Talking Points

HB 2637 [embalmers; funeral establishments; storing remains]
  • The sunrise process was not followed, and Alcor was not notified of the stakeholder meetings even though we are the target for which the proposed legislation was drafted;

  • Alcor is not necessarily opposed to regulation, but we oppose bill HB 2637, which mandates that Alcor be regulated by hostile parties with no understanding of what we do, and which does not respect the rights of Alcor members;

  • Alcor does not engage in the practice of embalming. The protocols and solutions used have no relevant similarities to the procedures and solutions used in the funeral industry. To the contrary, the protocols and solutions used for cryopreservation are similar to those used in medicine and organ transplant procedures;

  • We employ a highly skilled neurosurgeon to perform our surgery, and the use of an embalmer would represent a significant reduction in the quality of care we dispense to our members;

  • The training for embalmers does not supply them with any understanding of cryopreservation procedures or the requirements for proper storage of cryopreserved patients. Cryopreservation procedures are much more complex than embalming procedures, and many of the requirements are incompatible;

  • Our cryopreservation procedures are an application of experimental research protocols that are held to high medical standards, rather than cosmetic preservation the likes of which are carried out by funerary establishments;

  • Our doors have always been wide open. In addition, multiple authorities regularly scrutinize our legal, health and safety standards. Our practices, protocols and procedures are described in great detail on our website, in the printed literature we provide to our members and to the public, and have been publicly discussed on numerous occasions to audiences worldwide for the past 32 years;

  • All members of the legislature are invited to visit our facility in Scottsdale for a tour of our operations at any time that is convenient to them. We also conduct tours for the general public four times each week, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm;

  • To regulate a scientific process like cryonics, you need to suppose that a set of standards exists; that regulatory officials will have access to experts familiar with those standards; and that those standards have been communicated to all related organizations;

  • Alcor is engaged in progressive scientific and medical research under the guidance of scientific and medical advisory boards composed of highly skilled licensed Medical Doctors, PhD's and renowned research scientists. No such skill level exists on the Funeral Board;

  • Revoking our access to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) will severely compromise our ability to rescue our patients outside the state of Arizona in a timely fashion, thereby rendering our procedures nearly useless;

  • Alcor members are willing volunteers for an experimental procedure for which they make an informed decision years or many times decades in advance of when our services are needed. We make no guarantees that the procedure will work. No government agency should have the right to interfere with the self-determination rights of an individual to choose to donate their body to a research organization for the purpose of cryopreservation;

  • There have been no consumer complaints about our procedures in our 32-year history. The only contention about our operation since our inception has been, on two occasions, squabbles between family members over the concept of cryonics;

  • Alcor Life Extension Foundation is an asset to the State of Arizona as a responsible organization engaged in progressive medical and scientific research. Unlike the mission of the Funeral Board, our mission is the preservation of individual human life;

  • There is no prohibition in Arizona statutes against an organization receiving reasonable payment for the removal, processing, disposal, preservation, quality control, storage and transportation of an anatomical donation for the purposes of scientific research;

  • We object to the faulty reasoning for introducing such hasty regulation. Regulation requires the demonstration of public need; protection of the public from health and safety hazards; consumer protection from unfair competition, and consumer protection from predatory pricing. Furthermore, to regulate an scientific process like cryonics, you need to suppose that a set of standards exists; that regulatory officials will have access to experts familiar with those standards; and that those standards have been communicated to all related organizations. None of these criteria have been suggested to exist;

  • It is the desire to make cryonics work that has motivated some of the most innovative work in the field of organ preservation. It has also been a factor (lesser, but perhaps significant) in the financing and research in nanotechnology. Alcor is contributing to the world in several significant ways;

  • None of this is necessary. The supposed problem which the bill addresses does not exist. Alcor Foundation uses procedures that are intended for optimal preservation of the human brain. These procedures have been mischaracterized and sensationalized in the press, because of actions by a disgruntled employee. Nevertheless, all details of the procedures themselves are thoroughly documented and freely available.