Last year, Charles Platt sent three staff members of SA, whose medical experience was pretty much limited to the application of Bandaids, to perform the initial steps of a cryopreservation, for a CI member. Platt sent two people who were trained and experienced as fabricators, and one person who was a trained and experienced golf pro. As far as I know, none of these people had any significant education in relevant health science subjects, such as anatomy, physiology, or pharmacology. Platt, and others, will say these people had been trained at SA, but I was there, and I worked with them, up until about five months before the case. (Yes, I know many of you have read it all, before; my review is for impressionable newcomers to the forum.)
These people knew how to pack ice around a person, do some chest compressions, how to inject medications into an existing IV, and not much else. If the hospital had not left the IV's in place, it's doubtful ANY drugs would have been administered. They knew virtually nothing about the medications they were administering, or they would have known the drug they were using to prevent clotting has a relatively short half-life, and needs additional dosing, over time, (which they did not give). Worst of all, Steven B Harris MD, a physician associated with SA, (last we heard, he was a Director of SA), claimed he could talk these three people through performing perfusion, (whole body washout), OVER THE TELEPHONE. Only a total moron, an arrogant ass, or someone who doesn't really believe in the possibility of a successful reanimation, (and, therefore, doesn't care what happens to a cryonicist's brain),
would do this. He's a doctor, he should have known better. Perfusion is a MIRACULOUS technology, but in inexperienced hands, it will most likely result in serious, irreversible, neurological (brain) damage.
SA patted themselves on the back for the "transparency" of their report, and "transparent" it was. I believe the report CLEARLY paints a glaring portrait of incompetence, with the most disturbing portion being the pressure issues associated with the perfusion (washout) procedure. The SA team had very low flows, with significantly high pressures, indicating something was SERIOUSLY wrong, and they had NO IDEA how to determine what the problem was, much less correct it. Ben Best, or any number of other cryonics "experts" can come here and attempt to defend SA, but any number of perfusionists, and physicians who work in heart surgery, (where perfusion is most frequently used), would interpret that report exactly as I, (a formally educated perfusionist with nearly a decade of experience), did. What was mind-boggling was SA's addendum to the report, which basically confirmed my interpretations. This strongly indicates no one associated with that case, or that report, understood enough about perfusion, (the medical technology that is the "backbone" of cryonics procedures), to even understand what they were writing in their own reports. If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny.
There are a number of other examples of the nearly-absolute incompetency of SA, in that report. There are thousands of words of padding, a lot of which consists of Platt's (what I consider to be lame) excuses for not calling certain people, and repetitive comments about the team not having any personality conflicts. Of course the SA team didn't have any conflicts...they were being paid 2-3 times as much as EMT's and paramedics, for "playing doctor" with a real patient, and trying to perform complex medical procedures they had no business even attempting. If you read between the lines, you'll realize that, (thanks to contracts written by Platt), NO ONE was actually required to show up for the case, and none of the professionals Platt had contracted with, did. Then, there was the added amusement of Platt carrying out his usual personal agendas of patting himself on the back, and finding ways to criticize people he doesn't like, (whether they were involved in the case, or not). Finally, there was Platt's description of the infamous spurt, which he later admitted was largely speculation. If you ask me, the report was more "creative writing" than the technical report it should have been. The entire case was a joke...medical procedures carried out by three non-professionals, and a report written by two more non-medical professionals, who didn't even witness the procedures. No wonder the general population thinks cryonics is a hoax, a scam, or a joke...it is. It shouldn't be...it doesn't have to be...but it is.
In my opinion, it's people like Platt and Harris, (and Saul Kent, the man who trusts and pays them), who have made it that way.
One of SA team members wrote to me that he/she was proud for helping the patient get his wish for cryopreservation, and that everyone knows cryonics is "speculative." Ignorance really IS bliss...the only reason that person was proud was that he/she didn't have a clue what the report indicated they had done to the patient, and didn't understand the dangerous aspects of the procedures they attempted to perform. The people involved in cryonics need to accept that cryonics wouldn't be nearly as "speculative," if medical professionals were performing the procedures. Being well-intentioned is not a substitute for competency.
We believe the brain is "hard-wired" for memory and personality, and as such, can be preserved. For those of you who believe you will one day be able to take your hard drive out in the yard, beat it to pulp with a sledge hammer, pour gasoline on it and set it on fire, douse it with water to put the fire out, and then nanobots will be able to repair it, with all your files perfectly intact, then, by all means sign up to have a bunch a amateurs cryopreserve you, and depend on future technology to repair the damage they do. Personally, just as Aubrey de Grey, I believe in "Information Theoretic Death," meaning once a significant amount of damage has been done to a brain, it can never be repaired. I believe this amount of damage had probably been done to EVERY cryonics patient, as of this time. Even in the event large amounts of damage can be repaired, just remember, the brain is much more complex than a computer hard drive, and the more damage that is done, the longer it will take for technology sophisticated enough to perform complex repairs to become available. Every year, (or decade, or century), you spend in that Dewar, or cryostat, increases the risk that acts of man, mechanical failures, or acts of nature, will destroy you.
Other than minding a relatively simple, short-term budget, I'm fairly ignorant about matters of finance, and I don't really understand Charles' "Reformatted Version" chart, in this thread. How do you end up with less money, at a lower annual rate of reduction? And, when would there ever be an "Annual Reduction in Value" of 90%, or more? (I'm not stating there's anything wrong with Charles' calculations, I'm simply stating I don't understand.) Regardless, based on Charles' "Reformatted Version" of funding risks, I would say that, without evidence that "SA's 2007 Capabilities," have advanced, you wouldn't be getting your money's worth, at any of those figures, (unless all you're looking for is an alternative to burial or cremation).
(If you calculate the 2058 value of $100,000 in 2008, at a 3% inflation rate, you get approximately $22,811. http://www.calcpartner.com/csFutureDollar.asp?mainframe.htm>)