Alcor News Bulletin
                 Number 10: March 10th, 2003

       Alcor's Oldest Member Enters Cryopreservation

Less than a week after the case of Thomas Munson (reported
in the previous Alcor News), we responded to a call from a
Los Angeles emergency room where Alcor member A-1025 had
experienced cardiac arrest. Although he requested anonymity,
he had become well known among cryonicists over a period of
more than two decades, having joined Alcor originally in
September, 1977 when our organ donor documents identified us
as "The Alcor Society for Solid State Hypothermia." When his
legal death was pronounced at 10:52 PM PST on Saturday,
March 1st, 2003, A-1025 was our oldest patient, aged 88.

Purely by coincidence we had deployed a standby team at
another hospital less than a mile away, where we were 
concerned about a member who had been suffering from 
pneumonia complicated by congestive heart failure. Since she
was beginning to show a marked improvement (which we are 
pleased to report has continued), the standby team for her 
case, including David Hayes, paramedic Larry Johnson, and 
some Southern California members, quickly moved to the 
emergency room where A-1025 was located.

This also happened to be the first night of our training
sessions in Arizona at Creekside Lodge, a luxury motel owned
by former Alcor vice-president David Pizer. Fortunately we
had overstaffed the training sessions as a precautionary
measure and were able to continue without two of our 
instructors who were dealing with events in California.

A-1025 had been incapacitated alone at home and had suffered
two days of dehydration before being taken to the emergency
room. A staff physician administered heparin and did chest
compressions, but we were not able to witness this, and we
speculate that the stressful conditions in a Los Angeles
hospital on a Saturday night may have allowed very little
time for CPR on someone who would have been perceived as
beyond help. We believe that A-1025 probably was subjected
to a combination of dehydration and inadequate

Some blood clots were found during the washout procedure,
and the usual 20 liters of solution were insufficient to
obtain a clear venous return. The patient was delayed
overnight by mortuary paperwork problems and reached Alcor
by ground transportation at 4:35 PM PST on Sunday, March
2nd. We regret that he failed to perfuse as well as our 
previous four cases.

On the upside, he lived long enough to reach the emergency
room before he was pronounced. If legal death had occurred
earlier while he was still in his home, he could have been
subjected to an autopsy. 

Many thanks to Dr. Jerry Lemler for managing the case of
A-1025 while our director of suspension services was running 
Alcor's training sessions. We hope to augment this brief 
summary when we have time to assemble reports from all the 
people who were involved. Our thanks, once again, to our
Southern California team members who responded to yet
another case which occurred without warning.


                Training Sessions Completed

More than twenty people gathered for training sessions which
commenced at 4 PM on Saturday, March 1st and lasted until
noon on Thursday, March 6th. A few people had participated
in previous cryonics cases, while others had received no
prior training at all. This disparity made it difficult to
provide classes that would suit everyone. Some students
told us that they would have preferred a more intensive

We felt an obligation to cover as much ground as possible,
including cryonics history and some basic cryobiology and
resuscitation medicine, because more than two years had
elapsed since our previous training. All aspects of standby
work were included, from infection control to operation of
equipment such as the ATP. On the last day a brainstorming
session yielded some extremely valuable suggestions for
service enhancements, which will be discussed in a future
issue of Cryonics magazine.

We are delighted that as a result of the training at least
half-a-dozen newcomers have been added to our list of Alcor
cryotransport technicians, and we thank everyone who made
the pilgrimage to Creekside Lodge, including four who came
all the way from England. Some of our students told us that
the best way to continue their education in the future will
be by observing future cases, and we'll do everything we can
to facilitate this.

Later this year we expect to offer shorter training events
which will address a narrower range of topics and will be
tailored for smaller groups of students sharing specific


          Board Meeting Addresses Timely Issues

Alcor's regular board meeting took place at our Scottsdale
facility at 11 AM Mountain Standard Time on Sunday, March
9th. While the official minutes of this meeting are the 
definitive guide, Alcor News can summarize a few of the
issues that were raised.

Vice-president Michael Riskin announced that his plan for
"Universal Standby" should be implemented by January, 2004.
This will be preceded by a very thorough informational
campaign to familiarize all Alcor members with the new
system. Currently the extent of our standby service may vary
after the initial three days that are included within our 
cryopreservation minimum. In the future, standbys should be 
supported by a special fund for members whose health needs 
are critical. Michael Riskin promised to provide details of 
the new plan during the summer, after he has satisfied his 
remaining concerns about financial considerations.

Hugh Hixon reported problems impeding an attempt to evaluate
results of cooling two patients who are currently at an 
intermediate temperature (higher than the -196 degrees
Celsius of liquid nitrogen). "Crackphone" sensors, designed
to detect fracturing events below the glass transition point
of vitrified cryopatients, had been storing their data in a
computer which crashed periodically. While this problem has
not affected the temperature or preservation of the patients 
in any way, it has deprived us of information which could be 
valuable in our efforts to evaluate intermediate-temperature 
storage as a practical long-term option. Hugh told board 
members that he believes he understands the cause of the 
computer problem and will offer more information at the 
next board meeting.

Alcor's membership administrator, Jennifer Chapman, asked
the board to establish a pricing policy for members' pets.
After extensive discussion among several board members,
Ralph Merkle made a motion that Alcor should provide a
$12,500 contribution to the Patient Care Trust for each
cryopreserved pet that fully occupies the type of container
that is normally used for a human neuropatient. Alcor
management may offer a reduced rate for pets (including
"neuropets") that are small enough to share a container.
Pets will be accepted only from Alcor members, who will be
warned that the funding amount does not include the very
conservative safety factor applied to human patients. Also,
in any hypothetical emergency, the safety of pets will be
considered secondary to the safety of human patients.
Alcor's directors agreed to these terms unanimously but pet
owners are cautioned that this summary does not include all
the conditions of our pet acceptance contract. Please
contact our membership administrator if you want full

CEO Jerry Lemler notified the board that in recent media
interviews he has received a mixed response to his use of
the word "patients" to describe Alcor's members who have
been cryopreserved. He wondered if there might be a more
acceptable term. After a fairly short discussion, board
members agreed that Alcor should continue to use the word
"patients" as a reminder to ourselves, as well as others,
that the people in our Dewars are still people. Some
directors offered sardonic comments on this topic. Ralph
Merkle suggested that if doctors today find our nomenclature
implausible, they should wait for a second opinion from
doctors of the future. Carlos Mondragon said that if anyone
needs a politically correct term, Alcor's cryopatients could
be referred to as "metabolically challenged."

Jerry Lemler raised the issue of last-minute cases.
Recently we declined a patient in Florida who could not give
informed consent because she was unconscious and had never 
completed signup paperwork. (Her case was taken subsequently 
by The Cryonics Institute, assisted by Suspended Animation, 
an independent Florida-based service provider.) Under what
circumstances should Alcor accept or decline this type of
case, and where should we draw the line between a regular
signup an a last-minute signup?

Carlos Mondragon provided some historical perspective,
reminding board members that Alcor traditionally used the 
term "last-minute case" to describe people who are unable to
complete signup documents on their own behalf. He said that
a person who can still execute documents despite a terminal
condition should not be treated differently from anyone else
who seeks to become an Alcor member. Board member Michael
Seidl agreed, conjecturing that antidiscrimination laws
might prevent Alcor from refusing to accept a new member
merely because the person is near legal death.

Charles Platt pointed out that insurance companies routinely
deny service to people who have serious health problems. He
said that although Alcor should always try to extend its 
service to as many people as possible, he was concerned that 
if the organization is compelled to accept any new member 
whose legal death is imminent, this might compromise 
treatment for a longterm member who happens to die suddenly 
around the same time. Alcor advisor Bob Newport advocated a 
formal or informal policy under which longterm members would 
receive preferential treatment in a crisis situation where 
two cases occur simultaneously. Ralph Merkle said that a 
more acceptable way of implementing this kind of policy 
would be for Alcor to disclose any current service 
limitations to applicants who are near legal death, so that 
they can decide for themselves whether to seek service from 
another organization.

Alcor's directors seemed to agree that Alcor can turn down
any case where a prospective member is unable to sign
documents, but Michael Riskin remained unconvinced that we
can be accused of discrimination if we refuse to accept an
applicant who is able to execute paperwork but is near legal
death and might overburden our ability to provide service
because of conflicting obligations or limited resources.
He asked that Alcor should seek legal advice on this.
Pending such advice, the question remains unresolved.

Charles Platt asked the directors to accept a recommendation
from management to hire a new fulltime employee, Todd
Huffman, who has worked with the Southern California standby
team and has offered to do lab work fulltime at Alcor while
pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience. The board approved his
employment, which will commence on June 1st. We believe that
he will greatly enhance our ability to serve our growing
cryonics membership.

Tanya Jones, Jennifer Chapman, and Charles Platt were
nominated as board advisors. Alcor's directors approved all
three unanimously.

Jerry Lemler announced that he has accepted a proposed
agreement to extend Charles Platt's association with Alcor 
as an independent contractor for another six months. 
Paramedic Larry Johnson will take over many of the 
responsibilities for standby work while Charles Platt will 
refocus his attention primarily on inventory control, 
production of meds kits and other equipment, and the 
expansion of our lab space in accordance with a plan that 
was approved previously.

The March 9th board meeting ended at 1:30 PM Mountain
Standard Time.

Alcor News is written primarily by Charles Platt.
Contents are copyright 2003 by Alcor 
Foundation but permission is granted to reprint any whole 
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