California 2010: ME persuaded to autopsy brain with CT scan

Alcor received emergency notification that the mother of one our members had tragically died as a result of a house fire. Apparently, a space heater within the home had caused a small fire. While attempting to douse the fire, it spread out of control and she was unable to contain it. We believe she suffered a heart attack and collapsed as she exited the home. There was some burn trauma to the patient, however it was limited to the lower half of her body.

While her son is an Alcor member and her former husband has already been cryopreserved, she had not actively signed up for membership during her lifetime. Upon learning of the incident, the son wanted to provide his mother with one final gift, and immediately began to pursue signing her up through a third party membership. This requires Alcor Board approval and has to meet specific requirements before a vote is taken to grant the request. While this process takes some time to complete, it was handled on an emergency basis to prevent unnecessary delays.

Another obstacle to overcome, due to the legal implications of her death, was the medical examiner is required to ensure that no foul play had been involved. The son persuaded the medical examiner to limit the scope of the autopsy to an external Commuted Tomography (CT) scan of the brain. This satisfied the legal requirements of the county while maintaining the structural integrity of the patient's brain.

SOURCE: ME persuaded to autopsy brain with CT scan (Case Summary Excerpt)