Saturday, December 12, 2009

Was Harris' Defense of the Use of Propofol Convincing?

Recently, Steve Harris made a brief appearance on Cold Filter, where he played nice, (for a change), apologized to me for his past transgressions, and defended some cryonics practices I have questioned.

One of his defenses was related to the use of propofol, in cryonics. Basically, his argument consisted of one journal article, out of India, regarding CPR consciousness. I don't think that's enough to justify allowing, basically, anyone off the street to transport, administer, or have free access to, a drug such as propofol. The "RUP's" at Suspended Animation and Alcor have no business playing with this medication, and I believe the use of this drug, by unqualified personnel, puts the cryonics organizations at risk of being accused of murder, again, in the future.

I've witnessed many codes, during my education and my nine years working in heart surgery, and I don't recall a patient ever telling me they remember being aware of CPR efforts. None of my co-workers ever mentioned anyone being "awake" during CPR efforts, and I'm sure that's something that would have been mentioned. I've known a few people who have "died," but been revived, and they were totally unaware of the efforts that saved them. This past week, I asked two experienced paramedics about this issue. One has over 15 years of experience, and the other about 30 years of experience. Neither one of them thought this was an issue. As one of them said, "The only patients I've ever had, who claimed to be aware of anything during CPR, claimed to have had some sort of out-of-body experience."

Keep in mind, the patients receiving CPR in conventional medicine, unlike cryonics patients, have not been declared "legally dead," meaning the efforts are being applied in the hopes of immediately reviving them. No one has given up hope for THIS lifetime, yet, unlike they have, with cryonics patients. Since any cryonics patient with a propofol-armed standby team, nearby, has been in the process of dying, prior to the arrival of any such team, they are likely to be already heavily sedated. In addition, they've most likely been "dead" for several minutes before the cryonics team begins their efforts. Taking into consideration these factors, and others, cronics patients are much less likely to regain awareness, than patients in conventional medicine scenarios.

Essentially, Harris has merely made the "keep them down" cryonics argument, which in my opinion, is nothing more than the "we're so good, we might actually revive someone" propaganda. Personally, I give the RUP's virtually a zero-percent chance of reviving any of their clients, and think the propofol is just one more ruse designed to fool the public, (and, possibly, themselves), into
thinking they are "medical professionals." As already pointed out, in addition to it probably being unnecessary, it adds to the possibility of cryonics care providers being accused of hastening the deaths of their clients.

I don't think Harris has made a convincing argument, for allowing people of questionable intelligence and ethics to be allowed to "play doctor" with medications such as propofol.

***Note: There could be an argument that propofol may provide cerebral
protection, but I doubt many people working in cryonics understand this topic well enough to even discuss it. So far, I can only recall ONE person associated with cryonics ever mentioning this. Instead, cryonics documents indicate the drug is used to "maintain unconsciousness," and unqualified care providers go around spouting phrases like, "It's used to put them down and keep them down."

Melody Maxim - Cryonics Meets Medicine

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