X-Message-Number: 12186
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: More on storing brains versus heads. Heads are better.
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 19:56:46 +1000 (EST)

Hi everyone!

For George Smith: one thing I understand to be true is that living brains
are quite delicate. This makes removing a brain a much more exact
operation than simply removing a head and using the vascular system of the
head for perfusion. (Perfusion with solutions suitable for cryonics
shrinks the brain, it does not expand it). 

This feature, together with the fact that brains receive their blood flow
from veins and arteries going IN from outside rather than from inner
tracts to the outside, means that storing unprotected brains, even if
frozen, is probably not a good idea. Storing heads, however, deals with
many of the problems which naked brains might cause.

As for autopsy, this is done by people who have no intention (or even
thought) of someday seeing the autopsied person revived to life. The
brains of dead people just aren't very valuable to those who have decided
they are dead. Since cryonicists generally aren't at all sure that 
someone in storage is REALLY dead (despite all the rituals which have been
done over them) damage to the brain of such a patient is very important

If George Smith (or anyone) can devise some better means to keep brains
secure than simply storing them in their head, I'd welcome those means.
But storing heads currently seems both the simplest and the safest
procedure. Moreover, reference to the methods used in autopsies means
virtually nothing for cryonic suspensions. At a minimum, it's very 
uncertain whether almost all people "declared dead" are really dead;
at a maximum, most of them are actually alive, declared dead only because
of the ignorance of present physicians. 

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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