X-Message-Number: 9052
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #9037 - #9040
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 20:37:39 -0800 (PST)

Hi guys!

To Dr. Strout: I agree with what you say to Marty, except for one thing. There
really is very active work on repair of spinal cords, and we'll likely see 
benefits in much less than 50 years. For some time after that, of course, 
repair will not be perfect ie. someone who spinal cord had been severed may
be able to walk and feel their lower body, but be much clumsier than before,
and not as sensitive. Those whose spinal cord had been severed at a higher
level will have much the same problem with their arms, etc, and may still 
need help breathing. I give this about 10 years to happen; how long the FDA
takes to approve it afterwards I can't say.

I'll get you references on this if you wish. Basically, I believe that it will
come much earlier than 50 years from now because there IS that interest and
activity. Things have started to heat up, and more people have started working
on the problem. 

But as you say, this is much more of interest to hemiplegics and paraplegics
than to cryonicists or immortalists.

To Mr. TheEdge: You ask questions which can become quite complicated, but only
if you join a cryonics society and insist on complications. 

First, the usual practise is to pay for your suspension by life insurance. 
Since you will have "died" when this life insurance pays off, you clearly 
cannot make it payable to yourself. The only thing that would happen is that
it would go to your heirs, who would NOT be your cryonics society. The way
to do it is to join a cryonics society first, and then as part of joining
(you cannot join unless your provide a source of funding) you also take out
a life insurance policy to cover your suspension, making it payable to your
cryonics society.

It is possible also to change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy you
already have. For that matter, you can hand over the required amount for
storage when you join. 

It is the cryonics society which directly or indirectly manages this money;
the income from it, not the principal, pays for your suspension and continued
storage. I can speak best about Alcor, of which I am both a member and one
of the trustees to their Suspension Fund (which pays for storage). So far,
there has not been a problem of insufficient income. In one case, a woman
was transferred to Alcor with very little money to pay for storage; rather
than simply thaw her out, Alcor removed her head and stored that. Her body
was grossly swollen because she had died of liver cancer, but it was allowed
to thaw and examined to see what our treatment had done.

Plainly speaking, you can have no legal protection now once you are frozen.
Society at large considers you to be "dead" and those who are "dead" have no
rights. HOWEVER, it is in the interest of every member of every cryonics
society that no one simply be allowed to thaw out. That is why Alcor took 
over the suspension of the woman I mention above. Presently there is no 
formal arrangement for cooperation, but what would probably happen is that
you would be transferred to another society. 

If you wish to set up a private fund, and have the money to do so (there are
all kinds of problems in doing this: the Perpetuity Rule is the first one,
but there ARE legal jurisdictions where the Perpetuity Rule does not hold)
then you can do so. Alcor insists that you still pay a minimum amount, which
is the amount they believe will be sufficient to keep you in suspension 
indefinitely REGARDLESS of what you do with your other assets. Some have done
this. The point is that even if your private fund goes bust, if Alcor's
Suspension Fund remains solvent you will remain in suspension. If you wish
your whole body to be suspended, then Alcor will do that, but in the legal
papers you must sign it states that Alcor may if necessary remove your 
head and only store that (this is called neuropreservation: we want to keep
your brain more than anything else).

I hope this explains these things.

			Long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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