X-Message-Number: 22760
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2003 11:51:54 -0500 (EST)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Cryonics organization case reports

Eugen Leitl asks for detailed case reports. While I was
managing cases for Alcor I got into the habit of writing a
summary while each case was going on, because there would
always be a waiting period during the last part of the
patient's transport, and I would be maintaining my vigil by
the Alcor phone, with nothing much to do. There would be
another waiting period, without a lot happening, near the end
of the perfusion ramp. Also I knew that if I didn't write a
report then, probably I wouldn't write it later. The
organization was averaging about 1 case every 3 to 4 weeks,
which didn't allow much time for reflection, as everyone was
more concerned with getting ready for the next one, and I had
my own agenda of problems that needed to be fixed and
improvements that I wanted to see. Consequently my cases
received a prompt, but skimpy description in Alcor News, and
that was all.

This was my unsatisfactory solution to a problem that has
been significant for several years. When the committee to
evaluate Alcor procedures was asked to write its study two
years ago (in which I participated), we asked about case
reports and Dr. Jerry Lemler said that he was not willing or
able to write any more of them. (He was making a transition
from team leader to CEO, with a different set of
responsibilities.) I don't think David Shipman wrote any
during his brief tenure, and I don't think Mike Darwin or
anyone at Suspended Animation wrote any regarding the three
cases (four if you count the CI case they did in Florida)
that SA was involved in.

So I would say everyone has to plead guilty in this area,
with the exception of Ben Best, who changed an age-old CI
no-comment policy and wrote a fairly comprehensive report on
the first CI case in which he participated.

I have heard that in 2004, a longtime Alcor benefactor may
offer a substantial fee to anyone (suitably qualified) who
writes up some of the Alcor cases that remain largely
undocumented at this time. This could improve the situation

It's a mistake to make a direct comparison between the lack
of case reports now, and the elaborate reports that Mike
Darwin used to write. First, he derived satisfaction, I
think, from writing those reports; to everyone else, it is a
very unwelcome chore. So, there is a psychological factor.
And second, there was much less to do in those days.
CryoCare, for instance, had only two cases in six years! In
the Gallagher case, preparations began more than a month in
advance, and the writeup took a full month afterward. I
remember this very well since I collaborated in the
presentation, which included numerous graphics and tables
that had to be properly formatted. It was irritating work,
and there was a lot of it. Putting together reports on this
scale, for 8 or 10 cases a year, would be a halftime job.


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