X-Message-Number: 24805
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 03:05:58 -0700
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Mourning Chris Reeve
References: <>

Christopher Reeve through misfortune found himself being a necessary 
ally in the fight over Stem Cell Research, freedom and funding. I 
greatly regret that my feeble attempts to get Chris to look into life 
extension and cryonics fell on deaf ears if indeed my appeals ever even 
reached him. I had no direct access to him despite sharing a less 
debilitative form of his affliction. I wish I had tried harder. I just 
never got any indication anything from me was actually being brought to 
his attention.

It is too bad that he, as far as I know, was not signed up for cryonic 
suspension. He would have made a good high profile ambassador for 
cryonics. However, he might have felt, and possibly rightly so, that it 
would have detracted from his impassioned goal for SCR. Many potential 
and current backers for his SCR goal oriented Foundation might have 
jumped ship if they had discovered after his death he was involved in 
what they most likely, as we often have witnessed, may have seen as 
frivolous and controversial. It would be wrong but some might have felt 
that the money spent on his suspension would better be spent on his 
foundation's goals. This would be wrong headed but unfortunately often 
the case for public opinion surrounding controversial issues and here 
they would likely be seen as competing whereas truly we know they are 
allied. This is an alliance probably not readily seen as apparent by the 
cryonics uninformed public.

On a personal level I was shocked to hear that Chris had died of 
something that I have survived on many occasions. In fact it was a bit 
sobering too consider how close I may have come. As reported bed sores 
contributed to Chris' ailment resulting in an infection of his blood 
that damaged his heart. I have had dicubitus sores (bed sores or 
pressure sores), in excess of dozens of times and had blood born 
infections at least three times and heart failure one time though not 
connected to any infection caused heart damage despite having double 
pneumonia at the time. For me it brings up so many questions but one I 
wish to dispel from anyone's mind for sake of Chris' wife and family and 
caregivers is, "How could he get bed sores when cared for so closely, 
couldn't they have been prevented?". I am cared for very closely and yet 
I still have gotten them on many occasions as also many of my ilk. The 
reason is the nature of the cause.

The cause is pressure mainly but with several abiding and dangerous 
factors. A pressure sore occurs stealthily. There can be signs like 
redness of the skin where there is potential for one but not always some 
redness as it depends on if the area is fed by a lot of fine blood 
vessels, some areas are more than others. Some areas blanch and flush 
showing a good indicator for the presence of pressure or not. Some areas 
do not show such a blanching -- in presence of pressure, and flushing -- 
when pressure is reduced and blood rushes back to the starved area. So 
what happens is an area that doesn't show readily seen signs and 
therefore does call for being relieved of pressure can slowly die from 
circulation starvation from the inside out. You never see a dicubitus 
sore until the damage is already done and the surface erupts into a 
mushy mass of necrotic flesh. Pain can be an indicator but one can 
easily imagine that in a case of reduced nerve sensitivity and sometimes 
complete absence of entirely it can be difficult to decipher what little 
pain information one may get. Moreover everyone is different in this 
respect. Some have zero reaction to any pain stimulus sent from the 
afflicted area due to absolute lack of nerve enervation while others 
have mixed signals due to partial enervation. Also if there are 
indications at all it is often impossible to tell exactly from where the 
input is coming. I have also on occasion described the hormonal response 
and this too can mask signal specificity and cause focus on reliving the 
response due to its heart and brain damaging potential often by drug 
use. Too much drug use to stem this reaction and sometimes minor 
irritations become great big sores. Sorry for this graphic detailed 
account but I became concerned that such a question could damage Chris' 
family's reputation and with that the Chris Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

My shock over his sudden death has left me perplexed. I don't know 
whether to count myself lucky for endowment with a heartier constitution 
or simply more determined to survive or just dumb luck to have survived 
this awful way of life for over 26 years. My family tends to side with 
the first assessment having witnessed me endure so many near fatal 
threats to my life that they have voiced over and over, "would have 
killed most people". Whatever it is I hope it continues a long long 
time. I don't mean to toot my own horn but just reassure my friends that 
they needn't worry that Chris' fate soon awaits me also.

I hope that something good does come from his untimely end in more focus 
on the need for Stem Cell and other research efforts for mine and his 
shared ailments but not just that for every ailment that can be 
eliminated from the human condition by brave science and the shunning of 
superstition led acquiescence to human frailty.

To wit, here is an absolutely monstrous article to which I intend 
vehement protest to its author. I find it the height of callousness and 
bad taste to chide one such as Chris and dare to make the suggestion 
that he sought after superhuman accomplishment beyond a rightful cure. 
This luddite bastard would have me and all that share my affliction 
forever bound in bondage to our paralysis. He would also have all of 
humanity stay bound to a short pitiful life full of toil, pain, injury, 
disease and eventual death, for the dignity of its finitude and noble 
striving against advsersity. Phooey! I find continued existence such as 
that with no progress to be quite pointless. His ilk would have us 
return to pasture and husbandry forever passing the same drudgery onto 
our progeny and they theirs, life then death then life then death ad 
infinitum. That is a pointless existence unless there would really be an 
afterlife. I don't believe there is so I won't be signing up for our 
return to pre tech days.


Opinion: We should fear the disturbing future where man becomes superman

by MICHAEL GOVE  also 

Embryonic stem-cell research turns human life into a means rather than 
an end

SUPERMAN may have been a creation of the 1930s but his is a myth for our 
times. And the power of the fictional hero s story has only been 
underlined by the heroic life and tragic death of his Hollywood 
incarnation, Christopher Reeve.

The potency of the Superman myth lies in the perennial human yearning to 
escape the constraints of the human condition. To be human is to inhabit 
a world of vulnerability and limits.[cont.]

I hope you all will set him straight.



Membership in order of joining - all comments on any subject are solely my 
opinion only and not reflective of the official positions of the following:
Cryonics Institute of Michigan	http://www.cryonics.org
The Immortalist Society		http://www.cryonics.org/info.html
The Society for Venturism	http://www.venturist.org
Immortality Institute		http://www.imminst.org
Methuselah Foundation		http://www.methuselahfoundation.org
Methuselah Mouse Prize		http://www.methuselahmouse.org
[Give $$$ for life!]
World Transhumanist Assoc.	http://www.transhumanism.org/
WTA Portland Chapter		http://home.comcast.net/~swayzej/pdxwta.html
MY WEBSITE: http://home.comcast.net/~swayzej/jspage_main.html

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