Alcor Loses Richardson Case

Alcor Loses Richardson Case

Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

July 17th, 2009, 12:47 pm #1

http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/Cryonics-071609

Alcor's recent efforts to dig up a cryonicist who had been embalmed, and buried for four months, probably only added to the public perception of cryonicists as a bunch of kooks and ghouls, and cost Alcor an unknown sum of money. In addition, they seem to have been ignorant of the applicable laws, in Mr. Richardson's state of residence:

"Even if the motion was not a petition for disinterment, (Judge) Linn addressed the issue and cited that disinterment has two requirements: if there is an autopsy needed and if the body will be reburied. And since the body already is buried, a permit from the Department of Public Health must be obtained. Alcor can seek the permit, but it eventually will be denied because the purpose of the disinterment is not for autopsy or reburial. It also will be denied because Iowa law requires consent from next of kin.
...
Now that Alcor has lost, it will be liable for the cost of the proceedings."


This paragraph should be of particular interest to cryonicists:

"In the fall of 2007, Orville Richardson's health -- physical and mental -- deteriorated, and he was admitted to the hospital where he was evaluated as having dementia. This limited his capacity to care for himself, including making financial decisions." In May 2008, the court appointed David Richardson and Broeker (Orville's son and daughter) as co-conservators for Orville and soon after, Broeker was appointed as guardian.


In the event a person has not previously made iron-clad arrangements for a specific person to make decisions for him, and he becomes unable to make decisions for himself, the court is going to appoint someone, (most likely a family member).



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Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

July 17th, 2009, 2:20 pm #2

Why is it required to rebury the body? Isn't cryosuspension equal to reburial under the law? If not, why not?

Why did the court appoint guardians hostile to his interests as a cryonicist?

Why is there a requirement of voluntary consent for the disinterrment?

This case underscores how important it is to a) make ironclad arrangements for ourselves, and b) change society's perception of cryonicists the rights of cryonics patients.
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

July 17th, 2009, 4:28 pm #3

"Why is it required to rebury the body? Isn't cryosuspension equal to reburial under the law? If not, why not? "

Only if the organization is legally a cemetery, such as CI, could it be considered "reburial". Alcor is a research organization with custody of research specimens, not a "burial" situation.

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Joined: July 1st, 2007, 8:16 am

July 17th, 2009, 6:54 pm #4

The laws was quite clear. So it was a simple decision for the judge to make. The only thing hard to understand is Alcor’s attorneys. Were they illiterates, or were they ripping off Alcor? Alcor now may be even liable to refund the $50,000 to the Richardson heirs. What is worse, it may be subjected to publicity far worse than after Ted Williams case. However the bottom line remains: Cryonicists need protection against greedy relatives.

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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

July 17th, 2009, 7:05 pm #5

>The laws was quite clear. So it was a simple decision for the judge to make.


nonsense. This is clearly an uncommon case, and not something seen every day in any court.

There are always all sorts of motions filed every day in courts all over that are not based on clearly defined points of law.

Hell, once you get outside the big cities, half the family law, probate, and civil motion and other pleadings are typically not very well based on well defined points of law. The judges just basically do what they think is right. Especially in a case like this, where it is NOT an everyday sort of case.

Have you EVER actually practiced law, george, or have you always been a professor?


>Alcor now may be even liable to refund the $50,000 to the Richardson heirs.

Completely beside the point. That has NOTHING to do with the issues in this case! That is another matter ENTIRELY!

Why do you have this vendetta against alcor???? You have been on this site for at least 2 years now, and almost every post is anti-alcor and anti-SA/Kent.

Haven't you gotten over it yet????



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Joined: July 1st, 2007, 8:16 am

July 17th, 2009, 9:08 pm #6

The law is very clear. Just try reading the judge's decision. The Alcor's decision to sue was 100 percent nonsense. They screwed up, how can you praise them for it?

"This is clearly an uncommon case, and not something seen every day in any court."

I bet you will not see another case like this in any court.
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Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

July 17th, 2009, 9:14 pm #7

Why is it required to rebury the body? Isn't cryosuspension equal to reburial under the law? If not, why not?

Why did the court appoint guardians hostile to his interests as a cryonicist?

Why is there a requirement of voluntary consent for the disinterrment?

This case underscores how important it is to a) make ironclad arrangements for ourselves, and b) change society's perception of cryonicists the rights of cryonics patients.
"Why is it required to rebury the body?"

Because that is the law.

"Isn't cryosuspension equal to reburial under the law? If not, why not?"

FD gave an excellent answer to this question. CI is licensed as a cemetery; Alcor is not.

"Why did the court appoint guardians hostile to his interests as a cryonicist?"

It is common to appoint the next-of-kin as guardians. The court probably didn't even know of Mr. Richardson's desire for cryopreservation, much less that the family was opposed to those wishes. The courts don't know who is "hostile" to Mr. Richardson, and who is not. If you want to blame someone for this, blame Mr. Richardson, for not having his documents in order.

"Why is there a requirement of voluntary consent for the disinterrment?"

Because that is the law. If cryonics organizations were not so focused on spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, on ridiculous design and fabrication projects, and excessive salaries to grossly-underqualified personnel, perhaps some of that money could be spent lobbying for laws that are more "cryonics friendly."

"This case underscores how important it is to a) make ironclad arrangements for ourselves, and b) change society's perception of cryonicists the rights of cryonics patients."

Bingo, but you are not going to "change society's perception of cryonicists by asking to dig up someone who didn't bother to have his documents in order, and as a result, was buried. This case was an extremely poor decision, on Alcor's part, if you ask me, as they have placed cryonics in a negative light, in the national news, once again.
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Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

July 17th, 2009, 10:22 pm #8

I wonder, could CI have successfully won this lawsuit, if there was an autopsy needed? Perhaps the need for an autopsy can be demonstrated, and Alcor can contract with CI for the fulfillment of this contract to be a form of "burial" according to state law.

Whether Richardson should have got his papers in order or not, his last wishes have obviously been violated. I do not think this has placed cryonics in a negative light. Most people will sympathize with a person whose rights have been so clearly violated, even if they are considered deceased at the time.
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Joined: October 6th, 2004, 6:46 pm

July 17th, 2009, 10:45 pm #9

http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/Cryonics-071609

Alcor's recent efforts to dig up a cryonicist who had been embalmed, and buried for four months, probably only added to the public perception of cryonicists as a bunch of kooks and ghouls, and cost Alcor an unknown sum of money. In addition, they seem to have been ignorant of the applicable laws, in Mr. Richardson's state of residence:

"Even if the motion was not a petition for disinterment, (Judge) Linn addressed the issue and cited that disinterment has two requirements: if there is an autopsy needed and if the body will be reburied. And since the body already is buried, a permit from the Department of Public Health must be obtained. Alcor can seek the permit, but it eventually will be denied because the purpose of the disinterment is not for autopsy or reburial. It also will be denied because Iowa law requires consent from next of kin.
...
Now that Alcor has lost, it will be liable for the cost of the proceedings."


This paragraph should be of particular interest to cryonicists:

"In the fall of 2007, Orville Richardson's health -- physical and mental -- deteriorated, and he was admitted to the hospital where he was evaluated as having dementia. This limited his capacity to care for himself, including making financial decisions." In May 2008, the court appointed David Richardson and Broeker (Orville's son and daughter) as co-conservators for Orville and soon after, Broeker was appointed as guardian.


In the event a person has not previously made iron-clad arrangements for a specific person to make decisions for him, and he becomes unable to make decisions for himself, the court is going to appoint someone, (most likely a family member).


Can't be very important then...
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

July 18th, 2009, 6:33 am #10

The law is very clear. Just try reading the judge's decision. The Alcor's decision to sue was 100 percent nonsense. They screwed up, how can you praise them for it?

"This is clearly an uncommon case, and not something seen every day in any court."

I bet you will not see another case like this in any court.
I think I posted this before, but let me repeat. Alcor's contract, as I have read it, with their "members," stipulates that they will do everything conceivable to cryopreserve even the cut off fingernail if nothing else is left.

In view of that, their legal proceeding to at least try to recover this body, was legally commendable.

What Alcor needs, instead, is language in their membership contract that gives them the option of NOT doing such idiocy, creating such PR problems, etc.

IOW, "if you are buried in the ground, we will not attempt to exhume and cryopreserve you".

Isn't that a reasonable item to be in the contract, since it is inconceivable that anyone deteriorated enough to be buried, could not possibly be in a state that is ever possible to resuscitate from?

Of course, what does a "contract" become worth, with a dead person? I bet even UNperson could answer that. But that is a subject for a different thread.

The point to me is, that any cryonics organization should have in their "contract" with their member, what their true and realistic intent is, whether the member is still around to challenge them on it or not.

Cheers,

FD
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