The 70th patient of the Cryonics Institute was a 21-year-old man who died in an automobile accident. He was killed by a drunken driver. This is proof of the principle that your life is in the hands of any fool coming in the opposite direction who lacks the ability to stay on his or her side of the center-line.
In addition to suffering head injuries in the accident, the patient was autopsied. We were contacted after the autopsy, so we had no chance to intervene. Normally, we would not accept such a patient, but we were told it was a "light autopsy", that the patient was in refrigeration and there seemed to be no opposition in the family. Also we were believing that holding a person on dry ice post-mortem was not an option because of new airline requirements (this belief is now being re-evaluated). We make no guarantee of accepting such patients in the future.
Reportedly the patient had spoken of wanting to be cryopreserved, without anticipating that he would be deanimating so young. I urged that the patient be shipped as quickly as possible, but although the mother (who signed the forms) was apparently in agreement with this, there were evidently others in the family who insisted that a church service be held with the remains in a casket. A closed-casket funeral service was held, attended by hundreds of people, with the casket containing ice. I was assured that this was the compromise they had agreed upon and I didn't put up too much of a fight. I did not attempt to get involved in the family negotiations other than my urging, which I did not vigorously pursue. These matters can be sensitive.
The 69th Patient at the Cryonics Institute is an 79-year-old female CI Member who had been living in a nursing home. Although she was a Member and the contracts had been executed four months earlier, no funding was in place for her. Under the circumstances, the Member's deanimation caught everyone far more unprepared than should have been the case for a nursing home resident. In this case, part of the problem was that no funding had been arranged and the Member was not funded until the very day of her deanimation. If she had deanimated on a weekend or holiday, funding problems would have resulted in worse care than she received.
At 4am on the morning of Friday, August 12, 2005 the Patient- Member completed an asthma treatment. At 6am she was pronounced dead. According to the nursing staff, those in the nursing home are checked every 15 minutes and our patient could not have been deanimated more than 15 minutes prior to the pronouncement. Immediately upon pronouncement the nursing staff phoned the Member's son and packed ice behind her head & neck. The Member's son phoned CI immediately and then drove to the nursing home. Arriving at 6:30pm he packed ice on his mother's face and phoned the funeral director (a man who had handled one of our 2004 patients). The funeral director arrived at 7:30am, removed the patient to his funeral home and packed her completely in ice. No cardiopulmonary support was given. No heparin was given because none was available.
Several years ago the cryonics kit that had been used in a Canadian case found its way to my apartment -- including a Brunswick heart-lung machine (thumper) and a chest of medications. In December of 2001 I also inherited a plastic bath gurney. No one other than me seemed to have room to store these things. At the time the gurney was being moved-in I decided it would be good to rent an oxygen tank, go through the supplies and have a cryonics local response training. I knew that there would be a cryonics case in the Toronto area eventually -- perhaps even me or one of the 5-10 signed-up cryonicists in the area.
(For background on cryonics emergency response protocol, see Emergency Preparedness for a Local Cryonics Group.) Veteran cryonicist Keith Henson had recently moved to Toronto -- seeking refuge from California Scientologists with whom he had been fighting in the courts. They had him charged with the "hate crime" of persecuting a "religious minority". He was able to show our local cryonics group how to use our Brunswick thumper. We had discussions about other meds and equipment we might need and how we might respond to a cryonics case in Toronto.