X-Message-Number: 6015
From:  (Brian Wowk)
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics
Subject: Re: Cryonics/Legal/Gerbils
Date: 31 Mar 96 04:50:50 GMT
Message-ID: <>
References: <> <>

In <> John Sharman <> 
>I started off querying two propositions:
>1.  Doctors in US pronounce death *before* ceasing life support and
>2.  Doctors "switch off" (i.e. cease operation of a life support
>    machine") a conscious patient.
>What you have set out above does not address either point.
	With regard to point #2, you are really splitting hairs.
CPR can also be performed by an HLR (a CPR machine used by paramedics), 
in which case CPR would be stopped by just "switching off" the machine.
There are also other situations in medicine where conscious patients
on ECMO (heart-lung machine) support are switched off.  Mike Darwin
gave an example of such a case on CryoNet today (the message should
soon appear on sci.cryonics).
	With regard to point #1, of course they are pronouncing death
before ceasing life support.  In an emergency medicine setting, you cannot
legally stop life support on a patient unless you declare them dead
	Bizarre situations like conscious people being declared dead
happen precisely because the criteria used to pronounce death (absence
of, or inability to restore, spontaneous breathing and heartbeat)
have no direct bearing on cerebral (brain) viability.  What does this
have to do with cryonics?  Well, if you take a person who has been
declared dead, and artificially restore circulation (even to the point
of restoring consciousness) they will still be legally dead as long  
as the heart remains stopped.  That's how cryonics teams are able
to resusucitate people and then freeze them without the freezing being
homocide.  The resuscitation is a *cerebral* resuscitation, not
cardiac resuscitation, so the patient remains legally dead during
the procedure.
Brian Wowk          CryoCare Foundation               1-800-TOP-CARE
President           Your Gateway to the Future        

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=6015