The Lifespan Society was scheduled to go to court in June to challenge the constitutionality of s.14 of the Cremation, Interment, and Funeral Services Act (CIFSA), which prohibits the sale of cryonics arrangements sold on the expectation of resuscitation of human remains. The litigation had been making its way around numerous obstacles since 2015, including the government's repeated arguments that what Lifespan was seeking to offer prospective consumers in B.C. did not in fact fall within range of what s.14 prohibits. The problem with this was the government could not make any assurance that it wouldn't simply change its mind in the future after considerable expense and planning was expended on Lifespan's part. Thus, in order to get clarification on s.14, the Lifespan Society filed a revised notice of civil claim in 2016 which included a signed contract for cryonics services between the Lifespan Society, and member Keegan Macintosh.
Our court case centered around what exactly an "expectation of resuscitation" means in the context of s.14, and how broadly or narrowly it ought to be interpreted. Being unique in Canada and throughout the world, s.14 had never been tried before, thus there was essentially no guidance as to how exactly the law would be interpreted, leading to substantial uncertainty and anxiety on the part of B.C. cryonicists. Previous attempts at getting clarification had only gotten so far as receiving a letter from Consumer Protection B.C. which appeared to say that the sale of cryonics arrangements was prohibited within the province, but that arrangements with out-of-province providers were permitted. It was not at all clear whether organizations located in the province could offer standby and stabilization services (of particular interest to members of the Cryonics Institute, which does not provide these services). Also, some funeral directors approached by local cryonicists had expressed concern about getting involved in potentially prohibited activities. Thus, since 2012, Lifespan Society and its committed volunteer board of directors, and especially current President Carrie Wong and former Executive Director Keegan Macintosh had been slowly but surely moving this case along to gain much needed certainty around s.14, and hopefully persuade the court to see that it violated British Columbians rights under the Charter to life, liberty, and security of the person.
However, the week before the trial was to be heard in June, the government approached Lifespan's lawyers, Jason Gratl and Toby Rauch-Davis, with a peace offering in the form of a letter from Consumer Protection BC (the regulatory body tasked with enforcing s.14). The letter lays out the regulator's position that it does not view Lifespan's contract with Macintosh as being within its public interest mandate to investigate and prosecute for violating s.14. The letter is careful to note that a major part of its opinion is based on the apparent level of knowledge and understanding that Macintosh possesses about the science behind cryonics, and its prospects for success. Another important part of the regulator's current position on the matter is that for the moment only a very small market in B.C. is interested in cryonics, and there is no evidence that it is being targeted at vulnerable persons. Following the recommendation of our lawyers, we have decided to accept this comfort letter and not pursue further legal action since Consumer BC has no interest in litigating against Lifespan's current cryonics arrangements and activities. Provided that future contracts entered into between Lifespan and its members are under similar circumstances —that is, ensuring that they are fully apprised of and clearly understand the science informing the practice —we do not foresee regulator interference in local cryonics cases.
We are pleased with this outcome, and applaud the province for (eventually) taking the reasonable approach of providing guidance on whether s.14 would be applied to responsible cryonics practices like those we aim to provide for B.C. cryonicists. We maintain that the practice of cryonics is a protected exercise of our Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person, but also one that can be reasonably regulated—as with both the funeral and health services industries—to ensure that is not being practiced in a way that is harmful or misleading to consumers. This is a big step forward in the ability for British Columbians to confidently enter into cryonics arrangements with both local and out-of-province cryonics service providers.
The Lifespan Society of British Columbia is pleased to present our annual 2015 Mini-Conference. Interact and catch up with the the BC life extension community while enjoying the provided lunch. We have a fascinating collection of speakers this year who will be speaking on topics covering the science, philosophy, and day to day practices of contemporary life extension. You don't want to miss this event!
Longevity and the Sedentary Lifestyle By: Jacob McGill
Jacob has 15 years of training in a variety of healing systems and has practiced Ortho-Bionomy and Pilates professionally for a decade.
He has spent thousands of hours studying studying anatomy, bio-mechanics, Chinese medicine, Bartenieff fundamentals, music, Laban movement analysis, Aikido, Systema, Bodytalk, Yoga, Pilates, Ortho-Bionomy, Huna Shamanism, Buddhism, quantum physics, Newtonian physics, Jungian psychology, NLP, Tibetan White Crane Kung-Fu, Zen meditation, wilderness survival, pre and perinatal psychology, real estate and economic fundamentals. He is a serial entrepreneur, health span expert, super-connector and hub of resources.
Can Personal Telomeromics Turn Back The Clock? By: Darren Uretsky
Darren Uretsky is a biohacker turned blogger. He studied marketing at UBC before leaving to start Serenity Time R&R Essentials a private label local natural glacial clay skin care line. He is focused on finding ways to turn back the clock ranging from cutting edge breakthroughs to little known practices of the ancients. After nearly a decade Biohacking and tracking his progress, he is stronger, fitter, leaner, healthier, and feeling better than at any time in his life.
A Practical Approach to Life Extension: Based on the Latest Scientific Findings By: Ward Plunet
Ward Plunet has a Phd in neuroscience, from UBC. His research has included applying life extension treatments to help recovery from various injuries to the central and peripheral nervous system. He is now involved in multiple clinical trials that involve nutritional strategies to treat brain injuries and diseases.
Not-So-Radical: Effective Life Extension Rhetoric By: Keegan Macintosh
Keegan is a public speaking instructor, recovering law graduate, and former Executive Director of Lifespan Society. As a life extension activist, he has written and spoken extensively about various forms of life extension research. In his talk, Keegan aims to synthesize his observations of what “works” (and what doesn’t) in discussing these topics with uninitiated audiences, through the lens of good old fashioned rhetorical analysis.
The Nicoyan Lifestyle of Longevity By: Emily Fan
Emily Fan attended Simon Fraser University where she received her BSc in Molecular Biology in 2011. She proceeded to attend the University of Tübingen in Germany where she focused on implant development as a treatment for neurodegeneration. She received her MSc in Cell and Molecular Neuroscience in 2013. Returning to British Columbia she became involved in a an ongoing peripheral nerve implant development project with UBC and ICORD (International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries) an interdisciplinary research centre focused on spinal cord injury. Currently she splits her time between working as a lab manager in a molecular neuroscience lab at SFU, as a co-founder of Tubify: a health food startup, and as director and co-founder of the non-profit Open Science Network, the first community based biolab in Vancouver.
The Importance of Life Purpose in Longevity By: Luke Cockerham
Luke Cockerham is a co-founder of the Lifespan Society and currently practices as a general dentist in the Fraser Valley. He spent 4 years living in North America's only Blue Zone: Loma Linda California. He aspires to spark the formation of a holistic longevity community built on the accumulated wisdom of the world's cultures of longevity while taking advantage of ongoing discoveries in health and medicine.
Ethics of Genetic Enhancement By: Kenneth Bruskiewicz
Kenneth is studying computer science at Simon Fraser University. His interest in genetics was kindled while he was young by his father. He wishes to direct his career towards technologies that improve fundamental human capabilities, including intelligence and will.
Tickets are $30 on Meetup or $35 cash at the door.
Please inform us of any dietary restrictions. A vegetarian-friendly lunch will be provided.
Vancouver, BC - Lifespan Society of British Columbia and Keegan Macintosh today commenced a civil suit challenging the constitutional validity of the prohibition against cryonics services enacted by s.14 of the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act (CIFSA). The Province of British Columbia is the only jurisdiction in the world that has enacted a prohibition against cryonics services.
Cryonics is the practice of preserving a human body at very low temperatures after clinical death. Cryonicists preserve their bodies from decay in the hope that medical science will advance to a future point when their bodies can be resuscitated and restored to health without compromising their memories, personalities and identities. The use of cryonics is predicated on the possibility that currently untreatable medical conditions, including the process of aging itself, could be treated in the future at the time of removal of the patient from low-temperature storage.
Section 14 of the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act provides as follows:
A person must not offer for sale, or sell, an arrangement for the preservation or storage of human remains that is based on:
any other means of preservation of storage, by whatever name called,
and that is offered, or sold, on the expectation of the resuscitation of human remains at a future time.
Contravention of s.14 of CIFSA by an individual carries a maximum sentence of $10,000, a term of imprisonment of 12 months, or both. The maximum fine for a corporation is $100,000.
The plaintiffs, Lifespan Society of British Columbia (which is registered as a non-profit society) and an individual cryonicist, Keegan Macintosh wish and intend to enter into a cryonics arrangement but are prevented from doing so by s.14 of the CIFSA. If the lawsuit succeeds, Lifespan Society would create long-term cryopreservation facility in British Columbia and a transportation service with pre-cooling prior to transport.
“Lifespan Society has tried in vain for years to get a good explanation from the government of British Columbia for how this archaic restriction came into existence and to get the government to repeal it”, said Carrie Wong, the President of Lifespan Society. “We are left with no choice but to commence this lawsuit.”
“It is hard for me to understand why the Province thinks it needs to rescue me from freezing my body after I die”, said Keegan Macintosh. “If I want to devote my personal resources to the future possibility of resuscitation, what business does the government have stopping me from doing so?”
Below is a link to our Notice of Civil Claim Filed on July 14, 2015 against the provincial government of B.C.
Lifespan is pleased to announce the creation of the SFU Lifespan Club. Lifespan member and SFU student Kenneth Bruskiewicz has taken the lead in the formation of a new student group on campus at the top of Burnaby Mountain. At the recent club days 25 members signed up. The SFU Lifespan club will hold its own events as well as taking part in events put on by the Lifespan Society. We look forward to introducing this new audience to the concepts of multi-disciplinary life extension.