The 76th patient of the Cryonics Institute was a 44-year-old man who had been rendered paraplegic by a motorcycle accident at the age of 18. He lived alone and he was alone when he deanimated on Christmas day. He had been seen at about 3pm, was discovered at about 6pm and time of deanimation was estimated to be around 4pm. He was found slumped-over in his 450-pound electric wheelchair, secured by his seat belt. Because his cause of death was unknown he became a coroner's case requiring autopsy.
The 76th patient was an Option Two Member who was fully funded by a $50,000 life insurance policy. The policy was more than two years old and would therefore pay-out irrespective of cause-of-death.
Both CI and patient's parents requested that the brain not be autopsied. We were told by the coroner that the brain would not be autopsied if not required, but that they could make no promises. The coroner did autopsy the brain, cutting it into pieces and placing them in the abdomen mixed-in with the other organs -- without having learned any more about the cause of death.
The 75th patient of the Cryonics Institute had many things in common with the three patients that preceded her. She was a mother cryopreserved on the initiative of her son, the signup occurred with the mother in a terminal state (post-terminal for the 73rd) and payment was in cash.
Five weeks previously the son had phoned to say that his mother was in the hospital, that he would get a loan on some land to pay for cryopreservation and that his father approved of cryopreserving his mother if she became legally dead. On a Saturday morning at 4:30am the son phoned and told me that his mother was in the ICU. He paid the $1,250 Option One Membership fee by credit card and FAXed the membership application to lock-in the $28,000 rate.
Fifteen hours later we got a call from a physician in the ICU saying that the mother had coded and was getting defibrillations to restore regular heartbeats, but said that he couldn't keep her alive much longer. The physician was aware that the mother was a cryonics patient and he wanted information on how a cryonics case should be handled. I explained that we wanted heparin injected as soon as possible and that the heparin would be most effectively circulated if it could be given pre-mortem. The physician requested that we FAX our hospital instructions, which we did. The mother was given heparin pre-mortem and ice was packed around her head immediately post-mortem (post-pronouncement). She was transferred to the hospital morgue and kept in a refrigerated unit with ice packed around her head.