death certificates

death certificates

charles platt
charles platt

January 11th, 2004, 9:00 pm #1

Rick, I am amazed that you still don't have a definitive answer re California death certificates listing cryonics as an option. Surely this should be very simple. The next time you are at Alcor, you could ask Mathew Sullivan or Tanya Jones for a copy of a California death certificate from a case in which the member did not request confidentiality.

I can remember seeing a certificate in which there were three check-boxes: For cremation, burial, and cryonics. But memories can be false. I encourage you to verify this yourself. You don't need to contact mortuaries in California to do so.
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Rick
Rick

January 11th, 2004, 9:21 pm #2

Thanks again for stopping by. I'm as amazed as you are. I'll make it my life's work to contact or visit Tanya or Matt in this coming week to see if they'll let me have a copy of a public California cryonaut's CoD.
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Rick
Rick

January 11th, 2004, 9:44 pm #3

Rick, I am amazed that you still don't have a definitive answer re California death certificates listing cryonics as an option. Surely this should be very simple. The next time you are at Alcor, you could ask Mathew Sullivan or Tanya Jones for a copy of a California death certificate from a case in which the member did not request confidentiality.

I can remember seeing a certificate in which there were three check-boxes: For cremation, burial, and cryonics. But memories can be false. I encourage you to verify this yourself. You don't need to contact mortuaries in California to do so.
Wouldn't it more accurate to say that you may have remembered incorrectly? The idea of a false memory seems to be a highly contentious. If you said "I thought I saw a CoD, one time, that had cryonics as an option but I could have been wrong", then that would sound better than "I have a false memory of seeing a CoD with cryonics on it". Agreed?
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shipdit
shipdit

January 13th, 2004, 7:05 am #4

Rick,

You have never grasped the spelling of the word "ridiculous", yet you critique the preferred english usage of the only multiply-published author that has blessed your LATEST forum with his participation?


I would propose that such misguided effervescence could cause this forum to eventually join the scrap heap of the other hundred or so that have preceded it.

SD
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Rick
Rick

January 13th, 2004, 1:28 pm #5

There's an entire body of medical literature associated with "false memory" and I'm not sure that its valid. I'm 46 years old and I remember the years before we ever saw the term "false memory" in the press and in general usage. I think it would have been more common, in the past, to speak of "not remembering correctly" or even "being mistaken". I understand that Charles is an accomplished writer and I appreciate his visits here, however that doesn't mean that I'm simply going to let him off the hook for trying to escape having been "wrong". "False memory" is, as Charles himself might agree, could be construed as a clever euphemism for "wrong".

There's a great scene in one of the episodes of Happy Days, the 1970's sitcom about the 1950's, in which Fonzie turns out to have been wrong about something. Fonzie realizes he was wrong and is brought to the point where he has to say it, but cannot. He starts with "I was wr..." and pauses because he has such a well developed ego that it's impossible for him to imagine having been wrong. He tries a second time, "I was rrrraaawww..." and still cannot complete the sentence because it's so painful. I can't recall how the scene played out but I imagine that if the show were written today, the writers would have him quip, in his New Jersey accent, "I may have had a false memory".

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 13th, 2004, 11:39 pm #6

Rick, I am amazed that you still don't have a definitive answer re California death certificates listing cryonics as an option. Surely this should be very simple. The next time you are at Alcor, you could ask Mathew Sullivan or Tanya Jones for a copy of a California death certificate from a case in which the member did not request confidentiality.

I can remember seeing a certificate in which there were three check-boxes: For cremation, burial, and cryonics. But memories can be false. I encourage you to verify this yourself. You don't need to contact mortuaries in California to do so.
...because Charles Platt says his memory of that may have been false. Due to other evidence I've gathered so far, it appears that cryonics is NOT a specifically stated option on the CA CoD and Charles' latest comment regarding his false memory of it is enough to bring my further intense prioritized investigation of the matter to a close, for now. A primary motive behind my recent priority investigation was the apparent discrepency between what Charles was saying and with what others were saying. I'll keep looking for various CA death certificates but on a more relaxed basis now. Thanks, Charles, for indicating the status of your position on this matter. I guess we could all improve our fact-checking skills.




Last edited by recreation on January 13th, 2004, 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Non E. Moose
Non E. Moose

January 14th, 2004, 3:37 am #7

So I guess it is established, finally, that California death certificates have no such box to check for cryonics? Hm, I wonder who came up with that idea in the first place. Interesting combination of people who adamantly espoused it, until challenged -- Charles Platt and Paul Wakfer.

The answer may lie in the history of Cryonics and Alcor back around 1991-1992. Things were happening around that time. A group of people clustered around a famous leader who could not get adequate representation on the Alcor board ended up forming their own short-lived cryonics organization. Alcor had fought off legal challenges from California authorities, stemming largely from the Dora Kent matter (which put all Alcor suspendees at grave risk), and seem to have "won," thereby creating an aura of euphoric victory that conjured up a "check box on the death certificate." Well, I don't really know that is how it came about, but it is about the only reasonable explanation I can derive from the records (Cryonet, old Alcor newsletters now on their site, etc.). Plus maybe resentment that the undaunted Alcor board at that time decided to move from that earthquake-threatened but political paradise to, heavens sake, Arizona.

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Rick
Rick

January 14th, 2004, 9:01 pm #8

...because Charles Platt says his memory of that may have been false. Due to other evidence I've gathered so far, it appears that cryonics is NOT a specifically stated option on the CA CoD and Charles' latest comment regarding his false memory of it is enough to bring my further intense prioritized investigation of the matter to a close, for now. A primary motive behind my recent priority investigation was the apparent discrepency between what Charles was saying and with what others were saying. I'll keep looking for various CA death certificates but on a more relaxed basis now. Thanks, Charles, for indicating the status of your position on this matter. I guess we could all improve our fact-checking skills.



Thanks go out to Tanya at Alcor for forwarding me a copy of a blank CA death certificate. It says:

Certificate of Death
State of California


...so it doesn't appear to me that different counties use different forms. This looks like a standard form for the entire state.

The relevent boxes read...

39. Disposition Date
40. Place of final disposition
41. Type of disposition(s)
44. Name of Funeral Establishment


So the "type of disposition", then, would be where one writes in "cryonics". It is not the case the "cryonics" is preprinted on the form along with other types of disposition. One would wonder how many types of dispositions the State of California thinks there is. There are subboxes in many other sections. You would think that with 1)cremation 2)burial and 3)cryonics that they would have preprinted these on there. Perhaps the State of California could be persuaded to do just that.

In any case, Charles Platt appears to have had a false memory of cryonics having been preprinted on the death certificate. QED.
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Non E. Moose
Non E. Moose

January 15th, 2004, 3:49 am #9

It might be worth checking with the people who fill out these forms (I would guess, coroners and their offices) as to whether they have a set of instructions on how to fill them out, and if, perchance, there might be guidance on the "disposition" section regarding options that might be picked from to fill in.

It is noteworthy that you are saying there are no checkboxes at all, if I understand it correctly. That means there are not even any checkboxes for "burial" or "cremation" or anything else?

It might just be that there are a list of options NOT actually printed on the CoD form, since none are preprinted, that are recommended to pick from. Maybe this is what Messrs. Platt and Wakfer are actually recollecting in their old age

Worth checking? Ask some coroners offices what kind of list of options they pick from?

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Rick
Rick

January 15th, 2004, 5:16 am #10

Thanks for that. Those thoughts vaguely occurred to me but you've sharpened them up. I'll pursue them and see what turns up. It certainly seems to me, for example, that the person who fills that form out would have a limited set of defined choices for "disposition". If there are no guidelines, it would be fun to invent some. Like "hang body in a public square" or "castrate, cook and eat". I'm pretty confident that those would not be acceptable on the death certificate, but is there a rule that prevents that? I'll see if I can find out. I'll be civil and professional in my inquiries of course and suppress any attempt at my brand of humor.

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