X-Message-Number: 5910
From: Brian Wowk <>
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,sci.life-extension
Subject: Re: Virtue of suffering
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 96 22:09:54 GMT

John Sharman <> writes:
>In article <>  "Brian Wowk" writes:
>>         Post #4, and counting....  If you were on this side of the 
>> Altlantic, John, you WOULD have a libel lawsuit on your desk right
>> now.
>Why? Is it or is it not true that 'Net or paper publications issued by
>you or your organisation do state that you *may* be able to do that?
>But there is another problematical issue which has been less widely 
>discussed and is less easy to endorse as an option: disinterment.
>It may seem pointless even to consider cryopreserving a person who has
>already been embalmed and buried. But the idea is not necessarily as 
>foolish as it sounds. If we accept the premise that nanotechnology may be 
>able eventually to undo individual molecular bonds, future science might be 
>able to rescue a person whose cells have been fixed with glutaraldehyde 
>(a common embalming agent, similar to formaldehyde).
>We are certainly not advocating this as a standard protocol. But suppose we
>receive a call from grieving relatives who are eager for CryoCare to freeze
>their loved one. Suppose the person has been interred for only a day or two
>in a part of the world where temperatures are near freezing. Should we
>consider taking the case?
>There are three reasons to say "yes."
>Are those words which are or have been published by you or by your
>organisation? If the answer is "Yes" then I offer no apology for what I
>have said.

	The answer is "Yes".  Allow me to continue quoting from
the same article: 
     But there are also three reasons to say "no." 
     1. Disinterment has ghoulish associations which could 
create negative, damaging publicity if details of the case 
reach the national media. 
     2. Disinterment usually occurs only in last-minute cases 
where people have failed to make prior arrangements. Last-
minute cases are notoriously risky. Relatives who are 
desperate to cryopreserve a loved one may be so grief-
stricken that they are liable to make a rash decision which 
they will later regret. They may even decide, some time in 
the future, that the cryonics organization took advantage of 
their grief. A law suit may result. Also, relatives may have 
trouble paying for cryopreservation with a lump sum of cash, 
and as a result, the cryonics organization will feel tempted 
to offer a discount or accept a nonstandard method of 
payment. This, too, can have repercussions. 
     3. The possibility of reviving a patient who has been 
embalmed with glutaraldehyde seems relatively remote. It may 
be unethical for a cryonics organization to accept money for 
such cases. 
     Overall, at CryoCare, we tend to feel that the 
disadvantages of disinterment outweigh the positive factors. 
In fact, we have already turned down one case where 
disinterment would have been involved. At the same time, 
those of us who participated in that decision felt some 
misgivings. It's very hard to say "no" to someone wanting to 
buy extra life for a loved one who died too soon. 
        But say "no" we did.  In February of 1995 CryoCare was
contacted by a distraught family who wanted a recently-deceased 
loved one disinterred and frozen.  We REFUSED the case.  The  
case was subsequently accepted by a competing organization, and
CryoCare vice president Charles Platt and I came under harsh
criticism from some CryoCare members for not accepting the case.
(There are those who believe that success in cryonics is measured
by the weight of frozen tissue you have stacked up; a view that
Charles and I do not share.)  
        The text which you quoted so grossly out of context was  
part of article entitled "Grey Areas of Cryonics" which appeared
in CryoCare Report #3, August 1995, our quarterly newsletter.
The purpose of the article was to expain to our critics our
rationale for NOT ACCEPTING SUCH CASES.  The full text of this  
newsletter can be viewed at
        Now, Johh Sharman, tell me how this article can possibly
justify this statement of yours:
>I understand that their advertising contains a suggestion aimed at
>prospective customers or, worse, their grieving families which suggests
>that it may be possible to revive a corpse which has not only died and
>remained at ambient temperature but has actually been embalmed and
>buried. How does that grab you?
        The article in question was NOT advertising.  It was NOT aimed
at prospective customers.  It was NOT aimed at grieving familes.  It
was aimed at those CryoCare members who were foolish enough to advocate
freezing disinterred bodies, WHICH CRYOCARE MANAGEMENT REFUSED TO DO.
        The simple fact is that CryoCare does not want customers.
I say again, >>>>CryoCare does not want customers<<<<< (especially
grieving relatives!)  What CryoCare wants is long-living, dues-paying
members.  People who can help support public education and research
into cryonics.  Frozen bodies don't do that.  (CryoCare Bylaws prohibit
me from using patient care funds for anything but patient care.) 
Not only that, but people frozen with current technology (especially 
under adverse conditions) are a serious long-term liability to the
organization in terms of the technology that will be required to revive
them, and the length of storage that will be required.
        How does one measure success in cryonics?  At CryoCare we
believe that success is measured by the number of living, dues-paying
members we have, and the technology level we have ready for them
when they need it.  As a result, CryoCare currently has the highest
ratio of living to cryopreserved members in the industry.  We are
also the only organization that has never cryopreserved ANYONE
at the request of a third party, nor do we wish to.  
        Now go back and read your post.  Tell me that someone who
read it would not be left believing that CryoCare solicits
business from bereaved families (even if their loved ones are
already buried!).  Yet you KNEW that the article you quoted from 
repudiates this very practice!  Your post was a deliberate and
malicious distortion designed to smear the reputation of me and
my organization.  If this is not a textbook example of libel, then
what is?  I reiterate my demand that you retract and apologize
for your outrageous statement!
Brian Wowk          CryoCare Foundation               1-800-TOP-CARE
President           Your Gateway to the Future        

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