Alcor member A-1100, a confidential male Alcor member with whole-body cryopreservation arrangements, was pronounced legally dead on September 6, 2019 in Florida. Cryogenic cool down was initiated and completed on September 6, 2019. The same day, A-1100 became Alcor’s 172nd patient.
Jianhau Ma, Alcor member A-3259, a non-confidential 50-year old female Alcor member with whole-body cryopreservation arrangements, was pronounced legally dead on August 8, 2019 in Boston, MA. She had stage IV ovarian cancer and had been an Alcor member for less than a month. Washout in the field was prevented by bad weather prohibiting the team from getting to the patient in time. In order to reduce ischemic time, the patient was flown by air ambulance to Alcor where whole-body perfusion was performed.
Cryogenic cooldown was initiated on August 9, 2019 and terminated on August 15, 2019. That day, Jianhau became Alcor’s 171st patient.
Alcor has published a case report on Norman Hardy, A-1990.
This case was the first time the newly enacted California End of Life Option Act (EOLOA) was used to reduce the potential ischemic damage that can result from a prolonged dying process.
Gordon Norman, Alcor member A-1833, a non-confidential whole body member, was pronounced legally dead on May 26, 2019 in Knoxville, TN. Mr. Norman, a member since 2000, received a brief standby followed by stabilization, field blood substitution, and transport by Suspended Animation in Knoxville and underwent cryoprotective perfusion at Alcor on May 27. That day, he became Alcor’s 170th patient.
Arthur Naiman, member A-1499, a non-confidential whole body member was pronounced legally dead on May 13, 2019 in Tucson, Arizona. After a four-day standby followed by stabilization and transport carried out by Alcor’s Medical Response Director and his local team, Mr. Naiman was cryoprotected at Alcor and started cool down on May 13. Mr. Naiman has been an Alcor member since 1995.
Bahareh Bina (A-3240), a non-confidential female neurocryopreservation member from Bellevue, King County, Washington, became Alcor’s 168th patient on April 29, 2019.
On April 27th, Alcor deployed contractor Suspended Animation (SA) to Washington state, accompanied by Alcor’s Medical Response Director, Chris Divver, as an observer. The standby team set up at the Ms. Bahareh Bina’s house that evening. Bahareh was a 33-year old female member with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, a form of cancer. She had been released from a hospital into home hospice care. The member and her family did not want to relocate to hospice care in Scottsdale, AZ.
It was discovered that King County stood out from other counties in the state by being especially demanding and difficult when it comes to obtaining a transit permit to move a legally deceased person out-of-state. Although, in Washington state, a hospice RN can make a legal pronouncement of death over the phone from family, without having to see the patient, they cannot help with the transit permit. Efforts by the team avoided the potential delay.
Bahareh Bina was pronounced legally deceased at 11:53 by a hospital nurse on April 29, 2019, in Bellevue, Washington. Despite concerns, surgery and washout went quickly and smoothly and paperwork was organized and received quickly. Cooling, stabilization, and medication administration followed. SA’s surgeon and perfusionist conducted a whole-body washout with organ preservation solution. Bahareh arrived by plane in Phoenix at 21:00 and arrived at Alcor at 22:15. Cryoprotection started sooner after, followed by cool down.
Jerry Searcy, a non-confidential neuropreservation member became Alcor’s 167th patient on March 24, 2019, in Scottsdale, AZ. Jerry had been an Alcor member since 1979 and was a very active volunteer. His death was sudden and unexpected as Jerry seemed to be in good health for his age. Fortunately, the medical examiner released him to us without any damaging autopsy. It is not known how long the period of ischemia was – other than it cannot have been more than 24 hours.
A-3224, a confidential 85-year-old Alcor member with third-party neurocryopreservation arrangements, was declared legally dead on February 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
A-3224, a third-party sign-up, was pronounced clinically deceased before any membership paperwork had been signed. Relatives placed him into a freezer at a funeral home in the San Francisco bay area while we awaited funds to be transferred and paperwork to be completed. Although Alcor rarely approves third-party sign-ups, this one passed most of our criteria. Medical Response Director, Chris Divver, flew to the member’s location on February 27 to coordinate with the funeral director.
Prior to his departure, Chris spent time with Alcor Technical Coordinator, Steve Graber, to practice building Alcor’s standard whole body dry ice shipper to get more hands-on knowledge of the process. He also included a copy of the instructions to bring with me. Once in the area, using Alcor documentation Chris worked with the funeral service to build the dry ice shipper. The quality of the build was verified through extensive photographic documentation and an overnight dry ice consumption test.
On March 1, the dry ice shipper was sealed and transported to the airport. Unfortunately, the dry ice shipper was 100lbs overweight and was unable to get onto the flight. Although this was frustrating, it was far better than shipping with insufficient dry ice. On March 2, the case was resealed and taken to the airport, this time being under the weight limit. The member arrived that evening and went into cool down at 10:30 pm.
A confidential Alcor member (A-1661) with neurocryopreservation arrangements, died suddenly in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 2, 2019.
She was found by a friend who called Alcor immediately. The paramedics were called and she was transported to the hospital where she was legally pronounced deceased on January 2, 2019. Alcor worked with the Medical Examiner and the member was released to Alcor within hours of her legal death. A-1661 became Alcor’s 165th patient that same day.
Norman Hardy, a non-confidential, neurocryopreservation Alcor member was pronounced legally deceased on October 30, 2018, in Mountain View, CA.
This was an important milestone for Alcor and for cryonics as this is the first time Death With Dignity legislation was used to reduce the potential ischemic damage that can result when additional biological damage is sustained during a prolonged dying process.
On October 21, 2018 Alcor Life Extension (Alcor) notified Suspended Animation (SA) that member A-1990, a member who has been closely watched for the past few months, decided that he wanted to end his life using physician approved End of Life medications (EOL). Mr. Hardy had been diagnosed with terminal metastatic prostate cancer that had spread to the bones, and lungs. His pain had been poorly managed, and Norman had been looking to end his life as soon as possible.
Initially, Mr. Hardy said that he was going to take his EOL prescription the same Wednesday. This set off our alarms bell since two days was insufficient for us to prepare for a case in unprecedented circumstances. Alcor had requested that the member hold off on taking his EOL medications until a thorough investigation into the End of Life Option Act in California had been reviewed. Fortunately, Mr. Hardy relented, giving us a week to prepare.
Chris Divver, Alcor’s Medical Response Director, and Dr. Steve Harris, Alcor’s Chief Medical Advisor, together with other Alcor staff and Suspended Animation personnel worked for over a week to ensure that all legal requirements were in place. The hospice facility and the family members all cooperated with Alcor to make this case work seamlessly. SA was deployed to the patient’s location on October 29, 2018. Chris Divver arrived on Wednesday October 26 and stayed until Mr. Hardy’s pronouncement, field washout, and air ambulance flight to Scottsdale on October 30.