Alcor News Bulletin
                 Number 18: November 2nd, 2003


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With this issue Tanya Jones [TJ] and Mike Perry [MP] are
taking over primary responsibility for writing and mailing
this newsletter. From the attributions it will be seen that
Tanya, who is now Alcor's Chief Operating Officer, has
contributed most of the material this time. Mike meanwhile is
also trying to familiarize himself with some details of
production, including the mechanics of emailing the
newsletter and making sure anyone who recently subscribed is
in fact getting it. (This contributed to a slight delay in
getting out this issue.) Hopefully any bugs can be corrected
very soon. [MP]


                    On OSHA Compliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA)
mission is to "save lives, prevent injuries and protect the
health of America's workers." Like nearly every other
business in the land, Alcor falls under its jurisdiction.
Fines for non-compliance are severe, ranging from $7,000 to
$70,000 per infraction; but their regulations are
sufficiently complex that outside aid in determining
compliance is often advisable. Since OSHA offers assistance,
in the form of knowledgeable consultants to evaluate an
organization's healthfulness, we invited a pair of inspectors
to our facility for a tour. These consultants reported their
recommendations for correcting identified hazards.

A management commitment to a safe working environment was
simply the first step in what is becoming a large body of
documentation on hazard assessment, engineering and work
practice controls, and methods for reporting work-related
illnesses or injury. Our walk through the site uncovered four
specific OSHA violations: the need to install fall protection
on a skylight used when hoisting whole-body patients into
their dewars and on an overhead storage area; an exit was
locked and unlabeled; we need to implement a lockout/tagout
program for shop equipment and conduct personal protective
equipment certification.

Alcor management has clearly declared its commitment to safe
and healthful working conditions for all employees in every
phase of cryonics, but a written program was considered to be
more beneficial. This documentation is now page one of our
new manual. 

We have begun implementation of formal training concerning
staff responsibilities and how they relate to job safety. The
first training session occurred October 30. We have begun
documenting potential hazards, which will be included in new
employee orientations. Additionally, we were directed to
create an administrative plan that includes both disciplinary
actions (from warnings both verbal and written through
termination criteria) for those employees failing to comply
with safety procedures, and reward programs for those who
excel at compliance.

We were deemed to have no "Imminent Dangers," the most
serious classification of hazards, but each of the four
violations listed were considered to be "serious," the second
highest order of risk. All of the violations have already
been corrected, but we can look forward to periodic
reassessment when facility and procedural needs change.

That we have completed this safety survey does not mean we
will be subjected to an OSHA inspection, but it does mean
that we will be better prepared if we do. It also means that
our understanding of the risks involved in performing cryonic
suspensions is greater, and these potential hazards will be
communicable to staff and volunteers -- something that should
make this a safer environment for us all. [TJ]


                  Transport Training Completed

Last weekend (Oct. 25-26), fifteen students, three visiting
doctors and one nurse, and several instructors gathered at
the Creekside Resort in Mayer, Arizona to attend a transport
procedure orientation. Two days is not enough to share
everything that should be known by those participating in
transports prior to deployment, but everyone rose to the
challenge and worked hard to assimilate the large volume of
information. The pace of exchange was quick, and there was a
fair amount of hands-on practice.

Topics included: the legal status of cryonics; negotiation
tactics for dealing with hospitals, mortuaries, and medical
examiners; safety precautions, cooling, cardiopulmonary
support, and the latest in cell-stabilizing medications; and
washout protocol. Students practiced calculating and drawing
medications, airway placement, assembling the ice bath and
squid systems, placing a peripheral IV, and setting up the
perfusion system for remote washouts.

Special thanks go to Paula Lemler, for the extraordinary
effort she put into organizing this training session. The
lack of logistical complaints was unprecedented, and we all
appreciated her hard work. Thanks, Paula!

The next training class is being scheduled for March 2004,
and will be both longer and more comprehensive than this one.
Anyone interested in attending the March class should contact
Tanya Jones ) about being added to the
mailing list. [TJ]



Paula Lemler's role in organizing the training session
additionally included conducting tours at Alcor's facility
and otherwise interfacing with the attendees. Among these
were a delegation sent at the behest of a wealthy member to
evaluate Alcor's medical procedures and computer system.
According to Alcor CEO Dr. Jerry Lemler, a formal proposal
will be submitted for improving our information technology.
More information should be available at a later date. [MP]


                  Standby Appears Imminent

Six months ago an Alcor member with a terminal illness
relocated from Utah to a Scottsdale hospice to be near
Alcor's facility should the need arise. Recently his medical
condition worsened and he is now under 24-hour attendance by
hospice personnel. A standby and cryopreservation may occur
any day now. [MP] 


                    Facility Renovation

Sledgehammers abound as facility renovations have begun to
give us an expanded operating room, new lab space, and a
larger patient care bay. For more than a week, contractors
have been moving equipment, tearing out walls and building
new ones, and redoing the electrical wiring and ducting to
accommodate our new anticipated load. Currently, renovations
are proceeding nicely, and at a pace that places us ten days
ahead of schedule.

Once the renovations are complete, we'll have space to
perform simultaneous suspensions, something which has been
lacking up to now. The new patient care bay will also have
significantly more room for dewars, accommodating around 150

While we're already looking forward to the end of dust and
debris, the end result should very much be worth it. [TJ]


                       Media Attention

Cryonics often gets an unsympathetic workup in the media,
something we have to expect for a number of reasons. (1)It
hasn't been shown to work. (2)It's about death and the
procedures are upsetting to many people. (3)It takes some
scientific sophistication to really understand, thus is
easily misunderstood. (4)The cryonics premise would have
explosive implications if true - we'd have to consider
burials and cremations homicides, for instance, and face the
prospect that many lives of loved ones were lost and are
still being lost unnecessarily. (5)As a consequence, people
will tend to be attracted by the perceived morbidity of
cryonics (the "Halloween" effect) but at the same time be
strongly resistant to taking it seriously at the personal
level. (6)Media people do their thing to make a living, which
means they will be tempted to present what they sense their
audience wants to believe rather than the most objective
assessment possible. (In this case it is also very likely
what the media people themselves want to believe, for the
reasons given.)

The above list is not exhaustive or definitive, but should
help us understand why cryonics often gets a public drubbing
(as well as why there are so few signups, relatively
speaking). Sometimes the reports are more favorable, though,
as in a recent article by Kerry Fehr-Snyder in the _Arizona
Republic_; see
This is not the first such article; others are
listed at Ralph Merkle's website,
http://www.merkle.com/cryo/#news. [MP]


                    Alcor Central Meetings

Alcor's final two meetings of the year will be held on
Saturday, November 8 and Saturday, December 13, both at 11am
MST (10am PST, noon CST, 1pm EST). Alcor meetings are now
held in the new conference room at the facility's location in
Scottsdale. [MP]


End of Alcor News bulletin #18 dated November 2nd, 2003.
          Distribution: 401 subscribers.