Tampa, FL — December 3rd, 2009
Alcor received emergency notification that a member had passed away, alone, at home. A relative of his had become concerned with an absence of communication and requested assistance from local police to perform a welfare check. The family’s worst fears were confirmed when authorities found the individual had passed away, possibly one or two days prior. As the family was aware and supportive of his desire to be cryopreserved, they notified Alcor. They also informed Alcor that police were taking the body to the medical examiner for an autopsy to be performed, due to the individual’s relatively young age.
We attempted to contact the medical examiner’s office to explain that he had donated his body to Alcor and that his release was a time sensitive matter. We asked that he be kept as cold as possible and explained that he did not want to be autopsied. We were informed that a full autopsy was likely to take place the next day, so we immediately began working with legal counsel in an attempt to avoid or limit the autopsy, especially with respect to the individual’s brain, and expedite release.
Alcor immediately sent Transport Coordinator Aaron Drake to Tampa to begin logistical preparations and to have a representative on site, if needed. The death was deemed suspicious and, after some consultation with the medical examiner’s office, our legal counsel indicated the only way to avoid the autopsy was to obtain a court order. We proceeded to file our legal pleading and an expedited hearing was held the next week. While the legal proceedings took longer than preferred, our member was kept very cold through the duration. In the end, the medical examiner’s office fulfilled the legal obligations of their office by performing only a limited autopsy that did not include the brain, releasing the patient to Alcor thereafter.
Suspended Animation relieved Aaron in Florida, so he could conduct the previously scheduled Southern California team training, and assisted in the preparation and shipping of our patient to Alcor in Scottsdale, AZ. Member A-2219 is now our 89th patient. A full case report will be issued.