Cryonics Company Claims Funeral Home Cremated Body Against Client’s Will
Kristan T. Harris | The Rundown Live
Imagine having a contract to have your body cryonically preserved, with hopes that one day you could be brought back to life in the future and a funeral home cremates your body, stealing your potential future away instead. That’s exactly what happened to Danielle Michelle Baker of London, Kentucky.
Baker, 31, was reported missing on December 3rd and her remains were discovered on December 7th by her father. Therafter her body was sent for a proper autopsy.
Upon hearing of her unfortunate death in Kentucky, Eric Homeyer, a volunteer representative of Oregon Cryonics, drove relentlessly from Cincinatti to reach the morgue in London. The representative arrived to ensure legal paperwork was honored by the medical examiner and coroner on Baker’s behalf – with intentions to safeguard her remains for her upcoming cryonics procedure.
According to an article written by 2016 transhumanist US Presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan in Quartz, “Baker was a cryonicist who attended life-extension conferences and had signed up to have her brain preserved via the nonprofit company Oregon Cryonics. She had both a cryonics contract—a signed legal document where she indicated that she would like her brain to be preserved for possible future life—and a Document of Gift, a legal document that allows her to donate her anatomical parts to a specific caretaker.”
Despite major parties awareness of Baker’s contract with Oregon Cryonics, elected official and Coroner, Doug Bowling carried out her families wishes and cremated her body at his family owned funeral home (benefiting financially) instead of honoring the wishes of Danielle to be cryonically preserved.
“The coroner always follows the wishes of the next of kin. It doesn’t really matter what the decedent wanted,” Jordan Sparks, executive director off Oregon Cryonics told Istvan in a recent Quartz article.
Nevertheless, Bowling’s coroners office may have broken the law in doing so. The law is not precise and is vague on what to do in this scenerio, however according to Kentucky’s Funeral Planning Declaration Form. Section 1 articlet 11 states:
“A statement that it is the declarant’s intention that the declarant’s Funeral Planning Declaration, Form FPD-1, be honored by the declarant’s family and others as the final expression of the declarant’s intentions concerning the declarant’s funeral and the disposition of the declarant’s body after the declarant’s death, and that the declarant understands the full import of this declaration;”
Fellow Cryonocist’s feel Ms. Baker’s future may have been stolen from her and believe it should be against the law to violate the wishes of the deceased:
“Cryonicists know that preservation is no guarantee of any future revival, but Danielle had hope in the possibility, and hope in life itself. That hope was blatantly ignored both by public officials and by those who should have loved her the most.” Eric Homeyer wrote on facebook. “Consequently, any chance she had, however small, has now been utterly destroyed.”
Friend and fellow cryonicist of Danielle’s, Mathew Bryce wrote, “She once had dreams of transcending to a celestial being with limitless possibilities that could only be brought with high technology, but she was cruelly held back.”
At the very least, Danielle’s case illuminates an ethical question on an individual’s right to be preserved for future resuscitation. Although there are no clear laws on the books in Kentucky, several states have taken action to defend the right to preserve your body cyronically, including California, Michigan, Oregon and Arizona.
This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article with attribution to the author and TheRundownLive.com. Tune-in to the THERUNDOWNLIVE Monday-Friday @ 9pm EST; 6pm PST.