Re: Cryonics Thoughts

Scott Badger (
Sat, 5 Dec 1998 10:39:33 -0600

> ("Scott Badger") writes:
>>>3) If I name a Cryonics organization as a beneficiary of life
>>>insurance in order to secure financing for freezing and I expire in
>>>such a way that I'm not salvageable (explosion, acid, eaten,
>>>spontaneous combustion, alien abduction, lost at sea, etc.) is there a
>>>clause to divert the money to my family?
>>No problem. They only get the money if they suspend you.
>>Check out their contracts.
> I don't recall seeing such a provision in the contract I signed. Think
>of the risks they could face if they make a good faith effort to freeze
>you under conditions where it isn't clear whether there is anything left
>of your mind, and then some lawyers try to second guess what they
>accomplished. They really need to know when they start trying to freeze
>you whether they will get paid, and there's no good alternative to trusting
>them not to take the money when there's clearly nothing to do. They face
>significant risks if people suspect they are acting out of greed (at
>least as long as there are alledged experts who claim it can't work, they
>need to be very carefull to avoid anything that could be confused with
>fraud), so a moderate amount of independant scrutiny of their behavior
>will normally prevent any unethical use of money.

I may well have spoken in haste here, but my remark was based on the response I received when I posed this question to a staff member at ALCOR. He simply said that if ALCOR did not perform the service, a secondary beneficiary would receive the money instead.

>>revived. They're not going to want to pay death benefits if you
>>didn't actually die. I'm curious as to whether they'd have a case
>>for demanding their money back when I'm revived!
> For people suspended when there is a near consensus within the legal
>that cryonically suspended people are dead, they won't have much of a case.
>Being declared legally dead and abandonded by the medical profession is the
>condition on which they agreed to pay the benefit. There's no fraud
>and the insurance agent typically understands that payment for suspension
>what is being contracted for.
> Suspension more closely approximates what people want life
>insurance to help mitigate the harm from than information theoretic death
>(suspension leaves you unable to help your dependents), so I expect strong
>market pressure to resolve ambiguities in insurance contracts towards
>treating suspension as equivalent to death even when the popular usage of
>the word death starts to become uncertain.
>Peter McCluskey | Critmail (
> | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list

These are good points, Peter. Thanks.