Son 'Horrified' When Cryogenic Firm Cuts Off Dad's Head

Kurt Pilgeram is suing Alcor, says company was supposed to preserve father's entire body
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2018 3:59 AM CDT
Updated Sep 12, 2018 6:33 AM CDT
Son Sues After Cryogenics Firm Cuts Off Dad's Head
Alcor says Dr. Pilgeram was their 135th patient.   (Getty Images/bluecinema)

If medical science someday gains the ability to bring frozen dead people back to life, scientist Laurence Pilgeram is in for a nasty surprise. According to a lawsuit filed by his son, Kurt Pilgeram, cryogenics company Alcor froze only the elder Pilgeram's head after his death, when he had signed a contract to have his entire body preserved. The lawsuit states that Kurt Pilgeram was "shocked, horrified, and extremely distressed" when Alcor sent him a package purportedly containing the cremated remains of his father's body after the scientist's death in 2015 at age 90, the Telegraph reports. Pilgeram, who studied the effects of aging, signed a contract with the Arizona company in 1990.

The lawsuit states that Pilgeram's contract was for "Whole Body Preservation," and the company "committed fraud against Kurt when they promised him that his father’s whole body would be preserved and then cut off his head." The son, who is seeking $1 million in damages, says Alcor told him the body was "medically unable to be preserved." He accuses the company of preying on the elderly and says it is unlikely its customers "can ever be resurrected." Alcor—believed to charge around $200,000 for preserving a body and $80,000 for just the head—would not comment on the specifics of the case to Gizmodo, but said it "generally is confident that the legal system will properly run its course, as it has in the past." (This dying teen won the right to have her body frozen.)

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