Saturday, November 6, 2010

Alcor's Glaring Self-Contradiction

Alcor Life Extension Foundation calls the residents of the Dewars "patients," yet they collected these patients, under the "Uniform Anatomical Gift Act" (UAGA). If you ask me, those people cannot be both "patients" AND "brain donors." So, which one is it???

Living donors can donate a lot of things, including a kidney, a lobe of their liver, a lung, part of the pancreas, part of the intestine, bone marrow, blood, stem cells, and more, but they cannot donate their brains. The people in the Dewars are "donors," not "patients." As donors, I believe they can be pulled out of those Dewars, and any time, and subjected to any slice-and-dice experiment Alcor wants to subject them to, unlike CI's members, who are protected by the same regulations that govern Michgan's cemeteries.

On September 11, 2010 Alcor's Executive Director, Jennfer Chapman, referred to Mr. Orville Richardson, (someone who had been dead and buried, for more than a year, before Alcor dug him up and put him in the Dewar), as
"Alcor's 99th patient." If Mr. Richardson is Alcor's patient, I would like to know who is his physician of record. I'm serious...I want to know. On a humorous note, I'd also be interested in his treatment plan and prognosis! Mr. Richardson is NOT a patient...he is a corpse, and most likely a severely-decayed one, at that.

In the same report, Ms. Chapman also wrote:
"My recent efforts have largely focused on developing a budget and budget balancing strategies to address the nearly $400,000 deficit Alcor will face in 2011 and 2012, should it receive no income from cases. Although it is unlikely that there will be no cases in a given year, it is Alcor’s tradition to prepare for the worst case scenario. Due to the unpredictable nature of cryonics caseloads, we start with a baseline assumption that no cases will occur. The deficit we face is only partially due to expiration of the grant. Even in 2010, Alcor would have experienced a deficit were it not for case income."

In the same report, Ms. Chapman also indicates Alcor has been somewhat dependent on the "LEF/Miller/Thorp Grant," since 2008, (which I believe was $450K a year, for three years), and notes that grant will expire in June 2011.

What happens if Alcor goes bankrupt, and is not be able to care for their cryogenically-suspended members? Certainly local regulatory agencies would have some sort of requirements, for disposing of their deceased residents, but would Alcor have any legal obligation to the families of those people? Some of those people paid $150,000, (and more, in the way of membership dues, etc.), to be preserved there, and I've heard of significant bequests being left to Alcor. Would these Alcor members, and their families, simply be "out in the warm," without any recourse, if Alcor were to fail?

Has Alcor accomplished anything, with their rash of recent, protracted legal battles, other than garnering a lot of negative publicity, and placing a huge financial drain on their already-tenuous budget? Who will protect the brain donors, Alcor calls "patients," if Alcor cannot, in the future?

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