Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Destroying Cryonics

On occasion, someone will ask me why I "want to destroy cryonics." My answer is, "cryonics" is not something I, or anyone else, can destroy. Cryonics is a hypothesis, an idea, not any one of the existing cryonics organizations, or even the sum total of those organizations. The experiment of cryonics is, (or should be), based on existing proven medical procedures, in which patients are cooled to a state of "death," for operations, which require the cessation of blood flow to the patient's brain.

I don't think it's irrational to wonder how far the limits of existing hypothermic medical science/procedures can be pushed, but it definitely IS irrational to think a group of laymen, who have made little-to-no progress over the last forty years, should be looked upon as "experts" capable of carrying out the experiment of cryonics. People incapable of competently delivering well-established procedures, after so many decades of trying, aren't likely to ever be capable of delivering something more advanced.

Cryonics experiments should be centered around attempting to perfect medications and solutions, and cooling and storage protocols, that will permit a body to be taken to extremely low temperatures, and held there for years, without tremendous structural damage. The procedures and equipment needed to safely, and effectively, deliver medications and solutions to the human body, via perfusion technology, were virtually-perfected, decades ago. Yet, organizations such as Alcor and some of the LEF-funded organizations have spent decades, and many, MANY millions of dollars, trying to do the layman's version of these procedures. Much of their "research" has been spent on ridiculous DIY versions of existing medical equipment, and trying to train laymen, (who will have no proper instruction, and no opportunity for significant clinical practice), to perform existing medical procedures. (In other words, instead of taking existing technology and building on it, they've been trying to replicate medical procedures that have been around for many decades, and failing to deliver those procedures with any significant degree of competency.)

I watched Saul Kent/Life Extension Foundation fund MANY thousands of dollars, over a protracted period of time, for a layman's attempts to build a perfusion level detector, when an FDA-approved version could be bought off the shelf, for less than $400, and that is only one example of the extensive foolishness carried out by organizations such as Suspended Animation and Alcor. On top of the decades worth of DIY projects, carried out by people who most often don't have a proper grasp of the medical procedures for which the equipment is needed, there is report, after report, after report, of laymen bungling well-established medical procedures, and a growing list of Alcor's Chief Medical Advisor's glaring mistakes, in regard to conducting these procedures.

What really bothers me is my belief that organizations, such as Alcor and SA, attempt to deceive an unsuspecting public into believing they are organizations comprised of competent medical professionals. The last SA case report was laced with clumsily-used and incorrect medical terminology, clearly intended to deceive the reader. Alcor, repeatedly, refers to the dead as "patients" and laymen as "surgeons," in their case reports and other propaganda. I don't care what is in the fine print of their contracts; the public representations of these companies is what I consider to be fraudulent, to an extreme degree.

If I were a laymen, reading Alcor's and/or Suspended Animation's reports, (which are filled with medical terminology, and describe "surgeons" performing operations), I would think these people were legitimate medical organizations. THEY ARE NOT. In my opinion, some cryonics organizations appear to be attempting to swindle people out of tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, hefty bequests, or even their entire estates, if they can. What do they promise to deliver, in exchange for that money? NOTHING, but I think it's probably difficult for most laymen to come to that realization, given all the public references to "patients" and "surgeons," and the medical jargon.

It's time someone stepped in and put a stop to this charade. Playing on the fear of death, and taking six figures, or the entire life's savings, of individuals who are led to believe they may have an opportunity to be resurrected in the future, by a bunch of quacks, is entirely unacceptable. It's time for the medical community, regulatory agencies related to issues involving the treatment of people at the time of legal death, and agencies interested in protecting the people from being swindled out of their lifelong savings, by organizations misrepresenting the qualifications of their staff members and misrepresenting their ability to competently perform clinical experiments related to the medical sciences.

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