How to de-animate

Readiness, standby, and stabilization topics
Andrew
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How to de-animate

Post by Andrew » Mon May 27, 2013 5:31 pm

Looking the bracelet that came to me in the mail as a new Alcor member, I started thinking about how it's meant to be used. In the event of death, it may help notify Alcor and, if heeded, limit some ischemic damage.

I'm glad there are these bracelets, but I hope they are unnecessary most of the time. When the time comes that a cryonicist encounters the point of death (I mean by the parameters of legal-death, not information-theoretic-death), I hope the circumstances will be favorable to a good preservation even without the bracelet.

So then I started thinking, how are we going to die? Is that something we can choose in advance, or even effectively influence? Considering current legal, financial, and medical technologies, what's the best way to make that transition? Where? By what cause-of-death? What are folks doing to positively shape the process?

It seems a bit of a sober experience to ponder this area. But I'm sure fellow cryonicists have thought about it. And for good reason. Good de-animation circumstances could be very important to good preservation outcomes.

Is there a general consensus in this area? What are thoughts of fellow Alcor members?

TDK
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by TDK » Tue May 28, 2013 6:23 pm

I know that there has been discussion of the process of VCED,
which is "voluntary cessation of eating and drinking". So that when
you are terminally ill, you stop eating and drinking, causing your
organs to shut down, so you die quickly. To the attending physician,
it's still viewed as "natural causes" in terms of the death certificate.
Obviously, being in hospice in Arizona is the ideal setting.

Although one thing I was curious about, is doing the process
in Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal. The last
time I mentioned the idea, I got a lot of resistance from other
members and from the organization, since they want to avoid
any entanglement in something that could bring legal trouble
onto the organization. Lawsuits, etc. A family member claiming
that Alcor encouraged suicide, etc.

But I still think it's mostly just societal perceptions. In 10 or 20
years, the idea might be totally acceptable. I just think it would
be really effective if you were already terminal, and you could
have the cooling done as you are still alive. Even if you
could get halfway cooled down prior to being "euthenized",
I think it would be of great benefit to the brain's viability.
The anti-clotting drugs could be administered right before
death, rather than afterwards, etc. As long as the attending
physician and Alcor team were all working together, it seems
like something like that would actually be the ideal scenario,
if weren't for Alcor's legal concerns...

It seems like if some kind of contract or legal document
to release them from any wrongdoing would go a long way.
Especially if any surviving family members would be willing
to sign it as well...

Andrew
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by Andrew » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:54 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healt ... rgery.html

Isn't it such a shame standby teams can't start cooling procedures for terminal patients until after death is pronounced? What if all surgical interventions (i.e. heart valve repair) started only after legal death?

An ability to resuscitate might be required to avoid the need to wait for pronouncement, but that would rule out neuro-preservations, require non-toxic cryo-protectant, and a storage temperature that didn't cause cracking.

Maybe it would be more fruitful, in the short term, to work toward the legality of assisted suicide, and let cryonic suspension be a form of assisted suicide allowable if a doctor shows the patient has only weeks to live.

Could you imagine cooling the body in a controlled way, starting from a fully-animate state, administering anesthetic, slowing metabolism through cold, bit by bit until the patient slips into suspension without actually dying? That's the kind of transition I wish people could have. It would be possible now, but for legal restrictions.

criley
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by criley » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:31 am

It seems like the smart way to do it - even if you had only a few days or hours to live. It would take a lot of work to make it happen, but your idea about using it as a form of assisted suicide is a good one.
Andrew wrote:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healt ... rgery.html

Isn't it such a shame standby teams can't start cooling procedures for terminal patients until after death is pronounced? What if all surgical interventions (i.e. heart valve repair) started only after legal death?

An ability to resuscitate might be required to avoid the need to wait for pronouncement, but that would rule out neuro-preservations, require non-toxic cryo-protectant, and a storage temperature that didn't cause cracking.

Maybe it would be more fruitful, in the short term, to work toward the legality of assisted suicide, and let cryonic suspension be a form of assisted suicide allowable if a doctor shows the patient has only weeks to live.

Could you imagine cooling the body in a controlled way, starting from a fully-animate state, administering anesthetic, slowing metabolism through cold, bit by bit until the patient slips into suspension without actually dying? That's the kind of transition I wish people could have. It would be possible now, but for legal restrictions.

TDK
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by TDK » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:51 pm

I did a quick internet search about assisted suicide in Oregon.
Also available in Washington and Montana.

http://public.health.oregon.gov/Provide ... px#similar

Apparently, it's only regulated in the sense that the doctor
has to submit some paperwork to the state. Everything
else about the process is private, and done at home.

The doctor prescribes the "death" drugs, and the patient
self-administers them. The doctor does not even have
to be there! So Alcor could just do their thing, and
the paperwork would be good to go as far as the
state of Oregon is concerned.

You have to be a resident, but there is no specific
timeframe for how long you need to have lived there.
So you could move into an apartment, and use the
lease agreement as your proof or residency.

The identity of the patient and the doctor is confidential and coded.

You have to be terminal, with 6 months or less left to live.

As far as the medication:

"It is up to the physician to determine the medication"
(Usually a barbituate)

But if the state does not regulate the exact drugs used, and do not
need to be there, and the paperwork is all private and coded, it really
doesn't seem like it's that far-fetched for a cryopreservation to be done.

There is nothing really wrong or illegal about cooling a person down.
There is nothing illegal about giving someone anti-clotting drugs.
The real issue would be with the actual cause of death.
I suppose cooling someone until they "die" might not be ok.
Killing them with cryoprotectants also might not be ok.
I am sure the doctors would mainly be concerned with the
whole "doing no harm" thing. Causing someone pain or
damage is probably not ok. But cooling them to near death,
and then administering the barbituate, seems like it would fit
within the legal confines of the state.

Any Alcor leadership care to weigh in on the subject?
Would they be willing to participate in something like that?

Andrew
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by Andrew » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:35 pm

It's hard for Alcor representatives to respond when cryonics-debunkers can selectively cut-and-paste remarks to portray the organization as encouraging assisted suicide when it's not. In some seemingly free countries, the state actually prohibits cryonics, and so cryonicists everywhere should take care not to be misrepresented.

As someone not connected to Alcor except as a member, I may have ideas contrary to its official position (and there may be no official position) on the matter.

I think in a culture obsessed with youth, beauty, and denying death, candidly discussing the details of one's own legal passing could seem morbid, let alone taking an active roll in the event itself. But shouldn't it be the legal right of every dying person to do with their life and death what they wish? Is anything ours if not our own life?

It seems like it could improve preservations if there was a right to euthanasia in the states where cryonics organizations are located. I don't know if it's the time to rock the political boat though. At least folks can show support, as individual citizens, for it as it exists in Oregon, Washington, and Montana. I think without this right, some people are being forced to act out a pseudo-religious concept of life and death which they don't believe.

Andrew
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by Andrew » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:40 pm

If an assisted-suicide-to-cyrosuspension option became available in Arizona and I used it someday, I hope my life insurance would still pay out. I will have to read my policy again.

TDK
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by TDK » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:29 pm

I researched it years ago, and suicide usually isn't a problem.

The way most policies are structured, if you commit suicide
in the first year or two of the policy, it does not pay out.

They want to discourage people from taking out a policy
to give their family money, then just killing themselves
a month after they take out the policy. That would
ruin the insurance companies.

But if you have a policy long-term, it generally still
pays out, even for suicides.

Andrew
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by Andrew » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:31 pm

This is some info about a cryonicist named Thomas Donaldson. Maybe everyone already knows, but I did not until I started looking up information on this topic. He wanted to cryopreserve himself before brain cancer took over.

http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/Donal ... tract.html

http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA4/2CA4t1614.htm

He seems like an interesting person. I wish he was still active, but I believe that he did get a good preservation as per his wishes, once he was allowed to (post-mortem).

The legal case he made which was unsuccessful seemed to hinge on the concept of the "third-party".

I'm thinking: How is it that a third-party would be allowed without hinderance to persuade me to buy a time-share, but can't aid a terminal patient in a pre-mortem cryopreservation? Do people really believe folks can be talked into suicide? It's like a Monty Python episode. "Can we have your liver then?". It's pure imagination.

zmth
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Re: How to de-animate

Post by zmth » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:28 pm

Obviously the best way is planned suicide. But don't expect this da.... society, politicians, law enforcement etc. to do what they should and make suicide, assisted suicide and euthanesia without having to give anyone any reason or eplanation legal in all cases. Belgium seems to be the most advanced in this. Too bad Alcor cannot move there.

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