X-Message-Number: 15510
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 02:27:02 -0500
From: <>
Subject: questions to and answers from doctors and cryonics orgs

One of the points that Jeff G has made is that a would-be cryonicist
should be able to consult with a prospective cryonics organization
somewhat the same way that a patient can consult with his doctor;
to this Professor Ettinger replied something to the effect that generally
most patients would ask primarily for the odds that the procedure
would work.  [Either party: please correct me if i'm simplifying
your position to the point of distortion.]

Actually, it would be reasonable if you could ask your doctors about
their treatments, how they assessed your condition, and (why not?)
maybe even for pointers to peer-reviewed literature describing
repeatable procedures.  After all, their billing rates are measured in
hundreds per hour, they have all kinds of assistants to help them, and
they're protected by a legal monopoly.

But many doctors will never explain why a solution is diluted with
Mannitol instead of water, because you'll never find out about the
Mannitol in the first place so you can't even pose the question.  Many
doctors may be unable or unwilling to estimate simple parameters like
the volume of blood in a body.  That is, for many doctors, the _most_
you can get is their estimate of the odds (and don't expect an
explanation of their computation---lots probably don't even know how).
And if you find any that keep up with the literature, then don't lose
their phone numbers.  (I truly hope other people have had better

How does this compare with asking questions to a someone representing
a cryonics organization?

Well, in contrast to the doctors, officials of cryonics orgs will be
paid either next to nothing, or in some cases literally nothing.  This
includes not just Ettinger, but Fred Chamberlain, Mike Darwin (when he
was president of Alcor), i imagine Charles Platt (CryoCare), Edgar
Swank, Paul Wakfer (in spearheading donation-supported research
efforts) and many others.  As far as i know, there are only two real
rewards for their work: an enhanced chance for survival for them and
their loved ones, and the intellectual satisfaction of putting
together and nourishing an organization with a genuine and ambitious
humanitarian purpose.

I think the situation on cryonet speaks for itself.  At least reps
from one organization are answering questions much more detailed than
many doctors would even consider.  {And other orgs may follow suit
at some point.}

Saul Kent said: if no org is suitable, then go out and start one.
(And for anybody who's really new here, he followed his own advice in
a very big way with his research outfit.)


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