X-Message-Number: 3763
Date: 27 Jan 95 16:04:18 EST
From: Michael Riskin <>
Subject: Reply to Mike Darwin

   In his post # 3758, Mr. Darwin writes: 
" Whether the patients are going to be resuscitated is irrelevant. Case
histories containing personal details of peoples lives and most private
thoughts are published all the time while the patient is still alive".   
              and continues on to say later...

" Riskin in particular should know that the psychiatric literature is rich
in this tradition. Whole books have been written discussing
interpretations of cases first discussed by Freud, Jung, and everybody

   Mr. Darwin is using an argument from common practice in the medical
community. I take exception on two grounds. 

First, the fact that something is common practice in the medical
community does not make it alright.  I am sure that Mr. Darwin can
enumerate several such instances, far better than I. 

Second, while many case histories are published of real cases (not
composite or fake), the professional standard (assuming a release is not
granted) I prefer, is to alter non critical, non identifying information
as to maintain anonimity, and this is in fact done in the "medical journals"
he references. As compared to the general population of medical cases,
our community of patients is very small, and easily identifiable....and I
believe requires an extra measure of confidentiality precautions. If we
consider our patients "truly patients", with the potential of a conscious
life, (as compared to permanently dead people we keep frozen), the factor
of the possible impact on their future life of personal disclosures, should
be considered.  Perhaps Mr. Darwin would consider taking this into account,
on his own, (prior to possible communication with the Alcor CEO), instead 
of stating: 
    " In the meantime, I will proceed exactly have I have".

Finally, Mr. Darwin made a speculative interpretation of this discussion by
    "However, if the notion is that I cannot discuss well over 10 years of
my career.........." , and concluded with a statement (I paraphrase) that
perhaps the courts will need to decide the issue. 
    Well... I simply do not know how Mr. Darwin arrived at that from any
of my previous remarks. His leap into a possible legal action requiring
court decisions, (based on this ongoing discussion of confidentiality
within the cryonics community), seems to be quite a "stretch", if not

Michael Riskin 


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