X-Message-Number: 26013
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 09:40:33 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: to Ben Best

To Ben Best:

You said something in your proposal for a Living Will which (possibly
because I didn't read it right) is not only wrong but NOT what you
likely want to do. You are not in a vegetative state when you're on
life support. It's true that IF you are in vegetative state you will
be on life support but they are far from identical. If you are in
vegetative state the upper parts of your brain no longer work, or
at least doctors can find no evidence, even with CT and MRI scans,
that your brain is still working. It's one of those conditions in 
which most people still don't consider you as dead, but you are
still dead. And since the upper parts of your brain are gone,
you hardly wish to remain in that state, nor is it likely that
any future medicine will revive you. As a cryonicist, you will want
to do everything possible to be suspended BEFORE you reach that
state. Otherwise there will be no more Ben Best to revive.

Yes there are other conditions which can create such states, 
particular states in which your brain has disappeared while even
your relatives resist letting you die (or be suspended) because
they believe you're still alive. Advanced brain cancers, Alzheimer's
Disease, and other brain conditions fall under that heading. 

To have a Living Will which asks that you not be suspended if
you're in a vegetative state is a MAJOR ERROR. As for the case
of being on life support, that one involves judgement about your
exact condition.

           Best wishes and long long life to all,

               Thomas Donaldson

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