When Saul Kent had the suspension team at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Riverside, California, surgically remove the head of Dora Kent, Saul's mother, from her body, his hope was that she could eventually be restored to life and health, probably even youth. The last thing on his mind was that they'd all wind up being investigated for murder.
Murder! The thought was entirely ludicrous -- not, indeed, that any of them had given even a moment's consideration to that possibility at the time of the event. After all, the two classical signs of life, respiration and heartbeat, had vanished minutes before, and so Dora Kent, at age eighty-three, was for all intents and purposes now legally dead. The hope of the surgical team was that at some point in the distant future a fresh, new body could be cloned for Dora Kent from one of her old cells. Her old brain would then be placed inside the head of the new body, after which her brain would be revived and the patient would come back to life just as if she had been awakened from a very long sleep. Once she was "reanimated" in the cryonics jargon, Dora Kent would enter her "second life cycle" (also part of the jargon), and go on to lead a long and prosperous new life. A very long life, perhaps: she might live for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. She might even become immortal.