Alcor News Bulletin
                 Number 21: February 6th 2004


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                       First Words

As this issue goes out the times are somewhat interesting
and the outlook a bit guarded, but, I think, quite hopeful
overall. Tanya Jones [TJ] has written almost all of what
follows; my editing is minor.--Mike Perry [MP]


In this issue:
 Two Pets Added to Patient Population
 An Almost-Case
 Training Update
 Cryonics Magazine Status
 Update on Old Business
 A Legislative Matter


             Two Pets Added to Patient Population

An unusually busy month, January saw two pets added to our
patient population, both sudden deaths, which meant that
both were straight-frozen. Each of the owners placed their
pets on ice until they could make the arrangements for
preservation, but no cryoprotection was possible in either
case. [TJ]


                     An Almost-Case

We also had one emergency notification that a member had
died. We got a call from the manager of a Jewish Community
Center who observed a member's collapse during an evening
performance. After calling 911, the manager called Alcor,
having seen the medic alert tag our member was wearing.
Though the member's heartbeat and breathing had ceased,
paramedics managed to revive him and transport him to a
local hospital. Our member then recovered sufficiently to be
sent home that night.

The community center manager had told us the name of the
hospital where the member was to be taken, and we promptly
got on the phone to the emergency room staff. After
escalating our call to the Nursing Supervisor, we ran into
trouble obtaining information over the phone, a direct
result of the HIPAA regulations
(http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/) recently enacted to protect
patient privacy. Apparently, no information can be given out
over the phone at all, and our possession of anatomical
donation forms and a contract to cryopreserve were not
enough to gain us any information on the member.

When we were denied, with regret, by the Nursing Supervisor,
I dove back into the member's paperwork to determine if we
had next-of-kin information. When I saw the contact
information was thirteen years old, I was skeptical, but
tried calling the member's sister. The phone number indeed
was valid, and the sister was able to contact the hospital
on our behalf. She established that her brother was alive
and recovering, which was good news.

We have now been introduced to the complications that HIPAA
will cause. Our Medical Director, Dr. Jerry Lemler, will be
looking into these regulations more thoroughly to determine
what changes need to be made to our paperwork. You can
expect a mailing from us when we have the details resolved,
and we know how best to arrange our paperwork to ensure we
can both give and gather necessary information in an
emergency. [TJ]


                      Training Update

For those people waiting to attend the training class that
had been scheduled for March, I have regretful news. This
class is being postponed indefinitely, because we simply do
not have time to prepare for it properly right now. Alcor
has become involved in a high-priority, state-level
legislative matter (more below) that is occupying much of
our time and attention.

That this class is being postponed for now should not be
interpreted as a lack of commitment to training. We are
still firmly resolved to carry out regular training for
members of our transport network, and will let you know when
the classes are scheduled.

In the interest of observing a local transport training
session, I traveled to Los Angeles to meet with members of
the Southern California team. This session was intended to
be a brainstorming session, as opposed to a practical
meeting, which fit well with Alcor's need to update our
members on recent Scottsdale activity. To a large degree,
this meeting consisted of discussion about concerns that
have accumulated over time; and it highlighted that there is
still a lot of work that can be done to improve our remote
transport capability, including development of more thorough
operating procedures.

Before the next Alcor HQ training class, we will be
reworking the training materials and standard operating
procedures, as well as the process whereby the requisite
skills are taught. More hands-on practice, better testing, a
modular approach to certification, and a significant number
of SOP revisions are all needed. Several of the ACTs have
offered to assist with development of training materials,
and we'll be contacting you when it's time to reschedule the
class. [TJ]


                 _Cryonics_ Magazine Update

As I type this newsletter in early February, the current
issue of _Cryonics_ is being put to bed. It should be in the
mail to you next week, and we apologize for the extreme
lateness of this publication. All subscriptions will be
extended, and our CEO Joe Waynick has decided to increase
the number of issues each year from four to six to try to
make the magazine timelier. [TJ]


                    Update on Old Business

Some of you have asked for an update on a couple pieces of
old business: the health of Dr. Lemler and the status of the
Larry Johnson litigation.

On the first matter, we can state with great happiness that
Dr. Jerry Lemler's cancer is in full remission, and he is
recovering well from his extended bout of radiation
treatments. Since resigning as Alcor's CEO, Dr. Lemler has
accepted a position as Medical Director of the Southwest
Behavioral Health Services, Rim Guidance Center Division, in
Payson, Arizona. Dr. Lemler will be relocating soon. He
intends to return to Scottsdale on the weekends, but is
still quite happy to be involved and on-call as our Medical

On the Larry Johnson litigation, I regret that we are still
unable to provide an update beyond our assurance that we
(and our attorney) are pursuing this matter. Once the legal
issues have been conclusively resolved, we'll be able to
discuss them openly. [TJ]


                    A Legislative Matter
I will now get to the main substance of this past month. A
couple weeks ago, one of our attorneys contacted us about
some rumors from the Capitol. He'd heard that cryonics-
unfriendly legislation was about to be introduced to the
House of Representatives, and he recommended that we look
into this immediately. Since we're obviously not well-
connected to the state legislature, he also recommended an
experienced lobbyist to investigate on our behalf.

After some discussion among the Board members and executive
team, we decided to move ahead with hiring this lobbyist,
Mr. Barry Aarons. Aarons has more than thirty years'
experience and seems to know just about everyone at the
Capitol. He jumped on the issue, and immediately got us
invited to a stakeholders' meeting where the new legislation
was being considered.

At the meeting Joe Waynick, Barry Aarons, and I met with
Congressman Bob Stump and others involved with the recent
drafting of cryonics legislation. Also represented were: the
Department of Health Services, Funeral Board, RTI Donor
Services, and Science Care (the latter two being
organizations that also accept anatomical donations in the
state of Arizona.)

Aarons quickly reminded the audience that we were latecomers
to the proceedings, which had quietly begun some months ago,
in August or September, without Alcor being informed. He
emphasized that, while we are not unconditionally opposed to
regulation, it is crucial that any new legislation be
properly crafted to protect our right to carry out
cryopreservations and must not endanger our patients.

Congressman Stump failed to adequately explain why we were
not earlier invited to the table, but indicated that the
goal was to create oversight to prevent potential problems
rather than specifically to regulate. Randy Bunker of the
Funeral Board said that the intent was to prevent people
from engaging in cryonics without proper procedures, citing
the Prescott case of last year in which a man had been
secretly storing his wife in dry ice for nearly six years.

When queried, the representatives from the Department of
Health Services stated that there was no obvious public
health need to require their oversight, and that health
needs end at the moment of pronouncement as long as no risk
of contagion exists. DHS personnel would very much like to
ensure that this line of demarcation be maintained.

We were queried extensively on why the Funeral Board is an
inappropriate organization to put in charge of cryonics.
Those in attendance expected our reasons to be primarily
philosophical, that we just didn't want to be overseen by
the Funeral Board because of their essential end-of-life
care. We were able to cite differences in procedures that
make other supervision more appropriate, and we reminded
them that our efforts are intended to extend the lives of
our patients, despite the declaration of legal death that
occurs. The members of the Funeral Board were familiar with
the recent regulation of the Cryonics Institute as a
cemetery, and we discussed the differences between the
organizations that would make such a designation less
applicable to Alcor. This part of the discussion seemed to
have thrown enough doubt on the subject that their
suggestion to change the name of the Funeral Board to
something more accommodating was dropped.

They also asked about the neuro procedures we perform, since
that is another way we differ from CI. That gave me an
opportunity to expand on how neuro procedures currently
provide a superior preservation, and provided a platform for
discussing some of the aspects of our research other than
the simple application of cryopreservation protocols.

When their questioning had by appearances ended, I was able
to ask why they seemed insistent on revoking our ability to
use the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act to protect our donors.
No one was able to give a clear response, but they indicated
that the UAGA Revision Committee had been involved in
previous meetings and that a distinction between our
procedures and those of conventional donations was
necessary. When asked why the UAGA was so important to us, I
responded that it was our mechanism to protect the rights of
the donor after pronouncement. Enforcement of that act
includes provisions that the next-of-kin may not overturn
any such donation without sufficient proof. Without its
protection, we open ourselves to significant risk for being
at the center of all-too-frequent family squabbles.

While there was some doubt in the beginning as to whether
this bill would actually be introduced, we have since
learned it definitely will be. Our actions are now shifting
from prevention to active opposition.

Since the stakeholders' meeting, Joe Waynick, Barry Aarons,
and I have met with our two district representatives and a
few senators, soliciting their support in quashing the bill.
So firmly in our corner was one representative that the
first thing she said was that this regulation was
unnecessary and hasty, and she opposes it. The other was a
little more hesitant, but with a nursing background she
actually understood most of the reasons why the Funeral
Board is an inappropriate oversight organization. We have a
meeting set up with the Mayor of Scottsdale next week, and
will continue our efforts to gain support for our case.

Once the "intro set" is filed with the Clerk of the House,
it will be formally considered a "bill"and given a reference
number. An electronic copy will be placed on the Arizona
State Legislature website. (We'll circulate that bill number
once we have it.) Once that is done, the bill will first be
read on the House floor at a very rapid rate (one of three
required readings in this process). It will then be eligible
for assignment to committee for review. The more committees
it's assigned to, the better it is for us. At minimum, a
proposed bill must go to the Rules Committee, where it is
evaluated for constitutionality and proper form, but this
one is likely to be handed to other committees too, since
more money will be required for the Funeral Board if they
are granted oversight.

Once committee assignments are complete, we'll begin meeting
with all committee members and gathering supporters of MD
and PhD caliber to testify on our behalf against the
legislation. We need to ensure that there will be hearings
on this bill. Our Arizona members will be encouraged to
contact their senators and representatives to ask them to
help kill the bill. We'll be drafting a letter for folks to
send, once we have all the information needed to make that
letter effective.

We'll also be talking to multiple other organizations that
may be inadvertently affected, since the Funeral Board would
be assuming oversight responsibility for all organizations
that store bodies or body parts (except for blood) for more
than five years. We're hoping this will all serve to get
this current bill stopped, and open the door for more
appropriate oversight in the future, assuming of course,
that we cannot avoid regulation completely.

We'll keep you posted on details as they develop. [TJ]


               Alcor Central Meeting

Alcor's next general meeting will be held on Saturday,
February 7, 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 #21 dated February 6th, 2004.
Distribution: 440 subscribers.