More On Cryonics Regulation

Dr. Steve Harris has a much more detailed dissection (or vivisection?) of the Arizona article on cryonics regulation than mine.


…When Thomas says the state has *no* regulatory authority
over Alcor, what he’s actually complaining about is that the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers doesn’t wield state authority over Alcor, and the state therefore doesn’t have as much authority as Thomas WANTS it to have, because Alcor is regulated in another part of the law. But that’s not the same thing…

…What is done to bodies at medical schools also might be “mutilation” to Mr. Thomas also, but that’s irrelevant. The law in Arizona actually does not prohibit the mutilation of dead bodies it only becomes mutilation if done without force or coverage by law. The AAGA provides the law, and it specifically allows technicians to remove body parts, and so on, if the purpose is science or research. See the relevant law here. Funeral directors can’t do that, and perhaps this is what Mr. Thomas is complaining about. But scientific institutions can, and funeral directors cannot, BECAUSE the AAGA, which is the relevant 1996 Arizona State Law, **is written that way.** Otherwise you can be sure Mr. Thomas wouldn’t be complaining to the legislature about it, but rather would be going to the attorney general. Again, Mr. Thomas calls things “unregulated” when the state actually is explicitly authorizing an action that Mr. Thomas doesn’t *like* (cutting up bodies for science). Regulating an
action does not mean outlawing it, fortunately…

…If Thomas asked for cryonics be regulated by Board he represents, this would look like the naked power grab that it is. So what do we see, instead? Thomas deceptively asks for creation of a brand new state agency (which he knows will never happen), and then one of the legislators stands up right away to deliver the message that it’s better to put things into the hands of good old Mr. Thomas and his boys (who we all know and love). Modest though they may be…

…Alcor needs to spend time with the sponsoring legislator to see how he got into the pocket of the funeral industry. Then to remind some of the other legislators that the AAGA already is the state’s regulation intended to cover the
practice of cutting up bodies for research. Alcor is regulated, just not in the way the funeral industry wants.

That’s the meat of it, but the whole thing’s worth a read for those interested in the issues.