Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 19:03:56 EDT
Subject: hospice cases
As we have reported several times, dying under hospice care is the best
current way to minimize delay in initiating cryonics procedures after death
of the patient. We have had several such experiences, all good ones. In
Oakland County, Michigan, if the patient dies at home under hospice care,
and if there is no one there authorized to pronounce death, then someone
calls the EMS, which usually arrives within 5-10 minutes; they phone the
nearest hospital emergency room and report the (lack of) vital signs, and
the ER physician pronounces over the phone.
This is what happened with Walter Runkel and Helmer Fredriksson. There were
also others, including Andrea Foote in Washtenaw County. In Maricopa County,
Arizona, under local law and custom, if the patient dies
at home under hospice care, a family member can pronounce death--so long as
you know a physician will later sign the death certificate. A hospice nurse
will come out if requested, but it isn't necessary.
When Mae died, her daughter Bonnie had the watch; she called me immediately
when Mae stopped breathing, and I confirmed death and we started the
cool-down etc. Not more than a minute or two delay.
I plan to move back to Michigan this summer. Suicide is not illegal there,
although assisted suicide is illegal.
Before my death, if I have the luxury of anticipating it while still compos
mentis, I hope to persuade a medical examiner to have a representative
present at my suicide and ready to pronounce death and waive autopsy, with
our perfusion team on hand.
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