X-Message-Number: 32091
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 13:43:48 +0000 (UTC)
From: Melody%20Maxim <>
Subject: Dangerous Rationalizations

I don't know Keith Henson, but he seems determined to rationalize practices 
that, in my opinion, will only cause trouble for the cryonics industry.

If Keith thinks pouring medical wastes down the city sewer drain is acceptable, 
why did Alcor's COO ask Johnson to erase the letter voicing his concerns about 
OSHA violations, from his hard drive, and worry that a "National Enquirer 
photographer with infrared film" might catch them doing it? 
http://frozenbook.com/audio-5.php People can rationalize things like this all 
they want, but it's activities such as these that could, (and have!) caused 
tremendous trouble for the industry, especially now that the public has an 
audiotape of someone in charge acknowledging he was aware of the problem, and 
the conversation seems to indicate he asked for evidence of that practice to be 

I really don't understand anyone who defends the ball peen hammer, as I feel 
everyone should be able to see how offensive the general population, (especially
medical professionals), would find it, and the negative effect using such an 
instrument might have on the industry. Alcor only made the situation worse, when
they lied and said it was a "medical mallet." As for the person who wrote that 
the hammer was sterilized, go to the frozenbook.com site photos, and you can 
clearly see that this is a ball peen hammer with a wooden handle, something that
would be virtually impossible to properly sterilize.

I also think almost anyone should be able to comprehend why cats should not be 
allowed to roam medical facilities, or businesses, in general. (As someone else 
wrote, it's unprofessional, if nothing else.) Since Keith needs convincing, I'll
give him an example, or two. Once, I was making some modifications to a 
perfusion circuit upstairs, where SA's manager and the alleged web designer were
also working. I objected to the cat being there, so the manager put it out. I 
had to leave the room, for a short time, before I was finished with what I was 
doing, so I placed a surgical drape over the circuit, and reiterated that the 
cat was not welcome. When I returned, a short time later, the manager had left, 
and the door was propped open with a fire extinguisher. When I asked the "web 
designer" why the door was propped open, she said, "So the cat can come in and 
out." Guess where the cat was? Under the drape, chewing on the perfusion tubing.
What if I hadn't seen the cat there? What if I had finished my modifications, 
re-sterilized the circuit, and packed it in the "A" kit, to be used on patients?
What if it was later used on an AIDS patient and everyone in the room got 
sprayed with the patient's blood, due to tiny holes in the tubing, made by the 
cat's teeth and claws? After that, I refused to modify any more circuits until 
all the components arrived, leaving them safely tucked away in the 
manufacturer's containers. The components arrived, not long before I resigned, 
so I never had a chance to finish the circuits, but I did privately offer to 
help guide someone there through that job, without compensation. (I have emails,
between myself and other SA staff members, to support all of this.) OH...and to
Keith's remark about alarms being able to accommodate pets, (though I think 
it's a moot point, since the cat shouldn't have been there), I'm well aware of 
the "stay" vs. "away" feature, and I suggested using it, but no one else seemed 
to be bothered by leaving the alarm off for the cat, enough to push one button 
instead of another, at the end of the code.

In addition to the circuit I was working on, some of the standby kits were left 
open the entire time I was consulting for, and working at, SA, (a total of ten 
months). Who knows what the cat chewed on, in those kits, when no one was 
watching?! Also, while Aschwin, Mathew and I were attempting to organize the 
"operating room," in spite of our protests about the cat and our requests that 
the doors be kept closed, the doors were regularly propped open, and the cat ran
in and out, freely.

Ironically, after I resigned and began to criticize SA, Steve Harris of CCR, 
(who works on the opposite coast, in California, and never set foot in SA, while
I was there), posted a rant on Cold Filter, accusing me of not doing my job, 
while I was at SA. In one post, he went off on a tirade about me not connecting 
oxygen to the vitrification circuit in the operating room, as though it was a 
circuit to be used on a patient. First of all, I don't think we had permission 
to do procedures, of any type, (not even on animals), in that facility. 
Secondly, that circuit was a dirty prototype that Aschwin, Mathew and I had been
using, to experiment with different configurations for a vitrification circuit 
layout, and was never intended to be used on a patient. The oxygenator had 
expired a decade previously, (that model hadn't even been manufactured, in 
years). The cat regularly played in that room, and on that circuit, and someone 
was criticizing me for not connecting oxygen to it? I don't think Harris 
intentionally lied, but someone definitely lied to him, in an attempt to 
discredit me.

It's time for someone to pour a bucket of common sense over the cryonics 
industry, and I think Johnson has done just that. I have my doubts it will be 
the "flash in the pan" it was, the last time he went to the media, so it's time 
to get serious about making cryonics more respectable. Rationalizations, lies 
and/or cover-ups are only going to make the situation worse.

Melody Maxim

(Tripper, I haven't forgotten about your request for suggestions for 
improvement. Expect to see some, soon, on my blog.)

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