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Alcor 2012 Strategy Meeting — Kim Suozzi’s Cryonic Suspension Funded and More

Many readers will recall the recent story about a young woman Kim Suozzi who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and was seeking financial help for cryonic suspension. The plea was controversial for a number of different reasons, but it is now a settled matter with the Alcor board agreeing to fund Ms. Suozzi’s cryopreservation. “The board accepted the CEO’s recommendation to accept Kim Suozzi as a charity case, based on arrangements that will reduce Alcor’s costs. The full allocation of $25,000 to the patient care trust fund will be made. Alcor members have contributed to the fundraising effort to enable Kim to be cryopreserved.”

The good news is of course that this will hopefully provide Ms. Suozzi with the peace of mind she deserves. But the story remains controversial due to the possibility that many terminally ill patients might seek preservation on a charitable basis and how this might impact the viability of the operation going forward. Further the fact that cryopreservation does not cure her condition in any sense is a complication. Terminal patients may not be the best candidates for successful preservation and revival simply in terms of probability of success.The controversy here is likely to continue therefore.

In addition to funding Ms. Suozzi’s preservation the following resolution was  passed by the board: “Alcor shall tender to the PCT the full amount of the current PCT minimums for all underfunded cases, as soon as practicably consistent with Alcor’s cash flow needs, except to the extent that the PCT board waives some amount. Any amount not immediately paid shall be recorded as a liability to be discharged as soon as practicably possible.” So it seems there is a real commitment from the Alcor board to work with more people like Kim despite the challenges.

The board also increased the relocation allowance to $10,000. “Alcor has previously offered terminal members up to $5,000 to relocate to the Scottsdale area. Relocation close to Alcor both substantially reduces costs and improves the expected quality of procedures by greatly reducing transport time and enabling the team to go straight to cryoprotection rather than first doing a remote blood washout and long-distance transport.”

Importantly, Alcor CEO Max More writes “If cryonics is to become more widely accepted in the general scientific community, we need to add to existing evidence for the effectiveness of our procedures. One way to do this is to gather more data during all stages of stabilization, transport, and cryoprotection. We can also gather evidence of the quality and effectiveness of brain perfusion and structural preservation by routine CT scanning of neuro patients and by conducting biopsies of spinal cord and possibly other samples for all patients. The board expressed general support for carefully moving forward with this, ensuring that members understand what we propose to do.” I agree with this and further I suggest that improved scientific credibility and communication with the scientific community broadly will help to achieve the board’s other goals as well.

More information here: http://www.alcor.org/blog/?p=2645

[Editor’s Note: Full disclosure, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Humanity+ Natasha Vita-More (my boss) is also an advisor to Alcor Life Extension Foundation]