January 9, 2019
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.