Alcor News Bulletin
 Number 23: March 9 2004


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                    First Words

With unusually busy times lately, this edition was delayed,
and it also covers only up through March 4--a few days ago.
More on subsequent events will, of course, be included in
the next issue. Most of the credit for what follows goes to
Tanya Jones [TJ] as usual, with a little assist from Joe
Hovey [JH] and others.--Mike Perry


                           In This Issue:

Patient Population Reaches 60
Legislative Report
Fundraising Appeal


                Patient Population Reaches 60

On the morning of March 3, 2004, we got a call from the wife
of one of our members. The member had died in his sleep that
night, and she had found him in the morning when checking on
his condition. As someone who'd been suffering from stomach
cancer, the patient was aware of his own decline, and he and
his wife had come to Phoenix twice to be near Alcor. Helping
them contact the hospice personnel was fairly
straightforward, and they found a nurse they liked quickly.
The patient was examined by a hospice doctor a few days ago.
He and his wife were settling into a nearby hotel until such
time his admittance for 24-hour hospice care could be

They left town without telling anyone at Alcor, returning
home to the Los Angeles area. Less than 24 hours later, the
patient's heart stopped. We're not sure what the actual time
of death was, but our preliminary calculations indicate that
it wasn't too long before his wife entered the room. She
called 911, and the LAPD responded. No resuscitative
measures were applied.

The wife called Alcor, and we called the Southern California
transport team leader. When we queried the LAPD about
potential autopsy risk, we were informed there was none; so
there was no potential impediment to the team's relatively
timely stabilization efforts.

A response team of three was ultimately dispatched to the
address, and they administered surface cooling,
cardiopulmonary support, and medications. Our local Funeral
Director worked hard to get the paperwork filed quickly, and
we had all the necessary permits to transport the patient
across the state line prior reaching the border.

Surgery and washout went smoothly, and only during the
cryoprotection did we see signs of the ischemic trauma that
had occurred. All observable clots were small; edema was
limited to the right hemisphere of the brain, and before the
end of the perfusion, had even retracted. Cryoprotectant
concentrations reached 10.03 Molar (target 10M) prior to
ceasing perfusion. Low-temperature cooling was started and
the patient, a neuro, reached -110 degrees C. by the evening
of March 4. Further details will appear in the next issue of
_Cryonics_ Magazine.

Our thanks go out to the transport team and the operating
room personnel who assisted with this case, and to the
patient's wife who called us promptly. [TJ]


                      Legislative Report

As most of you are aware, the hearing on the proposed
Arizona cryonics legislation was held in the last week of
February in the House Health Committee. This hearing was the
second step in the process of making laws for cryonics in
the State of Arizona, and it came upon us rather quickly.
With this bill (designated HB 2637: embalming; funeral
establishments; storing remains) only two committees were
assigned: Health and Rules. For most legislation, this is
considered a good thing, as each bill must pass every
committee to which it is assigned; and the more committees
to which a bill is assigned, the less likely it becomes that
it will pass into law.

The Rules Committee is solely responsible for ensuring the
constitutionality of proposed legislation and that there are
no conflicts with existing statutes. Because the bill was
not proposing to directly outlaw cryonics or
cryopreservation the constitutionality of which has been
upheld in the California Appellate Courts we had few
grounds upon which to request the bill be killed there. Our
one main chance to kill it at this stage was in Health.

Joe Waynick, Barry Aarons, and I continued our meetings with
the Representatives, re-focusing our efforts on many Health
Committee members. During that time, we met with
Representative Deb Gullett, the Health Committee Chair. This
meeting was important, because the Chair of a committee has
the authority to refuse to hear a bill, effectively stopping
its development immediately. We were informed in no
uncertain terms that the hearing scheduled for Feb 26, 2004
would move ahead as planned.

In our discussions with the legislators, we also found that
our State Representatives were unanimous in their desire to
protect patient choice and to ensure consumer safety,
desires we share. Nearly all of them mentioned a reluctance
to inflate the government further with additional
legislation. We also found however, that there was much
misinformation circulating, that they were specifically
unclear on what our procedures required and the degree to
which our members are informed about specifics of the
cryopreservation process. We did what we could to clear up
these misconceptions, and slowly began gaining the votes
necessary to defeat this bill at the hearing.

Sending out an electronic mailing, we asked all our Arizona
members to contact their legislators and the members of the
Health Committee, asking them to vote against this
regulation. With that mailing, we included a list of many
reasons why this legislation was unacceptable. Our members
rallied on our behalf, and all of a sudden, each time we met
with someone at the Capitol, they mentioned the one or two
hundred emails, faxes, and phone calls they were getting on
this topic.

Highest on our list of objections ("Talking Points") was the
revocation of our use of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act to
collect our patients, and as long as that was in the text,
we were prepared to categorically oppose any and all
regulation at this time. Another problem was the insistence
that we use only licensed embalmers to perform our
procedures, which would leave our contract physicians--
many of whom have helped us establish and improve our
procedures over the years--with nothing to do in a case. We
were also concerned at the allegations of "closed doors"
reported in the media. Our doors have always been open, as
evidenced by the extensive documentation on our website, the
regular tours we provide, and the regular visits and
inspections of regulatory authorities. The only closed doors
we maintain are those required to fulfill our contractual
obligations to patient confidentiality.

As is typical with the legislative process, we were given
seven days' notice of our bill being heard in Committee. We
were added as the last item on the agenda, which was to
ensure we had enough time to present our testimony. This
short deadline meant that we had little time to draft people
to testify on our behalf, but several of our medical and
scientific advisors agreed to make the trip, including: Drs.
Steve Harris, Aubrey de Grey, Jim Lewis, and two cryo-
biologists. Arizona members Judy Muhlestein and Bobbi Kraver
and our Funeral Director, Steve Rude all agreed to speak as
well. We spent some time coordinating testimonies to ensure
that there would be little redundancy, but mostly left the
precise content up to the experts.

On the afternoon before the hearing, Joe Waynick, Barry
Aarons, and I met with Representative Stump, Health
Committee staff, and a Policy Advisor for the Majority. This
was our first personal meeting with Representative Stump,
and we made the most of the opportunity.

Explaining the importance of the UAGA was our highest
priority, and was done first thing. When asked about the
"closed door" statements cited in the press, Representative
Stump responded that these were largely metaphorical
comments on the lack of regulatory oversight. To this, we
responded with an explanation of the forms of oversight and
inspection that already exist. Everyone seemed interested in
our record-keeping policies, asking about informed consent
and whether we allow family members to view procedures.
After explaining about our sometimes-excessive honesty about
the experimental nature of cryonics, we added that family
members may view the procedures, though we don't encourage
this as we don't wish to have surgery be the last memory a
family member has of any patient. We also had the
opportunity to reiterate our preference for any regulatory
group to have some relevant expertise to allow for
knowledgeable oversight.

By the end of this meeting, Representative Stump had agreed
to several amendments, including: we retain our access to
the UAGA, our requirement to use an embalmer for procedures
would be struck from the bill, the matter of expertise could
be addressed if a member of the Funeral Board were familiar
with the procedures, and an effective date that would be
pushed to Sept, 2005.

With the hearing the very next morning, we waited
impatiently for the amendments to be posted, but technical
difficulties made it so they weren't posted until about an
hour before the hearing. With Representative Stump making
good on most of his promises, we had to quickly change our
testimonies. The amendments and a commitment to continue
negotiations prior to submitting the bill to the House floor
for vote meant that the entire point and tone of our
testimonies would be changed. We made these changes with
cautious optimism.

At the hearing, there was less time for testimony than
expected. Given the public description of the amendments and
the volume of other bills needing resolution, we had to be
satisfied with testimonies from only a few of the attendees:
Barry Aarons, Joe Waynick, Steve Rude, Aubrey de Grey, and one
cryobiologist. They were enough--more than enough--to ensure
the committee that we felt the process was proceeding in
acceptable fashion and that we were looking forward to
continuing the negotiations on the remaining points of

The Health Committee voted unanimously to pass the bill as
amended, with the verbal assurance that the final point
missing from the changes (the extended date) would be
introduced on the floor. Several members qualified their
votes with comments on the strides taken on both sides to
hammer out the revisions, and stated they hope the
negotiations would continue to show progress. All in all,
the hearing seemed a little anticlimactic, since we'd been
so geared up for a fight.

Only one thing marred the occasion, and that was the
lateness of the amendments. With the amendments being posted
at the last minute, a couple of the Representatives hadn't
read them, and neither did we have time to explain them to
all the attending Alcor members. Several people had
registered their objections in the computer registry at the
House, and now the records are decidedly confused as far as
public support or opposition are concerned. While it's not
particularly important at this stage, it's good to make a
note somewhere that there was confusion in the record.

Since the hearing, Joe Waynick and I have met with members
of the Funeral Board, and we've come to discover that our
concerns are the same. Like us, they wish to protect patient
choice, to eliminate public health and safety concerns, and
ensure that proper record-keeping exists. The accord we've
achieved with the Board is significant, and we strongly
appreciate their assistance in reassuring our own Board and
members. Toward this end, Randy Bunker and Rudy Thomas will
be attending the March Board meeting to share their
positions and to answer any questions our people may have.

It's not over yet, but the Board and Advisors have been
actively working to develop regulatory definitions and
language to submit for the revised bill. With the active
support we now have from the Funeral Board, it becomes more
likely that if this legislation moves forward during this
session, it will be more realistic. [TJ]


                    Fundraising Appeal

Alcor continues to expand and improve. This is an ongoing
process. It will never stop.

Last October a fund raising appeal was sent to all members
detailing the items that were and are part of our facility
expansion. Some of those projects have been completed, and
some are still far from complete. The most immediate need is
for donations to help offset the costs of completing our new
Operating Room, which will enable Alcor for the first time
to perform two suspensions simultaneously. Some of the items
required are: two new operating tables; a patient hoist; one
set of operating room lights; a new heater cooler for
cryoprotective perfusion; and new surgical trays. The new
heater cooler and surgical tray alone will cost us over

We are appealing to our membership once again to step up to
the plate and help us out. Don't forget, depending on your
individual tax status, a large part or your entire donation
to this project may be tax deductible.

Watch this space for continuing updates. [JH]


                 Board Meeting Schedule

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 3,
2004 at 10:00 AM (PST), 11:00 AM local Arizona time.

Board meetings are held on the first Saturday of the month
at the Alcor facility (7895 East Acoma Drive in Scottsdale,
AZ). Members are encouraged to attend.

End of Alcor News bulletin #23 dated March 9, 2004.
Distribution: 466 subscribers.