I would like to add my voice to those expressing sorrow at Sasha's passing.
He was a beloved friend for many years, and I have always cherished the time
we spent together. I felt a tremendous regret when I discovered that his
cryonics arrangements had not been completed, and some guilt, for I know we
discussed this the last time we were together.
My thoughts are filled with him at this time, and I'm finding it hard to
work. Sasha was to be here next week, and I'm very sad that this
much-anticipated visit will never occur. For now, I can only hope to
continue the work he began.
Sasha was to attend the Foresight Gathering next week, and several of his
articles have already been incorporated into the program. These will remain,
and I will probably find ways to add more. I hope that this will provide a
productive expression for the grief I now feel.
Further, I would also like to offer my past expertise as a resource for
those who wish to discuss cryonics in pursuing their own arrangements.
I'll start by replying to the following questions:
from Rob Sweeney:
>Do stats exist on the response time between an accident, say, and actually
>getting frozen? (forgive my ignorance - but does it just not work this
>way either, that is, does one have to >go< to a facility pre-need, as it
The nature of cryonics is that the procedure cannot begin until the
pronouncement of death has occurred. Certain complications fall as the
result of this requirement, and they impact our ability to predict an
In all cases, legal documentation must have been executed *in advance*
authorizing an anatomical donation. This is the mechanism whereby Alcor (and
the other organizations) can accept custody of a patient.
Assuming documentation and funding exists, the emergency response time will
depend on when the cryonics organization receives the news of a member's
distress. With sufficient notice, a team is deployed to be on hand at the
moment of legal death. They are then able to implement the first stages of
the cryonics protocol almost immediately.
In cases of sudden death, there is often an autopsy, which delays everything
a great deal.
I have participated in cases where we were holding the patient's hand when
death occurred, and the procedure began immediately. There have also been
cases where I travelled long distances to wrest a patient's brain from the
local coroner. Maybe a third of the cases allowed for advance prep time.
But sudden death may not always mean long delays. I'm remembering here, our
friend Paul Genteman. He died shortly after intestinal surgery, much to our
shock. I was on my way to visit him in the hospital when the call came in to
Alcor. Paul's suspension went well, mostly because he was in a Phoenix
hospital. We had good relations with the local medical examiners, and this
allowed Paul's near-immediate release and application of the suspension
I haven't worked the numbers to establish how many cases had what time
frames, but I have certainly identified variables that impact the times to
1. Be signed up.
2. Keep your cryonics organization notified of surgeries and illnesses.
3. Make certain your family and friends know of your intentions.
4. Call Alcor.
from Harvey Newstrom
>I would be very interested in how often cryonics arrangements actually
Cryonics arrangements will work as long as there are remains. Alcor is
committed to caring for even the smallest of samples. But the real question
here, I think, is how often is the original personality actually preserved.
I don't have the answer to this. Our current methods are crude, and there is
the damage of death and the damage of freezing. There will also eventually
be the damage of thawing and reanimation. Techniques will certainly continue
to improve, as our understanding grows.
I would like to think that what we have done was enough, but in my heart, I
know there is no way to know for certain until we can nearly wake these
For Sasha, it is too late, and I will mourn for a long time to come.
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