Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cryonics Quackery vs. Valid Speculation

There's a very well-written definition of QUACKERY, by Stephen Barrett, MD. It suits cryonics, perfectly, especially with this statement: "Most people think of quackery as promoted by charlatans who deliberately exploit their victims. Actually, most promoters are unwitting victims who share misinformation and personal experiences with others."

Alcor, and other companies engaging in cryonics activities, seem to think they can get away with anything, as long as they call it "speculation," or insert some sort of disclaimer in the small print of their advertisements and contracts. Let's compare true medical speculation to quackery:

Hypothetical Situation A: A reputable group of scientific researchers determine that Drug X, delivered at 40 degrees C, (normal human body temp is approximately 37C), for a period of 60 minutes, kills HIV in human tissue in vitro, and in animal testing. They speculate this technique will cure HIV, in human patients. With the proper regulatory approvals, they enlist qualified vascular surgeons and perfusionists, to deliver Drug X to willing test subjects. The drug may, or may not, work, in a living person, but the researchers believe it will. That's SPECULATIVE, but genuine, RESEARCH.

Hypothetical Situation B: A group of scientific researchers believes delivering Drug Z to people, at the time of their legal death, while lowering their temperature to that of liquid nitrogen vapor, will preserve the brains of these people in a condition that may be viable in the future. Instead of enlisting qualified vascular surgeons and perfusionists, to perform the procedures, they allow unskilled laymen to deliver their medications and solutions. That's QUACKERY.

Even if the medical scientists in Hypothetical Situation A had come up with a valid treatment, but enlisted layman to deliver their treatment, that would be QUACKERY and, most likely, every single one of their test subjects would have died during the treatment. Vascular cannulations and perfusion are NOT tasks for golf pros, or metal fabricators, or store clerks, or shoe salesmen...they are tasks for skilled professionals. If they are performed incorrectly, the result is DEATH.

Catherine Baldwin, Manager of Suspended Animation, in Boynton Beach, Florida, dared to refer to herself as the "backup surgeon," in the Curtis Henderson case, (CI-95) but judging by her own reports and other witnesses, Ms. Baldwin and her Suspended Animation team members, kept Mr. Henderson at relatively warm temperatures, for many hours, while she sliced away on him, unable to find his femoral vessels, (some of the largest vessels in the human body). That's QUACKERY.

I happen to think cryonics is some combination of Dr. Barrett's definition of "quackery," coupled with a lot of intentional deceit, on the part of a handful of people who are making a lot of money, working for certain cryonics organizations.

Charles Platt Defends Cryonics Propaganda

Though Charles Platt has told various people he is no longer very involved in cryonics, and he frequently criticizes the Cold Filter Cryonics forum, he can't seem to stay away...especially from MY posts. Not long ago, he went ballistic, when I agreed with a Ted Williams' relative's remark that the TW case notes were "disgusting." Yesterday, Platt responded to a post I made, more than three weeks ago, with this:

"I co-wrote the text that has been quoted, and thus noticed that the quote omitted the preceding sentence, which provides context. Here is the full version (from
"Cryonics is the speculative practice of using cold to preserve the life of a person who can no longer be supported by ordinary medicine. The goal is to carry the person forward through time, for however many decades or centuries might be necessary, until the preservation process can be reversed, and the person restored to full health."
Emphasis added.
Since it is the goal of a speculative practice--no, obviously it is not a promise or a guarantee."

Charles Platt

In this context, stating that cryonics is "speculative" is just a form of deception, in my opinion, meant to distract people from the fact that cryonics organizations allow just about anyone off the street to perform vascular cannulations and perfusion, (well-established medical procedures, which are NOT "speculative"). Platt stating, (on behalf of Alcor), that cryonics is "speculative" is NOT the same as admitting Alcor is known to allow unqualified personnel to attempt to perform medical procedures, for which they have received NO formal training. Of course, open-heart surgery would probably be a lot more "speculative" if the people in control were sending golf pros and metal fabricators, to perform these procedures, (something Platt did, for a cryonics "patient," at Suspended Animation).

Obviously, Mr. Platt missed this (something else I wrote on CF):

"Until I see, on the websites of Alcor and SA, either the names and qualifications of people who are qualified to competently provide vascular cannulations and perfusion, or a BIG BOLD disclaimer at the top of the page, stating something like "The people performing our procedures may have no formal medical education or training, and may not be competent in performing our surgical procedures," I am going to cross over to the side of people favoring the stringent regulation of cryonics."

Platt, (my former supervisor at Suspended Animation), has been complaining about me mentioning his name, for more than three years, but the truth is I very rarely mention him, when he refrains from posting nonsense. I'm having a really hard time believing he sincerely wants me to ignore him, when he persists in responding to my posts. I did not realize he wrote the comment I criticized, but if he wants to take credit for that particular piece of distraction, (smoke and mirrors, propaganda, BS, etc.), let's give credit where credit is due.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cryonics Event in UK a "No Brainer"

"Richiekgb" recently wrote about an upcoming UK event sponsored by Suspended Animation, (SA), of Boynton Beach, Florida. I've yet to find the original link, and the only conference I see being promoted on SA's home page, is the one they held in May 2007. I hope some sensible UK agency steps in, to prevent their citizens from being taken advantage of by these people, who are not qualified to perform the procedures they are selling, at ridiculously high prices, (SA charges $60,000.00 for their services in the US). These people are not capable of performing simple tasks, much less preserving a brain in a condition good enough to be viable in the future. Add in the transport from the UK to a cryonics storage facility in Arizona, or Michigan, and you've got yourself a "no-brainer," (literally).

In June 2009, Suspended Animation traveled from Boynton Beach, Florida, to Albany, New York, to provide services for Mr. Curtis Henderson, an historical figure, in cryonics. Though SA had been in business for seven years, and had spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $7M (seven million) dollars, preparing to perform their procedures, they couldn't even get their equipment on the plane, without screwing up. From their case report for CI-95 (Curtis Henderson):

"Arrangements for airline cargo movement of the kits were made the evening before deployment. When the team arrived at the air cargo office at 5am, the agent would not accept the kits because they did not have SA’s federal shipper number, account number and had no air bill for the kit, with these numbers included. Attempting to check the kits as luggage, Continental Airlines would not accept two of the Pelican cases containing the ATP and the MHP2 perfusate because they exceeded maximum allowable weight limits. Two team members stayed behind to make shipping arrangements for the remaining kits, while three team members flew on to Albany. Two team members were delayed by 4 hours and critical kits were delayed by 12 hours." (Emphasis added.)

In their report, SA printed a "corrective action" that included making sure none of the kits exceeded the maximum weight for the major airlines. Guess what? I did that task, when I was working at SA, in 2006. The information was distributed to all the staff members, and some of the kits were modified, as a result. What happened between 2006 and 2009? I believe most of SA's staff members are the same, with the exception of Catherine Baldwin, so why did not one of my former co-workers bother to keep that very important information updated? (Rhetorical question...when I was at SA, some staff members were not really doing anything, on an almost-daily basis.)

TO CRYONICISTS IN THE UK: Suspended Animation cannot get their luggage on a plane, even when they have overnight to prepare, much less transport your brain to the US, in a viable condition. SA will no longer name their staff members, or patient care providers, because most of the people known to have performed their procedures have little-to-no medical, or scientific, training. If you believe in the kind of technology that will be needed to repair the damage they will inflict upon your brain, and the normal degradation your brain will undergo, (warm ischemia before they get to you, temperature variances while your brain travels on a commercial airliner to the US, etc.), then you believe in repairs so advanced you don't need SA's services. If you believe future nanotech will be able to repair that degree of damage, leave your life insurance and your estate to your loved ones, and have your head and/or body sealed in some sort of container. Your chances of future nanobots being able to put you back together again, will probably be the same as they will be, if you are transported to the US to be cryogenically preserved, but at a much lower cost. If there was a probability less than zero, that is what I would assign to the odds of a person from the UK being transported to the US, being "resurrected," after receiving services from US cryonics companies, such as Suspended Animation. (Intentionally using a word with religious/cultish connotations.)

While the US cryo-companies are in the UK, they are going to try to sign you up for a life insurance policy, with their companies as the beneficiaries. They may even try to get you to fork over an irrevocable trust, or to remember them in your will. If you are smart, you will take whatever you might have spent on such an insurance policy and spend it on a good health club, nutritional food, (not supplements, which are mostly unproven), and living the one life you can be sure of, to its fullest. Maybe, one of these days, reputable scientists and medical professionals will explore the possibilities of cryonics, but for now, cryonics looks more like a scam, than anything else.

Here is the information Richiekgb/!Jill posted on the AntiCult site:,64749,91653

"Cryonics UK European Exposition
with Saul Kent + Catherine Baldwin
Thursday, September 23, 2010 • 12:00pm - 6:00pm, Sheffield • function room at the Sheffield Park Hotel

Cryonics UK exposition / European workshop with some very noteworthy guests from America who wish to meet as many cryonicists (especially Europeans) as possible at this event.

Catherine Baldwin (General Manager, Suspended Animation, Inc.) and Saul Kent (CEO, Suspended Animation, Inc.; Director, Alcor; Co-Founder, Cryonics Society of New York; Co-Founder, Life Extension Foundation; Co-Founder and Director, 21st Century Medicine; Co-Founder and Director, BioMarker Pharmaceuticals; Co-Founder, Timeship Project) will be in attendance, and are looking forward to meeting as many European cryonicists as possible while here.

On this day, we will mostly not be at our usual location, our HQ, but nearby in a hired function room at the Sheffield Park Hotel, a pleasant four star venue around the corner from our HQ. The day will however also include a brief tour of our HQ.

The purpose of the event is severalfold; to allow European cryonicists to meet and ask questions of Saul and Catherine, and also to allow Saul and Catherine to get to know a little better what we do over here and how we do it.

To this end, there will be open discussion time, some short structured presentations (Cryonics UK training, Cryonics in Europe, etc), a tour of our clinic and ambulance, and some social element too.

Attendance is free of charge, as the costs of the event (venue and catering) will be paid by kind sponsorship from Suspended Animation Inc."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

British Columbia's Take on Cryonics

From the AntiCult site:

Prohibition on sales, and offers of sale, of arrangements relating to cryonics and irradiation

14 A person must not offer for sale, or sell, an arrangement for the preservation or storage of human remains that is based on

(a) cryonics,

(b) irradiation, or

(c) any other means of preservation or storage, by whatever name called,

and that is offered, or sold, on the expectation of the resuscitation of human remains at a future time.