My living will conflicts with post pronouncement putdown policy.

My living will conflicts with post pronouncement putdown policy.

Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 28th, 2009, 3:33 pm #1

I have a problem. Does the readers understand the subject line?
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

October 28th, 2009, 7:46 pm #2

... that you want any and all measures taken to keep you alive until the cryonics team gets there, at which point you want it changed to "DNR" (Do Not Resuscitate) with the cessation of all measures to keep you alive.

What does yours say?
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 28th, 2009, 8:19 pm #3

Presumably life support will be removed once Alcor arrives and Alcor will administer a stay-dead drug. Or-- if death is declared while Alcor is standing there, they'll administer a stay-dead drug THEN life support to maintain functions for transport? I've just never thought about the stay-dead drug... and that isn't covered in the will.
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

October 28th, 2009, 9:49 pm #4

Perhaps, to satisfy a probably confused hospital staff, it would be better to spell out in detail what you are talking about. Unless such staff do indeed use that term for keeping circulation and respiration going after death, for other reasons - I don't know if they do or not, but I kinda doubt it.

You should also have in there that you wish all possible attempts to be made to keep you alive until the cryonics team arrives. That would probably give better results than chest compressions on a corpse.

FD
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 28th, 2009, 9:54 pm #5

"post mortem life support". right? The brain is probably not alive but you keep HLR automatics going for circulatin-- even air. I don't understand the problem with the terminology.

They can TRY to keep me alive until Alcor gets to me-- but what if they can't? Then, declare me dead but keep me on the life support systems till Alcor gets there.
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 28th, 2009, 11:04 pm #6

haparin. That would mean I'm not going to recover from the CPR... so what is the problem cryonics has with people waking up after being declared dead? If you cool the guy first, inject heparin-- at the same time you're doing CPR-- no problem right?
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 29th, 2009, 12:06 pm #7

Reference
Charles Platt's Alcor Forum publication, #1, November 2001. P. 5.

"A bolus (single large dose) of potassium chloride is also administered to electrochemically prevent the heart from restarting so that "legal death" is maintained. Despite continued cardica arrest, breathing and circulation can be restored almost fully. The brain is therefore resuscitated, and anesthetic drugs are necessary to ensure that the "legally dead" patient remains unconcious".

I don't like the sounds of this. Does the reader? It's actually rather alarming. It seems to me we're on very thin ice here. Am I the only one reading danger into this?

Brian Wowk wrote...

The reality is that 90% of people die under circumstances in which they could be revived.

Terminal patients in hospitals and hospices are routinely deprived of nutritional and fluid support, and given "no code" status, which means that no attempts will be made to restart their heart when it stops. Even non-terminal patients (such as accident victims)could be resuscitated with emergency heart-lung bypass if their hearts cannot be restarted. But this just isn't done.

Let's say for the sake of argument that we take everyone who is dying and do everything possible to keep them alive. We'll give them I.V. support, parenteral nutrition, advanced cardiac life support protocols when their heart stops, and even heart-lung machine support to keep them alive when their heart stops. The result would be that intensive care units would be transformed into torture chambers in which everyone could enjoy a horrible, agonizing months-long death that would cost approximately $1 million a person. At the end there would be little brain left to preserve because of horrible sepsis and cerebrovascular pathology. The defining event for death would presumably become "brain death" (i.e. a completely fried brain) as it is for organ donors. Is this what you really want?

Cryonicists didn't invent the legal system, health care system, or ways that people die. These simply constitute the environment in which we must operate.

By the way, if you want to change the legal system so that only patients who are really dead can be frozen, move to France. The French government made such a change to thwart cryonicists a couple of decades ago, and now there isn't a cryonicist in France who wouldn't love to trade places with you in the U.S.
END QUOTE


My comment-- so how do we die? And how do cryonicists die? If I'm "pronounced" dead, and COULD be revived-- wouldn't I INDEED want to be revived even if it entailed lots of equipment? I would think so. The UNWILLINGNESS of the medical system to keep me alive-- is the problem it now appears to me.

Wowk says its costly... but maybe it's not that bad. Maybe we could have giant hospitals where thousands are kept on life support... with a few minutes of consciousness a day... which is better than nothing. A high productivity society wouldn't have any problem with that. The problem we have today... is not high cost of life support but low productivity.

Platt points to heart-stopping drugs and anesthetic so concioussness is intentionally suppressed. It sounds like cryonics "kills" you-- at least to me. I haven't thought this through after a few decades of being signed up. Signing up for cryonics might be submitting yourself to heart-stoppers and anesthetic. Maybe I don't want that. Maybe I'm on the wrong path altogether here... with cryonics. Maybe I've made an awful mistake. Maybe I'm actually interested in those giant hospital warehouses that keep me alive, no matter what, that Wowk ridicules.

Hmmmm.... food for thought.

[Wowk's point was that, for chronic cases of fatal or profoundly debilitating conditions, current technology can only delay the inevitable so long, allowing you to languish there for months only to die anyway. I don't think he's talking about cases where life support or CPR could lead to recovery. At any rate, it's possible that a living will or medical surrogate could specify the circumstances in which a patient would like cryonics procedures to begin. -CFMod]
Last edited by CF_Moderator on October 29th, 2009, 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 29th, 2009, 12:42 pm #8

I'm not sure I like THAT idea either. What if I'm not fully recoverable but somewhat recoverable.. with no hope of full recovery? The direction you're going makes it seem like I'm as good as dead, by the medical system's own standards. Eventually, we'll have something along the lines of the sci fi flick-- Logan's Run-- where everyone over 30 is killed because they cost too much.
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Joined: January 25th, 2007, 2:45 pm

October 29th, 2009, 1:04 pm #9

But unfortunately it's an inherent weakness of the current system, and I'm talking about the medical system here, due to lack of funds, technology, and political will. If we had never ending resources, I suppose we could keep people alive on machines indefinitely, but judging by the health of people who are currently being kept alive in comas, I don't think they would fare very well being bedridden for years or months at a time. There's also the risk that they could suffer irreversible brain damage due to an unstable respiratory and cardiovascular system. After all, life support systems can't repair things like vascular degeneration. At least not yet.
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Joined: August 9th, 2006, 2:07 am

October 29th, 2009, 1:34 pm #10

Brain damage is more likely repairable from anything other than cryonics-- so years of life support in a coma is preferable to the frozen state. Lack of so called "funds" is never a problem is a high productivity civilization-- since "funds" is nothing more than "an agreement" when you define "funds" properly. You see the direction this is going. Even vascular degeneration is preferable to being frozen. In other words, ANYTHING and everything is preferable to being cryopreserved.
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