X-Message-Number: 7690
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 11:14:06 -0500 (EST)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Gloating?

On Sun, 16 Feb 1997, Mark Mugler wrote:

> Now that the Vissers have the licence agreements with CI and Alcor, I
> find the gloating by representatives of competing organizations about
> their recent setbacks a bit unseemly.

It would be helpful, Mark, if you could quote some text or at least name
some names, rather than merely making a blanket criticism that could apply
to many different statements from many different people. For instance, I
have no way of knowing whether you considered it "gloating" when I quoted
on CryoNet several South African news reports, without comment. Or was I
"gloating" when I described the failure of Visser's demonstration in
Scottsdale? For that matter, was Fred Chamberlain "gloating" when he
described a video that shows that one of the "successful" hearts was not,
in fact, properly submerged in liquid nitrogen? Personally I believe all 
these reports served a very useful function. They helped to spread 
factual information about someone whose claims and procedures are dubious 
at best.

Re South Africa, please bear in mind that their Medicines Control Council
prohibited the further application of "Virodene" because it contains "a
highly toxic industrial solvent, dimethylformamide (DMF), which can cause
fatal liver damage and has been linked to the development of cancer." I'm
frankly incredulous that you should compare this with the practice of Dr. 
Burdzynski in Texas. Of course it would be preferable if Olga Visser's
patients were well-informed enough to understand the dangers of "Virodene" 
and choose not to use it on their own initiative, so that there would be
no need for the State to play an intrusive role. In South Africa, however,
this may be a bit far-fetched. You talk about: 

> government stifling innovation in research and robbing people of free
> choice. 

But just how much informed free choice does a poorly educated Black South
African AIDS patient really have? And what legal remedies will his
relatives have if he dies prematurely because a well-meaning dilettante
poisoned him while doing "toxicity clinical trials with humans" (to use
the phrase which she herself used in a post here on CryoNet). 

These are not rhetorical questions. I really don't know the answers.

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