Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cryonics Medications (Propofol)

Steve Harris MD, of Critical Care Research, (also Alcor's Chief Medical Advisor, and an advisor to Cryonics Institute), and Mathew Sullivan, of Suspended Animation, (both funded by Life Extension Foundation/LEF), have argued that Alcor and Suspended Animation's use of propofol is not only legal, but humane. Is that true, or is it more handwaving gestures from a group of mostly unqualified people who like playing doctor with dead people, while charging $60K-$150K for their foolishness?

Mathew recently remarked that Suspended Animation doesn't carry enough volume of propofol, (or any other drug), to kill someone. Mathew's arguments seem to imply his employer, Suspended Animation of Boynton Beach, FL, intends to perform cryonics procedures, even if the chest compressions and oxygen (CPR techniques) they are administering happen to make someone's heart start beating again. Some of Alcor and Suspended Animation's protocols clearing indicate
propofol is used to "maintain unconsciousness," not to "maintain death." It's illegal to perform cryonics procedures on living people, and dead people don't need sedation.

In light of previous accusations of murder, against cryonics care providers, it seems foolish to have a bunch of laymen transporting and administering propofol, (even to the "legally dead"). If the 20mg dose Suspended Animation has in their case reports is all they carry with them, Mathew is correct in that it's very unlikely they could be, successfully, accused of using it to kill someone, since that amount is far less than the normal loading anesthetic loading dose.

Mathew has put forth a scenario, where a cryonics team can't get the proper releases to remove a "legally dead" client, from a conventional medical facility setting. He talks about extended periods (hours) of applying CPR techniques, (chest compressions and oxygen), to warm patients. If their client's heart was to start beating, they would, legally, be required to halt their procedures. Is 20mg of propofol enough to keep someone's heart from beating? For how long? W
hen used for anesthesia, in conventional medicine, propofol is given as a loading dose, followed by a maintainence drip.

When I suggested laymen should not be transporting, or administering, propofol, Mathew and Cold Filter's anonymous "FD" blew their gaskets, ranting about how I want cryonics patients to suffer, or claiming I am out to make cryonics activities illegal. (If they don't clean up their act, I think someone else will eventually fulfill that last accusation.)


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alcor's "Trade Secrets" - Vitrification Solution Recipes

Alcor has been claiming "trade secrets," all over the place, in their lawsuits, against Larry Johnson, et. al. Personally, I don't think they have many, if any, trade secrets. Nothing in the book, (see link at top right of this blog), appeared to be a trade secret, and Johnson has no way of knowing what they have been doing during the last six-seven years, other than what Alcor has made available to the public. As for their "top secret" recipes, here's where anyone can find a few of those:

"Vitrification agents in cryonics: M22," an article by Aschwin de Wolf, on his "Depressed Metabolism" blog:

Includes the recipe for "M22," as follows:

"Dimethyl sulfoxide 2.855 M
Formamide 2.855 M
Ethylene glycol 2.713 M
N-methylformamide 0.508 M
3-methoxy-1,2-propanediol 0.377 M
Polyvinyl pyrrolidone K12* 2.8% w/v
X-1000 ice blocker* 1% w/v
Z-1000 ice blocker* 2% w/v
Total Molarity 9.345 M"

(May be missing one "proprietary" ingredient, but I doubt Johnson knows what it is.)

Here's an old (1995) Mike Darwin/Federowicz Cryonet post, which contains a recipe for "MH2":

Here's the "competition," (Ben Best/Cryonics Institute), linking to the MH2 recipe in the Darwin/Federowicz post:
Scroll down and look for the links, under "IV. BLOOD WASHOUT & REPLACEMENT", and then click on the embedded links, where you see, "(For the formula of MHP-2 see Table II of CryoMsg 4474 or Table VII of CryoMsg 2874 — which also contains the formula for Viaspan in Table V.)"

Alcor has claimed they need to be protected from their "competitors," but that's ridiculous. Cryonics Institute is their only "competition," and I believe they share a lot of information. The president of CI, Ben Best, was at Alcor, about a year ago. They made him sign an NDA, so I assume they showed him some of their "secrets." Otherwise, why would he have had to sign an NDA, and what was the point of inviting their so-called "competition" for a show-and tell if they are concerned about the "competition," anyway?

Recently, Alcor had to post a $10,000 bond, in New York, in case the current restraining order turned out to be "wrongful and without sufficient cause." The restraining order, as I read it, only forbids Johnson from disclosing confidential information and/or trade secrets, which are not in his book. I would say it's extremely unlikely Johnson knows any of Alcor's "confidential information," or "trade secrets," and Dr. Brian Wowk seems to agree with me, in his December 8, 2009 affidvit, which states, "Mr. Johnson has not been employed at Alcor for 6 years, and Mr. Johnson does not know how Alcor currently operates its business..."

It looks like that restraining order is, most likely, "without sufficient cause."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NY Court Documents

Recently, Mathew Sullivan of Suspended Animation, in Boynton Beach, Florida, and the anonymous "FD," who frequently participates on the "Cold Filter" cryonics forum, criticized me for not posting recent information regarding the Alcor vs. Johnson/Baldyga/Vanguard Press lawsuits. The truth is, I had not even read the documents, since they had yet to be posted on the Internet court site I monitor. During the course of three days, (February 2-4), four documents containing a total of 103 pages were posted. On February 6, before I was even aware of the documents, FD and Mathew took to pretending I was not commenting on them, because I didn't like the contents. People in cryonics are good at pretending.

One of the documents they are gloating over contains the testimony of Brian Wowk, which is incomplete, in that Johnson's attorneys have yet to cross-examine him. It appears they did not cross-examine him, because they were unaware he was going to testify that day, and they didn't even have an opportunity to depose him, beforehand. If they do get around to cross-examining him, in the future, as the judge suggested, there are many statements they should pay attention to. I find the documents, (like many legal documents), to be ridiculously long and boring, so I am not going to spend all day pouring over them, but there were a couple of things that caught my eye, as I was scrolling through them. Here is just one example:

Alcor's attorney: "Is it a true statement that Ted Williams' head was used for batting practice at the Alcor facility?

Dr. Wulk (sic): "No, that's absolutely false. I personally know the individual who was alleged to have done that, Hugh Hixson (sic). He's a scientist like myself who takes the field of cryonics very seriously. He is incapable of such an act, as am I."

Now, we all know the "batting practice" remark was a sensationalistic metaphor used to describe Hixon attempting to dislodge a tuna can that had been frozen to Mr. Williams' head. We all know Johnson's claim is that Hixon was attempting to dislodge the tuna can with a wrench, and accidentally struck Mr. Williams' head. We all know Johnson didn't really mean to give anyone the impression that the Alcor personnel was having a real "batting practice" with Mr. Williams' head. In fact, I believe it was the media, not Larry Johnson, who came up with the "batting practice" remark. I know it, and I can't help but believe Alcor and Dr. Wowk know it, since anyone of reasonable intelligence who has read the book and seen the interviews could figure it out. To make his testimony even more laughable, Dr. Wowk complained about Johnson presenting things "out of context," in a magazine article. Isn't that exactly what Alcor's attorneys and Dr. Wowk were doing, in a court of law, when they discussed the media's "batting practice" comments?

Dr. Wowk put forth that Johnson's book is "...400 pages of privacy violation, disparagement and defamation that presents false and misleading information in a manner constructed to be as harmful to Alcor as possible."

I'll have to disagree with that. A lot of those 400 pages contain the transcripts of tapes of Alcor's own staff members, (including the COO, the vice president, and an Alcor senior board member), describing Alcor allegedly engaging in unethical and illegal activities. Was that information false? I doubt it, but if it is, Dr. Wowk should take it up with his esteemed colleagues, such as Hixon, Platt and Hovey.

Are the case notes of the cryopreservation of Ted Williams a "privacy violation"? Probably, but let's put that in context. One of Alcor's own personnel, at the time, complained about many people, who had no reason for even being there, milling about, snapping their photos with Mr. Williams' body, (or maybe just the head). Maybe Dr. Wowk could ask former Alcor COO, Charles Platt, about his email to Larry Johnson, in which he (Platt) claims to have photos of the Ted Williams case stored in a safe deposit box.

If I were Johnson's attorney, I would definitely cross-examine Wowk. I would read the excerpt of the book, in which Johnson clearly indicates Hixon was attempting to dislodge the tuna can, and then I would ask Dr. Wowk if it was Mr. Johnson, or the media, who used the term "batting practice." I would also ask Dr. Wowk why his fellow scientist, Hugh Hixon, would make a statement that a drug was used "To kill (Alcor patients)," or make jokes about one of his co-workers expediting the death of a patient, so the Alcor team could "beat the traffic." Then I would play every tape Johnson has of Hixon, and ask Dr. Wowk if he could possibly explain why his upstanding colleague would make such remarks. I mean, if Hixon takes the "field of cryonics (so) very seriously," as Dr. Wowk claims, then the court should probably assume the statements he made about drugs being used to kill people during cryonics cases should be taken very seriously, should it not? I would make it clear, to the judge, that I thought Alcor's attorneys and witnesses were misrepresenting some of the contents of Johnson's book.

If I were to read the entire document, I could probably go on, all day, about how I think Alcor is being deceptive, (because that IS what I think). And, if I had a stake in Johnson's case, (as Mathew and FD seem to think I do), I would rush to my computer each morning to tear apart those documents line-by-line, and post them on my blog, knowing at least one of Johnson's attorneys reads my posts. Johnson's NY attorneys seem really sharp, but I'm not so sure about his Arizona attorneys, and it seems the NY judge may rule, based on what the Arizona courts rule. Regardless, that's Johnson's problem, not mine. TWrelated is right, not enough people really care about the outcome of the Johnson case, including me, since I expect a decision, in either direction, will be rather anti-climactic. While Johnson's sensationalistic book got the world's attention, for 15 minutes, I believe it was only a catalyst for a few other reactions that will forever change the face of cryonics, (hopefully, in a positive way).

Now, would FD and Mathew really like for me to keep reviewing the blasted legal documents, or would they be okay with them if I went back to ignoring most of them, as I have been doing, for many weeks, now? I really have better things to do.