Volume 2, Issue 3
3rd Quarter, 2007

Why Transbemans in Biostasis are Alive

Dr. Martine Rothblatt

Page 5 of 5

In the final analysis, death is the irreversible end to beingness. There is no objective answer to whether or not beingness has forever ended. Death is a subjective state, the objective indicia of which can be generally agreed upon in law and culture. Transbemans in biostasis are alive because they intend to reverse that biostasis. Biostasis still captures their beingness and they have reasonable reasons to believe that they can be reversed.   

How might we accommodate, in society, in law, and in practice, treating death as subjective? I would propose that we allow individuals to, by contract, opt-out of legal death by a new process of certified biostasis, and that we create a National Opt-Out Registry that certifies biostasis programs such as cryonics firms and beme storage firms.    

The requirements for certification would be that the biostasis firm has some kind of a perpetual funding dedicated to reversibility so we keep that notion of reversibility alive and intact, and that will help us bring the legal and medical community back in saying we are dedicated to reversibility.  

A research program that is focused on revival, again paying homage to the reversibility and compliance with what might be called good biostasis practices. If anybody reads cryonics or any of the journals there are good and bad biostasis processes. Bad biostasis process is you throw the person in the icebox. Good biostasis process is you comply with all sorts of protocols to minimize any kind of damage done during the cool down in biostasis process.

 Image 11: Death as Subjective

A good acronym might be NDOBR, National Death Opt-Out via
Biostasis Registry that could be adopted by legislation starting in individual states because the determination of death is left up to each state.

One of the consequences of opting-out of death via NDOBR is that the death certificate could be replaced with a biostasis certificate providing legal documentation that shows this individual has moved from one stage of life to another.  

There would be no longer any automatic dissolution of marriage by death, but that wouldn't stop anybody from going to a court and asking for the marriage to be dissolved, it just doesn’t happen automatically by being dead. You could still go into a court and dissolve your marriage.

Image 12: Opting Out

A trustee would make decisions for a biostasee. The trustee process could be part of the certification of the biostasis providers or it could be something that the individual arranged for on their own. 

Legally, the result would be very much the same as if the biostasee were in a coma. Going into a coma does not automatically end any of your citizenship rights or your property rights. Your inability to make a decision means that a trustee of some sort has to make them for you.

 Image 13: Conclusions

Transbemans in biostasis are alive for two separate reasons. First, they reasonably intend their status to be reversible and their identity to be constant. Second, legal death is not the same thing as real death.  

The law will change; as it follows, it does not lead. The law will change to recognize them as living once plaintiffs succeed in showing that biostasis does not equal death and NDOBR is legislated or accepted by courts. 

Finally, a reversible biostasis with seemingly constant identity is shown, the individual appears on Oprah, and everybody is absolutely persuaded that death is reversible and, therefore, death is subjective.


bio pic Martine Rothblatt, J.D., MBA, Ph.D.
Started the satellite vehicle tracking and satellite radio industries and is the Chairman of United Therapeutics, a biotechnology company headquartered in Silver Springs, Maryland.

Dr. Rothblatt is also the President of Terasem Movement, Inc. and has written several books, including The Apartheid of Sex, Two Stars for Peace, Unzipped Genes, and Your Life or Mine.


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