Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Quality of Care in Cryonics

From My July 30, 2007 Post to CF in regard to Suspended Animation not sending qualified personnel to a case:

Andy Zawacki of CI: "I do not think this case would be a case that could be used to compare the services rendered with the services promised in SA’s contract because the patient did not have a contract with SA."

As much as I respect Andy, I have to disagree. SA sent whom they sent, because they couldn't get anyone else to go. It's unreasonable to believe that if this had been an SA client, they would have been able to come up with the team promised in their contract. In fact, since they had time to "negotiate" their services, I think it's safe to assume they had time to call everyone on their standby list. (I've seen the list, it's not that long.) We can, and SHOULD, assume this was the same team that would have been sent for an "official" SA client. Besides, once that price was negotiated, the patient DID become an SA client, yes? I'm thinking of my days in the operating room. When someone in heart failure showed up at the door, without insurance, we didn't send in a janitor and a couple of cafeteria personnel to do the case. And, no, we never turned anyone away; everyone received the same quality of care.

The following day, I reviewed the SA information pages on CI's website and found that information to be tremendously outdated. I believe several of the people listed as SA's staff members were fired, long before I was hired as a consultant, about 17 months ago. Are the approximately 50% of new CI members opting to sign up with SA basing that decision on this outdated information that includes the promise of paramedics and a surgeon for their procedures, something we know SA did not deliver for their most recent case? I hope Ben Best will update, or remove, this information, ASAP. It is "false advertising," as Phil would say. My guess is, Platt is responsible for updating/not updating this information.

The section, in bold above, is of the utmost importance. SA had plenty of time to get all their "ducks in a row," as this patient was on life support, until they arrived. What would have happened if this was a legitimate, pre-arranged SA client who deanimated suddenly? SA would have probably been hard-pressed to find their own staff members, much less anyone else.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Truth and Bigger Pictures

My presence on the Internet came about because of a desire I had to make the public aware of what was going on, and more importantly, not going on, at Suspended Animation, though it now seems as though there may be a "bigger picture." It was of no surprise to me that Charles Platt showed up just long enough to call me a couple of names, and then disappeared. Charles knows he can’t debate with me on the issues I’ve brought up, because everything I’ve written about him, and the situation at SA, is true.

The fact that Charles posted this blatant lie: “Indeed she accused me of tempting her falsely when I asked if she would want to manage the place and she responded in the affirmative, apparently not realizing (or choosing not to realize) that I was merely expressing curiosity…” when he knows I am sitting here with numerous emails from him that would make it obvious to anyone HE wanted me to replace Bary Wilson as manager of SA, only proves what I’ve known for a very long time, that he frequently uses his skill at writing fiction in attempts to manipulate the minds of others who are not familiar with any given situation.

It was Charles’ idea that I would be the manager of SA, not mine. The fact that I was never given that position is absolutely meaningless to me, as the title was meaningless, to begin with. Charles was the manager of that facility, even when Bary had that title, and he probably continues to be, though his hours are called "consulting fees." Either that, or four out of the five SA employees are sitting around twiddling their thumbs, playing on the Internet, and waiting for the surf to come up, as I type this entry. They don’t have a clue what to do at a cryonics facility, on their own.

Charles is not above lying, when he thinks others are not aware of the truth. When we were arguing about the SA website, he told me none of my complaints mattered because SA's contract with his girlfriend could not be cancelled without "due cause." Apparently, he had forgotten that he left the contract in a folder in the office he gave me. First, the contract was not with his girlfriend, but with "Manhattan Text and Graphics," a company in which the two of them are partners. Secondly, the contract allowed for cancellation, at any time, without reason, by the CEO of SA, (Saul Kent). Even if Charles had been telling the truth, I believe not posting a page of the website for more than three months after the contract was signed would have qualified as "due cause."

It also was of no surprise to me when someone else (Steve Harris) showed up to defend Platt/SA, though the nature of that defense was not well thought out, if thought out at all. Harris gave me a lot more to debate than I had to start with, and I believe the nature of his responses actually won a lot of support for me.

I am wondering if Dr. Harris is going to address the issue of nepotism at CCR, I raised on the Cold Filter Forum. Is it true that Sandra Russell is his wife, Joan O'Farrell is his mother-in-law, and the fourth person at CCR is Joan O'Farrell's spouse, or significant other? Of course, even if this is true, they may all be extremely well-qualified. However, it would raise questions as to how much we can depend on impartial reporting of what goes on there, as it would mean that four members of one family would lose their (no doubt, well-paying) jobs, if that company were to close its doors.

What do we know about the work being done there? I only have reviewed one paper and one patent. Are there more? Will Dr. Harris post a list of peer-reviewed studies he has done during his "20 years in the field"? Is it reasonable to assume CCR's continued existence relies, in part, on progress being made at SA, since they test Platt’s designs? I don’t know the answers to these questions, though I would like to.

In 2002, CCR was wholly funded by LEF, is this still the situation?
"Currently this exciting work is being pursued by Critical Care Research, a company that grew out of 21st Century Medicine and is being wholly funded by Life Extension Foundation."

We know they are funded by LEF (Kent and Faloon), but what else do we really know? I went to CCR's website, but there is no information there, just their address and a link to an email address.

Harris made some curious arguments and statements in his attempted defense of Platt/SA. The most shocking was the comment that he had never seen literature advising against rapid cooling on bypass. (See my previous blog entry on "Rapid Cooling.") This literature is abundant, how could he have not seen it? His defense of the ramps was almost as shocking, to me, as I think anybody with common sense can see the foolishness in that situation.

Is the situation at SA simply a symptom of a much larger disease? Why does LEF, a non-profit organization, continue to fund these “for-profit” organizations that lose a tremendous amount of money, year-after-year? Why do Faloon and Kent, apparently successful businessmen, not see the problems with nepotism and grossly exaggerated salaries at these organizations? Who is Charles Platt that he is so indispensable to Kent?

If you examine Platt’s past, you’ll find he has a history of alienating most people he works with. Why Kent had Platt negotiating the Alcor contract when there is no respect between those two parties is beyond me. Would anyone reading this pay a man who calls Alcor “Jonesickle” to negotiate a contract with that company? It just doesn't make sense.

Why does LEF have four relatives, (if that is the case), working at one organization (CCR)? That’s just foolish. How can you expect to have accurate reporting in a situation in which four family members would lose their income if the company was unproductive?

I’m beginning to think there is a bigger picture of corruption here. I just can’t figure out the purpose. Do Kent and Faloon really think their money pit at SA, supported by the research at CCR, is going to provide them, personally, with good cryopreservations? I have an extremely hard time believing this. It’s not making money, it’s not making progress, so what is it all for?