X-Message-Number: 14328
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 04:07:05 -0400
From: Paul Wakfer <>
Subject: Effects of Perfected Suspended Animation on Society

A number of people have expressed both on CryoNet previously and to me
personally, their doubt that even fully perfected suspended animation
(FPSA), having passed clinical trials with a success rate (full
restoration with no mental or physical deficits) of over 95%, will cause
a major change in the view of the medical establishment and, thus, the
populace toward its use. This note is written in an attempt to allay
that doubt and argue against that position.

Clinical Trials for FPSA

1. As is normal, these will occur only after appropriate positive
results have been obtained with regard to short and long-term safety and
efficacy on mammals and, in particular for such an invasive procedure,
on  primates as similar as possible to humans. These experiments should
also take place on animals of several kinds, especially dogs, which are
well domesticated and well "known" to humans so that both objective and
subjective testing can be done before and after.
There can even be a certain amount of placebo controlled, double
blindedness involved if necessary. For example, a pair of similar dogs
both well known to their owner may be put through two different
procedures which are unknown both to the owner and the person testing
the dogs afterwards. One dog would have the whole suspended animation
procedure and the other dog would simply have a sham operation of the
same kind without blood washout, perfusion of CPA and lowering of
In addition, the animal tests should be both of short and long-term
duration. A group of longer term animals should be kept in suspension
with one of the group being restored every so often to see that no long
term damage is occurring.
2. The human clinical trials will be on otherwise healthy volunteers
from among those who have something to gain and little to lose from the
experimental procedure (not yet classified as "fully perfected" of
course). An example of such persons from today's medical situation would
be those who cannot obtain a transplant and will soon die without one.
If we can arrange for these people to be assured of a transplant if they
agree to take this experimental procedure (which might be as simple as
allowing the necessary amount of time for their name to come to the top
of the queue, but might also mean waiting for a donor organ of the
correct type), then I think that they will both have little too lose
(possibly only a few months of life) and, potentially, many years of
life to gain.

3. The clinical trials are likely to take several years with some people
stored for shorter and some for longer periods of time. As should always
be the case when dealing with patients in any setting, the primary goal
should be the welfare of the patient and all other considerations should
be secondary. Parts of the trial may also be proceeding in parallel a
different medical centers which will all have to be set up for these
After a certain length of time with sufficient numbers of patients
having been restored to life, received a transplant or whatever other
curative therapy they needed which was not available at the time they
began the procedure, and returned to their former family and work life,
the results of the trials while still ongoing will be presented to the
scientific world and to the media.

Implementation into Established Medicine

1. It is my contention, that as soon as the very first person
successfully emerges from the clinical trials, the media and public
clamor (by terminal patients and there loved ones) for the use of this
life saving procedure will be so large that the establishment will be
force to provide. This may well happen through some medical centers
which break ranks through a desire to be early providers of this

2. However, even if this early adoption does not happen, there will only
be a slight delay. Once the trials have satisfactory published
statistics, the medical centers which are doing the trials will open
them to all those terminal patients for whom it is reasonable to think
that a cure for their health problem may be available within a "few
years". As this happens medical centers not engage in the clinical
trials will be under increasing pressure to also provide the SA
procedure and they will bow to the demand and do so.

3. There will be enormous medical/ethical debate about the use of the
procedure from beginning to end. However, in the end the clear and now
obvious life-saving nature of the procedure will prevail over all
objections. The "few years" mentioned above will be constantly stretched
and many, many people (but possibly never a majority) of those who are
terminal will elect to take this procedure rather than to die, even
though they cannot be at all certain when a cure for their health
problem will be available in the future.

4. Finally, some medical centers will rebel from the
establishment/ethical position, to even allow the elective use of the
procedure for those suffering an enormous quality of life reduction from
what is possible for them. An current example of this might be
quadriplegics who are not near-terminal, but at some time in the future
might be completely restorable to human normalcy and a far happier

Examples of Similar Previous Medical Paradigm Changes

1. While the nature of FPSA (an effective end to death) is unprecedented
in the history of science and medicine, there are examples of major
breakthroughs the events of which bear on the understanding of how FPSA
will interface with society.

2. One example which I can think of is organ transplantation,
specifically heart transplantation since that organ is, in our lore and
mythology, so intimately related with our persona. The whole idea of
heart transplantation was at first look at with revulsion and
foreboding, that "medicine was going to far", "there comes a time to
give up and go to ones maker" (always said by others about the one
receiving the transplant, of course), and other such standard "wisdom".
However, as we all know this nonsense did not carry the day and heart
transplantation is well accept by most everyone and without any

3. Similar, objections and revulsion accompanied the first human
artificial inseminations, in vitro fertilizations, and embryo
cryopreservations. Most all of these have been swept away or in the
process of doing so.

I could go on but the above it a good starting basis for my ideas and
Please let me have your questions and comments on this important topic
with may be upon us within 15-20 year if we get sufficient funding for
the initial research needed.

Paul Wakfer

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