Re: Cryonics Presents Chilling Question for Life Insurers
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 08:33:08 -0400

In a message dated 96-10-17 21:51:31 EDT, Hara Ra writes:

> A cryonic patient has to be declared dead before a cryonics organization
> can begin
> the suspension process. As an Alcor member I signed a "Whole Body
> Anatomical Donation"
> document which gives Alcor sole posession of my remains.

This is obviously the best way to arrange things under the current state of
affairs and I can't see any basis for challenging it today. My questions
relate only to the conundrums raised by a succesful reanimation (and the more
I think about it, uploads, as well). Right now you have to be "dead" to be
suspended and claims get paid on "dead" people; no problem. But if
technology progresses to the point where there is a high probability of
reanimantion for any particular suspended individual, medical ethicists will
inevitably begin to revise their defintitions of "death", though, and their
work has a tendency to make its way into the law. This is about to happen
now in debates on genetic testing: Articles about genetic testing are
appearing in "mainstream" periodicals like the ABA Journal. Before long,
there will be cases in court that will give rise to evolution of legal
definitions, etc. Justice Holmes again: "The life of the law is experience,
not logic."

> IMHO once you are legally dead, the only
> recourse left for a
> creditor is to sue the estate.

Actually, I see the issue arising in a claim by a frustrated beneficiary
(Alcor, for instance) or in a suit against a reanimated person by the insurer
to recover benefits: "Hey, you're _alive_! We want our money back."

Greg Burch <> <> or
"There's no surer justice in the world that that which makes a rich thief
hang a poor one." -- Piere Cardenal