X-Message-Number: 27480
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 15:19:46 -0500
Subject: Repost of "Thomas Donaldson is seriously ill"

Sorry, John, I posted from another computer and it didn't translate the same.

Here it is.

January 13, 2006

I have been asked by some of Thomas Donaldson's friends to post this message on 
CryoNet for the benefit of Thomas's many other friends. Thomas apparently 
requested that this information be only for the cryonics community and is not to
be treated as a news story, please. I think he had his fill of that in the 
early 1990's.

After more than 15 years in remission, Thomas's cancer problems have 

returned. I do not have any medical details; however, the condition appears to 
be quite serious. Thomas has returned to the United States and probably will no 
longer be communicating with any of his friends for the foreseeable future, 
barring an amazing reversal or the future success of human cryopreservation. At 
this time, his specific location and the nature of his cryonics arrangements are
private, even to me. However, Thomas has been an Alcor member for more than 20 
years, and I do not anticipate that would change at the last minute.

Thomas Donaldson has been an integral part of the cryonics and life extension 
communities for 3 decades. He has written dozens of articles for *Cryonics 
Magazine* and other cryonics publications and has attended many cryonics 
conferences. He has informed us all about advances in brain and memory research 
and for many years has published his own magazine on these subjects: 

He has engaged in several long-running debates on CryoNet and elsewhere on the 
nature of the mind and self and on whether supporters of nanotechnology treat it
more as a religion than as a technology. Originally from Kentucky, he spent 
many years in the computer/mathematics field in Northern California and was the 
first American cryonicist to move to Australia, where he taught for several 
years. He may have been the first real cryonicist in Australia at all. I have 
always considered him to be one of the smartest and most interesting people in 
cryonics, and I have called him a friend for a very long time.

Thomas became famous all over the United States in 1988-1990 when he was 

first diagnosed with what seemed to be a near-term fatal brain tumor, of a 
particularly cruel type that was likely to destroy his personality and memories 
before it resulted in his legal death. Thomas had already been a committed 
cryonicist and he determined at that time to ask a court to establish his right 
to undergo cryonic suspension *Pre-mortem* -- that is, before legal death - 
should the tumor continue to grow. I won't go into all of the details on this 
(you can get those at http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/donaldson.html ); 

but eventually the California courts, while sympathetic to his dilemma, turned 
down his appeal. However, the publicity that this generated gave millions of 
people a cryonicist with a problem they could clearly relate to. The television 
program *L.A. Law* built an episode around the case, giving it the added 
emotional twist of the patient being a beautiful former girlfriend of one of the

Fortunately, Thomas has survived, both active and productive, for many years 
since then. Maybe his current problems will be the final plot twist to this life
cycle for Thomas, or maybe not; but that time will come someday. And then we 
can hope that all of Thomas's (and my and your) work on behalf of this idea will
pay off for him. We wish you good fortune, now and forever, Thomas.

Steve Bridge
Writing as a friend of Thomas Donaldson and NOT as a representative of Alcor

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