X-Message-Number: 33177
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 23:58:36 -0800
Subject: Funeral directors and stabilizations
From: Brian Wowk <>

Luke Parish wrote:

>Robert Ettinger has suggested hiring and training local
>morticians as an alternative to the use of lay volunteers or
>Suspended Animation. Given that morticians come with skills in
>cannulating patients without a heartbeat, it seems the amount
>of training needed for stabilization to go off without any
>surprises would be reduced. Further, there's the more subtle
>issue that morticians have broad pre-existing societal
>permission to operate on "dead" bodies and get paid for it.
>Are there any particular disadvantages to this approach?

       There are several incorrect premises in this question.  First,
Cryonics Institute does not do field blood washout, so cannulation
skills of morticians are academic visa vi their utility for
stabilization of CI patients.


Second, field blood washout is not the main purpose or biological
advantage of stabilization.  The main purpose of stabilization is
rapid cooling, I.V. administration of blood clotting inhibitors, and
I.V. administration of other protective medications.  Doing this
optimally requires a true standby (bedside vigil until legal death
occurs), which morticians are rarely able to do, sustained CPR for two
or more hours in an ice bath (which morticians don't have the
equipment to do), and administration of more medications than just
heparin.  Third, when field blood washout is done by Alcor or SA,
there seems to be a perception that cryonics stabilization teams are
displacing morticians who could do cannulations.  In fact, most
cryonics field blood washouts are done under the auspices and in the
premises of morticians.  In a mortuary, and sometimes even in cryonics
transport vehicles, morticians are available to help with cannulations
when doing so is advantageous.  As a practical matter, morticians lack
experience working in blood filled surgical fields compared to
personnel specifically trained to cannulate vessels under such


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