Re: U.S. courts and physician assisted deanimation for cryonic
Sat, 18 Sep 1999 09:50:37 EDT

In a message dated 99-09-13 20:58:07 EDT, (john grigg) wrote:

> I was fascinated by what Jeff Davis posted in the cryonet regarding what 

> would be commonly called physician assisted suicide. I am not a lawyer or
> legal expert but I wonder if "physician assisted suicide" could be seen as
> different thing entirely in the case of cryonic suspension?? Afterall, we
> only intend to be "temporarily" at rest while technology advances to a
> where we can be "awakened". And some top notch scientific minds view
> cryonics as having a strong possibility of succeeding which would work to
> our favor.
> So on this basis could we appeal to the courts and have "physician
> deanimation" for cryonic suspension made totally legal??

Well, as I always say to my clients when they ask whether we can try some novel legal theory, "Sure, we can TRY it." But in this case it won't work. The reason is simple: Until someone is successfully revived, cryonically preserved people are legally dead. Period. Thus, a physician-assisted "deanimation" will be considered a physician-assisted suicide; end of argument.

Also, note that while it is true that "some top notch scientific minds view cryonics as having a strong possibility of succeeding", the fact is that the vast majority of the scientific world considers cryonics to be kooky foolishness. I wouldn't want to risk subjecting the current state of the art in cryonics to the judicial rules regarding "junk science". Rational lawyers have fought hard to get those rules in place and it would be a shame to have cryonics judged by them prematurely. When the time is right, I'll be the first to support such a move; but this isn't it.

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                           Thomas Huxley