Saturday, April 10, 2010

Evidenced-based Foolishness

From Alcor's website:

"Cryonics technology is more advanced than even most signed up cryonicists realize.

Most people in the scientific community do not realize what progress has been made and most cryonicists do not realize the protocols and technologies that have been developed in the service of making cryonics a true "evidence based technology.""

I strongly disagree. I think it's much more likely the services provided by Alcor and Suspended Animation are a lot more primative and amateurish than most people who sign up ever imagine. I believe the definition of "evidence-based technology" includes competently performing proven procedures. Anyone who thinks sending laymen to botch medical procedures, (such as femoral cannulations and perfusion), fits the definition of a "true evidence based technology" is delusional. Anyone who thinks paying laymen to practice those tasks on dead pigs, a few times a year, is preferable to hiring qualified personnel, (which they could easily afford), is something a lot less flattering than "delusional."

Other than a relatively small amount of lab-based evidence that some of the solutions may be preserving brain tissue, there's not much evidence the cry-orgs are getting anything right. On the other hand, there's plenty of evidence of them taking hours to perform vascular cannulations that should take minutes, (while the client remains relatively warm, slowly deteriorating); subjecting their clients to inappropriate perfusion pressures and massive air emboli; using absurd DIY equipment, when existing equipment is far superior; and other silliness. Yes, I know those photos of them, all dressed up in their scrubs, makes them "look like" they know what they are doing, but don't let the medical garb and slick photography fool you into paying $60,000 - $150,000, for some very questionable services.