Arizona 2013: Legal challenge not prepared soon enough to prevent autopsy

On November 20th (2013), (an) individual arrived in Scottsdale and made arrangements to visit Alcor. He took a facility tour, picked up his Medic-Alert tags and paid for some extra storage boxes as he claimed he wished to keep his collectables when he was cryopreserved.

...Two days later, Alcor received a call from a detective with the Scottsdale Police department. They reported that a 29 year-old man, visiting from out of state, was found deceased within his secured hotel room by housekeeping staff. His death had been pronounced at the scene. The police initially found no ID for the individual; only the Alcor business card that was in his pocket.

...By the morning of the 24th, we received an acknowledgment from a supervisor at the ME's office that they had received our documents and would pass them on to the Examiner who had been assigned the case.

...It was at this point that Alcor decided to obtain legal representation to help support our desire to expedite the process while minimizing damage. Max More contacted Clifford Wolff, Esq., who had filed similar motion papers on a previous patient in Florida, and Leo Pruett, Esq., and Sid Horowitz, Esq., as local legal representation for Alcor. The three attorneys worked together to prepare the documents before the autopsy was to be performed.

...On the next morning, November 25th, the Maricopa Medical Examiner performed a full autopsy of A-2699, approximately 90 minutes before the legal paperwork was delivered to their office.

...When the body arrived, it was discovered that no attempt to minimize the invasiveness of the autopsy had been made. The most important organ within the body, the brain, had been removed, sectioned into numerous pieces, placed into a visceral bag with the other sectioned organs, and inserted into the abdominal cavity before the chest was sewn shut.

...Alcor received the official autopsy report in March 2014... The toxicology screen provided evidence that death occurred from pulmonary and cerebral congestion, caused by an acute intoxication (overdose) of a common antihistamine, benadryl. The Maricopa Medical Examiner determined the manner of death to be suicide.

The determination of suicide by the ME meant that the member's funding, life insurance (taken out very recently), was no longer valid and that the patient was now unfunded. The decision was then made to implement the previously-discussed charitable option by removing the body from long term storage while keeping the brain fragments... The brain of A-2699 remains in long-term storage at Alcor.

SOURCE: Legal challenge not prepared soon enough to prevent autopsy (Case Summary)

SOURCE: Legal challenge not prepared soon enough to prevent autopsy (Case Report Excerpts)