Steve Harris MD Posts Inaccurate Information, Yet Again

Steve Harris MD Posts Inaccurate Information, Yet Again

Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

July 3rd, 2010, 1:06 am #1

In a recent Cryonet post, Steve Harris MD responded to my remarks regarding femoral cannulation, with this:

Harris: "Cannulation in medicine for femoral bypass is done on patients with a good blood pressure, and this is true even if the patient is intended to be cooled later. That means the arteries are pulsatile and pinkish white, the veins properly blue and fat with pressure, and everything looks like an anatomy diagram."" http://cryonet.org/cgi-bin/dsp.cgi?msg=32685)

I repeated what Harris wrote, to my husband, (who has no medical experience), and he said, "That makes sense." I responded, "Yes, to someone who doesn't know much about cardiovascular surgery and perfusion, it does." That's what really bugs me, about Harris and some of his buddies. They SEEM like they know what they are talking about, even when they don't, and I'm sure they are very convincing, to laymen. Harris has posted a lot of inaccurate information, in response to my criticisms of SA. I used to think he was being dishonest, now I'm beginning to wonder if he simply doesn't know what he is talking about, when he makes these mistakes.

The truth is, cardiovascular patients with good blood pressure are almost always cannulated via the right atrium and aorta, NOT femorally. Femoral cannulations are usually reserved for urgent cases (such as patients undergoing cardiac arrest, who have little-to-no pressure), or other special cases (such as "re-do's"). Many times, I've seen patients who were brought to the cath lab already in cardiac arrest, (on occasion, with someone straddling them in the gurney, performing CPR), or patients who suffered cardiac arrest while undergoing procedures in the cath lab. I've witnessed these patients undergo emergency femoral cannulation, so they could be placed on a CPS device, (a portable perfusion circuit). The professionals who performed those cannulations, (on patients with little-to-no blood pressure), performed them skillfully and within minutes. So, why would Harris paint that rosy little image of surgeons in conventional medicine settings having the ideal conditions, when performing femoral cannulations, when the reality is that femoral cannulations are frequently performed under very stressful, and less-than-ideal circumstances? In cryonics, the person being cannulated is already dead, (presumably, with DNR orders, in place), but in conventional medicine, a surgeon performing a femoral cannulation may have the life of someone who has already "coded," (and who has not expressed a willingness to leave this lifetime), in his hands. Harris seems to want to make the conventional medicine scenario out to be a walk in the park. Is he misrepresenting the situation, on purpose, or is he really that ignorant, in regard to cannulations performed in conventional medicine?

He went on, to write: "In cryonics, femoral cannulations are considerably more difficult...In such circumstances it's surprisingly hard to tell veins from arteries. I think most surgeons would be shocked, but I doubt that many vascular surgeons have ever tried it..."

I don't mean to be rude, truly I don't, but when I read nonsense like that, I really have to wonder about Harris' knowledge and/or integrity. Is his argument that, because femoral cannulations on patients with no blood pressure are "considerably more difficult," they should be performed by laymen who have received minimal training on pigs and/or dogs, (and maybe a few cryonics cases, spread out over a period of years), rather than by competent medical professionals skilled in performing vascular cannulations? Seriously, is that his position? That's absolutely ludicrous. Harris may have trouble telling veins from arteries, but most vascular surgeons, (and other professionals, who may assist them, such as physician ssistants), would not, even under the worst of circumstances. Most, if not all, vascular surgeons will have had cadaver experience, (including the dissection of arteries and veins), in med school, and cardiovascular surgeons will have many experiences cannulating patients with little-to-no blood pressure, over the course of their careers.

As some of you might recall, Harris once wrote a post in which he insisted cardiac surgeons were being paid $50,000, per case, (and, no, it was not a typo). Having been a member of a cost-containment committee at one of the hospitals where I used to work, I knew that was grossly inaccurate. When I responded that a cardiac surgeon would be lucky to make ten percent of that figure, Harris responded by calling me names. He said I was a "nit and a naif," if I did not believe cardiac surgeons made $50,000, per case. Of course, at some point, he had to admit he was wrong.

He defended allowing laymen to have access to propofol, indicating it was justified, because the 200mg dose being prescribed would "keep people dead." As I've already stated, dozens of times, 200mg of propofol isn't enough to keep an average-sized person unconscious for more than a few minutes, much less dead. The propofol protocol just didn't make sense, (I mean, why risk people accusing cryonics organizations of dirty deeds, again, over a dose not large enough to achieve the stated goal?), but Harris defended it, and then turned it into something much worse.

Another time, he posted a slew of blatant lies, about me, which he had heard from someone he was working with. He didn't even bother to say, "I heard...," or "Someone told me...," he made very specific, false statements, as though they were fact.

Alan Kunzman claims Harris signed multiple copies of a death certificate, which contained false information. Kunzman says Harris' defense was that he didn't read the documents, he just signed them because someone associated with Alcor asked him to. Does Steve Harris simply do everything the people who pay him ask him to, without question?

When I started posting about the situation at SA, I was barely aware of Steve Harris, and had no reason to disrespect him. I really thought the problems I had seen were probably isolated, restricted to one organization. I doubt I would have ever typed a word about Steve Harris, if it were not for his own posts. He is one of several, who has made me realize the problems, in cryonics, are much larger than I originally thought.
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

July 3rd, 2010, 5:39 am #2

It is entirely worse than any "joke" post I ever made. How do you expect anyone to reply to anything in it, when it runs the gamut from obscure to ridiculous and then to "who cares?"? I went through it in detail (and I will not subject my brain to this again!) and these are the "subjects" I found, one paragraph after the next:

Cannulation in medicine for femoral bypass
femoral cannulations are considerably more difficult
cardiac surgeons were being paid $50,000
allowing laymen to have access to propofol
a slew of blatant lies
Harris signed multiple copies of a death certificate
I was barely aware of Steve Harris

Of course, we know from your own past admissions that you are not here for the purpose of this forum, which is discussion. You are here, by your own statements, to push your political agenda (propaganda). Which is why I wonder why the Forum Owner hasn't banned you yet.

FD
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Joined: June 5th, 2009, 12:29 am

July 3rd, 2010, 4:21 pm #3

FD, your offended because its all true?
Or doesn't match your agenda?
Or your really steve harris?
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

July 4th, 2010, 6:02 am #4

Your questions, for convenience and clarity, in brackets:

[FD, your offended because its all true?]

By "its" I guess you mean "all" that Melody Maxim said in the post above is "true"? If so, the answer is NO, though some is true. And I am not "offended" by much of anything at all. As an aside (but is actually the real point) I was pointing out how her post is entirely discouraging of discussion, having 7 different issues in it, some absurd nonetheless there. If anyone is here to discuss something, it is only common courtesy to do it one issue per post, so that anyone who might like to discuss, can discuss that one issue. She is obviously not here to discuss; rather to pontificate. In fact, she once herself said she was only about doing a political agenda regarding cryonics. Oh, and that this is supposed to be a discussion forum, not a "Melody Maxim's Forum to Take Cryonics Down". At least I thought it was.

[Or doesn't match your agenda?]

I am sorry if my puny little agenda to improve Alcor by trying to get it to have real "members" who can vote on things like who is on its Board of Directors, and for that Board to vow it will never again slap its fully-funded members in the face by taking on "celebrities" funded by an accounts receivable, does not rise to the level of something like Melody Maxim's campaign to regulate cryonics out of existence. I propose to improve things. She proposes to eliminate them.

[Or your really steve harris?]

I don't think so, last I checked, and I doubt he would enjoy being me. If you have not paid your dues and done your research, you have not found in the CI archives where Dr. Harris and I had a few words. We did, a few times. Having said that, I must say there's one more person added to the now long list of "who the he** is FD" and almost every figure in cryonics, now, is on that list. This amuses me greatly, as I am really only who I always said I am - a person outside the inner cliques of cryonics, who doesn't want to be in any such cliques, but is holding every cryonics organization up for view as to which to sign up with some years into the future when I decide it is needed. As to any present need for standby/stabilization etc I still have no confidence in any that is offered. Alcor is dependent on one person, and SA. SA has no published employees or contracted individuals to perform services, much less any qualifications they may have. As far as we know, there is nothing there.

Om,

FD
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Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:29 am

July 4th, 2010, 8:55 am #5

It is entirely worse than any "joke" post I ever made. How do you expect anyone to reply to anything in it, when it runs the gamut from obscure to ridiculous and then to "who cares?"? I went through it in detail (and I will not subject my brain to this again!) and these are the "subjects" I found, one paragraph after the next:

Cannulation in medicine for femoral bypass
femoral cannulations are considerably more difficult
cardiac surgeons were being paid $50,000
allowing laymen to have access to propofol
a slew of blatant lies
Harris signed multiple copies of a death certificate
I was barely aware of Steve Harris

Of course, we know from your own past admissions that you are not here for the purpose of this forum, which is discussion. You are here, by your own statements, to push your political agenda (propaganda). Which is why I wonder why the Forum Owner hasn't banned you yet.

FD
I found the item easy to read, and follow.
Melody does write rather well I find.

One thing FD, you said that you found "a slew
of blatent lies" but didn't highlight what they
were.
Why not?


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Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

July 4th, 2010, 1:53 pm #6

I think FD was referring to the "slew of blatent lies" I accused Harris of, when he (FD) tried to pretend my post didn't make sense. The title of my post clearly indicated I was accusing Harris of frequently posting inaccurate information, and the body of the post contained numerous examples of times he did just that. As I stated, near the beginning of my previous post, one has to wonder whether Harris makes these mistakes out of ignorance, or if he is being intentionally dishonest. I'm leaning toward mostly ignorance, as it often seems he doesn't really know what goes on in the conventional medical setting, (in regard to procedures which require femoral cannulations and perfusion, and hypothermia). A dishonest person, who was familiar with those procedures, wouldn't set himself up for criticism, by making such glaring mistakes. Of course, things like the lies he told about me and the death certificate issue could probably be more easily attributed to dishonesty, so the inaccurate information Harris sometimes posts must be some combination of both ignorance and dishonesty.

Everyone should consider that Saul Kent and Bill Faloon have been subjected to rationale that appears to make sense to laymen, but doesn't make sense, at all, to those of us who are familiar with existing (successful!) hypothermic arrest procedures and the related equipment. They could do a LOT better, with the generous funding they provide.
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Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:29 am

July 4th, 2010, 4:03 pm #7

Well it looks like FD is the hard writer to understand
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

July 5th, 2010, 3:03 am #8

Although her post above is constructed in a manner that is not conducive to discussion (which is what I thought this Forum is for), perhaps it is not as irrational and all over the place as I claimed.

Perhaps it does have a central theme: to bash Dr. Harris.

That makes my post no less relevant. Is this forum for discussion of issues, ideas and such, or is it for personal attacks on prominent people in cryonics?

Maxim's back certainly gets up (and her hair no doubt) when anyone is perceived as attacking her. And she is not even among the prominent people in cryonics. She is instead among the prominent bashers of cryonics, along with Larry Johnson who once said in an interview that cryonics is a "racket".

But if she really wanted to hear discussion of her several points in that post, she could have started separate threads for them, and hopefully one at a time, not all at once. Seems I recall, though, some of them already having been beaten to death like that horse.

I think her blog would be a better venue for bashing, than a discussion forum. There she doesn't have to worry about anyone disputing what she alleges.



FD
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Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

July 5th, 2010, 3:38 pm #9

FD: "That makes my post no less relevant. Is this forum for discussion of issues, ideas and such, or is it for personal attacks on prominent people in cryonics?"

The very fact that Harris is a "prominent (person) in cryonics" is what makes his performance open to criticism from people interested in seeing progress in cryonics. Was Bernie Madoff immune to criticism, because he was a prominent investor? Was Kenneth Lay immune to criticism, because he was a prominent person in the oil industry?

If by "bash Dr. Harris," FD means my intentions are to discredit Harris, that would be entirely accurate. I think Harris has proven, on numerous occasions, that his knowledge related to existing SUCCESSFUL hypothermic arrest procedures is limited. On an even greater number of occasions, I believe he has proven himself to be the source of unreliable information, (which I believe comes from a combination of ignorance and dishonesty). I think little of significance has come from his work, at CCR. My remarks, regarding Harris, have not been "personal attacks," but have been criticisms of his work and his activities in cryonics, topics I would think to be open for discussion, on a forum such as this. My remarks have been restricted to Harris' activities in cryonics, and have excluded anything I might know about him, personally. In fact, I removed one particularly vicious comment someone made on my blog, about Harris' personal life, the minute I saw it. Conversely, I believe Harris has made at least a few very personal attacks, on me. (Harris can be found on other forums, calling people names, and hurling obscenities at people, so I don't think I'm special, in that regard.)

When Harris posts inaccurate technical information on Cryonet, in response to something I write, I believe I have a right to expose the deficiencies of his statements, and to put forth examples of why information coming from him should be considered unreliable. I think Harris has plenty of motivation to keep things the way they are, in cryonics. We can't be sure who is working with Harris, at CCR, since they don't maintain a website, or keep the cryonics community informed about their activities. When I was working at SA, I was told their four staff members were Steve Harris, his wife, his mother-in-law, and the mother-in-law's significant other. According to LEF's Form 990's, Critical Care Rearch (CCR) received $984,500 in 2008; $840,000 in 2007; $770,000 in 2006; $700,000 in 2005; $911,500 in 2004; $569,917 in 2003; and $770,000 in 2002. That's a total in excess of $5.5M, over the course of seven years, and I think it would be safe to assume at least half of that went toward the salaries (along with associated taxes and benefits), of CCR's staff. I feel, very strongly, that Harris and some of his LEF-funded peers, have a vested interest in making sure most of the people they advise are laymen, (people who won't know to object to any of the equipment, protocols, or research projects). Without a doubt, Harris and other "prominent people in cryonics" have played huge roles in establishing the extremely poor public image of cryonics.

FD (about me): "She is instead among the prominent bashers of cryonics, along with Larry Johnson who once said in an interview that cryonics is a "racket"."

I would, indeed, consider some of the activities in cryonics to be a "racket." At SA, I saw certain people being highly-compensated for doing little more than supporting some very questionable (and costly) projects. (Actually, one didn't have to support the projects to be a "good" employee, at SA; all that was required was to refrain from openly objecting to the projects). Some SA's staff members were allowed to do nothing, all day, every day, in exchange for what their manager called "loyalty." Though these people sometimes agreed with me that certain projects were ridiculous, and probably benefited the person responsible for them, much more than they benefited SA, or the cryonics community, their responses to my complaints were usually comments such as, "What do you care, it's not your money?" or "If you don't stop criticizing the projects, we'll all lose the best jobs we ever had." I could have easily remained an SA staff member, by simply not objecting to things I knew to be incorrect, or believed to be professionally unethical. Unfortunately for my income at that time, what I considered to be stealing from Saul and Bill (LEF) didn't really fit my definition of "the best job I ever had," (though it most certainly WAS the highest-paying, least demanding job I ever had).

FD referring to my blog: "There she doesn't have to worry about anyone disputing what she alleges."

I'm not "worried" about anyone disputing what I allege.
Last edited by melmax on July 5th, 2010, 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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