X-Message-Number: 3700
Date: 17 Jan 95 19:31:16 EST
From: Mike Darwin <>
Subject: CRYONICS  Margaret and Paul

For some reason this message did not post when it was first sent several days

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From:	Mike Darwin, 75120,575
TO:	cryonet, INTERNET:
DATE:	1/12/95 5:35 PM

RE:	Copy of: CRYONICS Margaret Bradshaw

The opening of this year has been a very painful one for me personally.  First
there was Paul Genteman's needless death and then Margaret Bradshaw's suicide.

I first met Margaret during the pre cryopreservation care/consulting for Jerry

White.  I consider her one of the finest, smartest and most compassionate people
I have ever known.  Her care of Jerrry was extraordinary by any  standards and
the courage and steadfastness she showed was more impressive than I have
observed in many families caring for dying family members.

During the many days of intimate contact we and the others caring for Jerry had
in Jerry's small condo, I got to know Margaret very well.  We talked about our
mutual illness and orientations; both of us were on Prozac for depression and
both of us were homosexual.  Words fail me to tell you how impressed I was with
her and how deeply I grew to care for her and to admire her.  I considered her
one of ACSs very best.

Margaret had a background in physiology and her father was a physician; so we
had much to talk about in common there -- and she even owned a copy of Guyton's
textbook on medical physiology: a benchmark which I use to evaluate anyone I
meet re: their knowledge of physiology/medicine.

I find it very hard emotionally  to accept that Margartet is sitting a few feet
away from me as I write this, cryopreserved.  Unfortunately, I find it all too
believeable intellectually because I understand, I guess about as well as
anybody can, what happened to Margaret.  Margaret died of a disease who's

lethality is about equal to that of heart disease.  It is called depression.  It

has been largely ignored in cryonics circles and yet it has claimed the lives of
several cryonicists in the past, and it is endemic amongst bright, creative,
driven and highly individualistic people like Margaret.

I would also note that this is the SECOND suicide amongst a cryonics primary
caretaker within the first year after the cryopreservation of the person for
who's care they were responsible. (The first I know of of was Cindy Donovan).
Clearly, people at increased risk of end stage depression (suicide) who are
faced not only with the known depression-inducers of grief and loss, but the
many added stresses associated with facilitating cryopreservation, should be
carefully monitored and given support and (where necessary) intervention should
they become suicidally depressed.

Margaret was in the throes of a classic major depressive episode when she took

her life.  She had been unable to sleep for at least three days and had recently
shifted medications and was clearly deeply despondent the evening of her death.
I am placing no blame here on anyone.  She was surrounded by loving friends who
had seen her depressed before (and helped her through it).  None of them even
remotely thought she would take her life.

Due to the outstanding efforts of Steve Harris, M.D. the Santa Clara County
Medical Examiner was persuaded to forego autopsy of Margaret's head.  However,
the extensive nature of the rest of the autopsy and the long normothermic delay

while the "crime" scene was secured and documented made her perfusion one of the
most challenging we have ever done.

I am writing this both to say how grief stricken I am at Margaret's loss and at
Paul's; both good friends and colleagues.  I am also writing this because the
problem of depression in cryonics has not been adequately addressed -- and
perhaps more to the point, the issue of the ROLE of cryonics in causing
depression and reduced quality of life has not been addressed at all.

I will try to do that in future messages, once I have a little time to regain my
own equilibrium.  For now, I will simply say that while I respect Bob Ettinger,
I feel very strongly that both he and CI have not had the same kinds of

experiences in doing cryopreservations that Alcor and ACS have had.  The complex
medical tradeoffs, serious distrubances to family structure, and many other
factors too numerous to list here are probably simply not in his repeteroire of
experience. Yet.  Lucky him.

Not so lucky, however, is the sad and in my opinion certain fact that things
will not long remain that way for CI, particularly as it grows.  If there is
anything that can be learned from our experiences by CI or others, I want that
knowledge to be communicated.

Margaret, Paul, I wish you the very best and it is my most fervent desire that
we meet again, hopefully in a time and place where we can laugh and reminisce

about the dark ages from which we were so lucky to have made our escape from....

Mike Darwin

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