X-Message-Number: 2607
Date:  Tue, 15 Feb 94 00:02:30 
From: Steve Bridge <>
Subject:  CRYONICS Alcor move coming soon

(Via unlicensed copy of UGATE)
To CryoNet
>From Steve Bridge, Alcor
February 14, 1994

     Following is a preview of my article for the Alcor Phoenix  (Member's 
newsletter)  which should be in the mail to Suspension  Members,  signups, 
and a few subscribers tomorrow.  This gives you most of the detail on  the 
Arizona situation.  There may have been another word change or two in  the 
final text as proofread for the newsletter, but this is 99.9% correct.

     Except that I don't have the two letters referred to on disk; so 
you'll have to wait for the newsletter for the text, unless Ralph Whelan 
will (please) post those in a separate message.

     Several added points to summarize.

1.  Yes, we are moving.  The move should be completed before March 15.  As 
we have said before, for security reasons we are not releasing the date of 
the Patient move until after it occurs.

2.   Finally,  today,  after  5 years of  struggling  with  a  leaden  and 
malicious  California bureacracy, ALL ten of Alcor's whole  body  patients 
have  certified  death certificates and disposition  permits.   Even  Dick 

3.   9 of the ten needed transit permits for the whole body patients  have 
been  signed by the Arizona DHS, and I will submit the final one  (on  the 
patient whose Cal. disposition permit I just obtained today) on Wednesday.

4.   I wish I had time to answer the recent Cryonet questions about  Alcor 
patient  storage,  but I don't right now.  There were some errors  in  the 
answers  given.  If someone will remind me in a few weeks, I will  try  to 
get back to it.

Steve Bridge



By Steve Bridge, President

     After five months of aggravating conversations and typing various 
forms, Alcor finally has been given formal permission by the Arizona 
Department of Health Services to move its operations and suspension 
patients to Arizona.  We accomplished this by patient, steady pressure 
from Directors Dave Pizer and Mark Voelker, thoughtful advice from several 
Arizona members, especially Ted and Bobbi Kraver, insights from staff 
members, especially Tanya Jones and Ralph Whelan, and a tremendous amount 
of work on the part of our Arizona attorney Ronald Carmichael.

     While I don't say this often, I'm also willing to pat myself on the 
back for this accomplishment.  Since last June, it seems I have worked on 
little else.  I've written dozens of letters, flown or driven to Arizona 
several times, and made uncountable telephone calls, all to make sure that 
Alcor could legally perform suspensions and store suspended patients in 
Scottsdale, Arizona.  Now that set of challenges is done -- and the next, 
larger set looms ahead.

     Reproduced below are two letters that sum up the legal and logistic 
issues that caused so much tension during the past few months.  I will 
caution some of our newer or more sensitive members that the letters are 
written from a legal viewpoint and discuss "human remains," "interment", 
"disinterment," and "anatomical gifts."  While we refer to members in 
suspension as "patients" -- and fully consider them as such -- we cannot 
yet make a legal case for them being "alive."  Therefore we are 
constricted to use of laws dealing with anatomical gifts in order to 
acquire legal custody of the patients.  This legal requirement then 
plunges us into a thorny bramble of statutes and regulations for dealing 
with legally dead humans.  We have no choice but to work within this 
framework and to attempt to use it to the advantage of ourselves and our 

     Over the past two decades, we have achieved an extensive 
understanding of the legal requirements in California and have discovered 
many hidden advantages in the law.  (These advantages will still apply to 
California Alcor members even after Alcor Central moves to Arizona.)  
Learning these same tricks in a new state has been complex; but our 
California experiences left us well able to point our Arizona attorney in 
the right direction.  The real educational experience has been received by 
the Arizona state officials.  They had never read the laws with frozen 
people in mind before.  

     We think it is important for you to read and understand these two 
letters.  They point out the kinds of problems that the Alcor Directors 
and staff must deal with every day.  And they are the kinds of problems 
that will exist in *every* state as more people choose cryonics.  
Eventually many of you will want to understand these issues and begin
researching similar laws and regulations in your home state.  Later in the 
year I will write a detailed article about what to look for.

     Attorney Ron Carmichael's letter (written with a lot of input from 
one of Ron's assistants, Claudia Resnick, and from Dave Pizer and I) was 
the product of a long series of direct and indirect negotiations.  As we 
learned more about the laws dealing with "human remains" and anatomical 
donations, we realized the law tended to be *in our favor*.  The 
Department of Health Services had actually been ignoring several important 
legal points.  While this process took longer than we wanted, it also gave 
us the time to convince the Attorney General's Office that we were right.  
So two of the Assistant Attorney Generals and a key economic development 
advisor in the Governor's office began helping us apply pressure to the 
DHS to get this settled.

     In late January we began to hear verbal statements that the AG's 
office had convinced the DHS to complete the Transit Permits for our 
patients.  But since we weren't getting any confirmation in writing, we 
didn't get too confident.  And then suddenly we found all communication 
with the DHS disrupted by a State Senate Committee's attempt to reorganize 
the Department.  Apparently this "reorganization" was going to cost a lot 
of jobs, although we still don't have many details.  Still, we kept up the 
pressure for settlement (our attorney was a *very* squeaky wheel) and 
finally succeeded.

     The second letter is the reply from Gregg Jacquin at the Department 
of Health Services.  You can see that it is grudging and that Mr. Jacquin 
still doesn't agree with all of our points.  But he DID authorize the 
forms to be signed.  Also, there is a suggestion that we may have to work 
with the DHS to develop regulations which DO apply to cryonics in the 
future.  While at first glance that might seem to be harmful for cryonics, 
it might not be.  Let's face it: some state will eventually regulate 
cryonics.  That's what bureaucracies DO.  But regulation also implies some 
level of *authorization and legitimization.*  If the DHS really does want 
to work toward regulations (which several of our advisors strongly doubt), 
this may actually become an opportunity for greater acceptance, especially 
if we have a lot of input.

     Right now I can see that we have gotten several potential benefits 
from the long delay.  Primarily, we *have met a lot of important people* -
- our opportunity for input has increased.  In all of this haggling, we 
have discovered only this one man who really had a strong problem with 
us.  Others were disconcerted, confused, or concerned; but they were not 
*hostile.*  And we found several officials who were actually friendly.  
The exposure we have gotten in Arizona government and in the press has 
forced us to spend a lot more time being "political."  Sure, this 
aggravates a lot of us; but *that's the way life works.*  Once we move to 
Arizona in the next few weeks, the staff and local members will have to 
spend a lot of time meeting elected officials for the State of Arizona, 
Maricopa County, and the City of Scottsdale.

     Having grown up in a political family, I know that an organization 
which seems a part of the community will be treated differently from one 
that tries to maintain bounds of separateness.  For years in Fullerton and 
Riverside, we went out of our way NOT to be noticed.  So when we 
inevitably *were* noticed during the Dora Kent affair, we looked a lot 
more strange and "cultish" than we actually were.  We had a lot of 
catching up to do before the press and local officials were forced to 
think of us as real people, rather than as a indistinct mass of weird 
aliens.  It's a lot easier to discriminate against a group than against an 
individual you have grown to know.

     We are heading into Scottsdale in a completely different way.  Many 
of our Arizona members are already politically involved and have many 
friendly relations with public officials.  While we have been living in 
California, with its 30 million residents and with its capital an 8-hour 
drive away, it has been much harder to even *meet* public officials, much 
less be friendly with them.   Arizona has a population of only *FOUR* 
million and we are less than thirty minutes away from the capital.  Just 
mathematically, our numbers have a greater opportunity to be influential, 
and we already start with some good contacts.  If we handle ourselves 
appropriately, we have an unprecedented opportunity for some of these 
people to see us as potential *good guys.*  

     All changes bring danger, but they also provide opportunity.  The 
crises surrounding Dora Kent and Dick Jones could have destroyed cryonics 
in California and weakened it severely everywhere.  But seven years later 
cryonics and Alcor are stronger than they ever were before, and our ideas 
have taken hold in a significant percentage of the American public.  
(Acceptance isn't the same thing as enthusiasm, of course; but the trend 
is definitely in the right direction.)  Successful people and 
organizations will always be those which recognize and take advantage of 
the opportunities which rise out of chaos and danger.  Arizona is a great 
opportunity for us.


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