcor 
assumed custody of the patients because of some pre-arranged agreement, 
Alcor might become a party to the suit and may not be able to protect 
those patients at all.

     I do know most of the cryonics leaders in the industry, and I know 
that none would want to see patients thawed.  I believe they would do 
anything they could to insure the survival of other patients -- if they 
could do it without risking their OWN patients.

     You imply the added risk of domino effect could be insured against?

     How?  It is not merely a matter of financial risk.

>Perhaps a level of indirection would help; the suspendee might leave his
>funds with an insurer, and the insurer could then select and pay a carer
>organisation. I'm sure that the large insurance companies would be eager
>to hold on to the cash in exchange for only a little added 
>responsibility.  That way, if the carer became insolvent, the insurer 
>could arrange for another to intervene. The advantage here is that most 
>large insurers seem very stable and very financially competent.

     Large insurers would NOT be eager to hold the money.  Legally, they 
could be holding a very large bag, too.  And few leaders of insurance 
companies understand cryonics to any depth anyway.  If I were the lead 
attorney for an insurance company, I would strongly advise my boss against 
any such scheme and would resign as soon it was pursued.  

     Some similar ideas have been advanced by CryoCare; but they still 
maintain a lot of the responsibility.  Personally --especially at the 
small size of today's groups, I think it is safer to contribute to the 
protection of a lot of patients together in one organization than to trust 
oneself as an individual to the decisions of someone only looking after 
you.  This is doubly true if the decision maker is someone like an 
insurance company who has no emotional commitment to you as an individual 
or as a cryonic suspension patient.  

>It might be nice to give the insurer a carrot to invest in cryonics R&D
>too - say, they get to keep the remaining funds if the suspendee is ever

     That's not possible legally under the non-profit set-up of Alcor.  
Whether it might be possible legally under other set-ups, I'm not prepared 
to guess.  But the profit motive for an insurance company is very small 
here compared to the amount of hassle, unless tens of thousands of people 
were in suspension.  If so, our organizations would already be extremely 
stable financially, and we wouldn't need the insurance companies anyway.

     While this idea might be useful if the world was a different place, I 
suspect in reality you are in a "can't get there from here" mode.

Steve Bridge

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