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Variance Reports/Sentinel Events in Medicine

July 17 2010 at 6:00 AM
Melody Maxim  (Login melmax)
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Medical professionals are trained to write "variance reports," when something that could be damaging to patients and/or the institution, occurs. If ONE person on a surgical team acts in an incompetent and/or unethical manner, and everyone on the team looks the other way, patients run the risk of suffering serious injury, or death. In addition to putting patients at risk, the bad behavior of ONE, affects the performance of the entire team, and puts the reputation of the entire institution at risk. At organizations, such as Suspended Animation and Alcor, we have repeated, and well-documented, bad behaviors of, not one, but MANY. Significant progress is unlikely to occur, in such environments. Unless cryonicists want another 40 years of little-to-no progress, and frequent attacks on the credibility of their organizations, serious changes need to be made.


"8.A Sentinel Event Root-Cause Analysis shall be considered when an occurrence meets any of the following criteria:
The occurrence involves an unanticipated death or major permanent loss of function.
The occurrence is associated with significant deviation from the usual process(es) for providing health care services or managing the organization.
The event has undermined or has significant potential for undermining the publics confidence in the organization."


As opposed to isolated incidents, which get reported in hospitals, I think MOST of the activities of Alcor and Suspended Animation appear to include "events (which have) undermined or (have) significant potential for undermining the public's confidence in the organization(s)" and in cryonics, as a whole. For so long as people involved in delivering care to cryonicists engage in delivering little more than substandard services and seriously questionable behaviors, the public is going to continue to have a lack of confidence in cryonics organizations.

Personally, I think the majority of the care providers, of Alcor and SA, have probably seriously injured most, (if not all), their clients, and their incompetence has been protected by a misrepresentation to the public (regarding the (lack of) qualifications and capabilities of most of their personnel), the willingness of others to look the other way, and the fact that no one will find out about such injuries for decades or maybe even hundreds of years. The unsuspecting public, being asked to pay $60K to $150K has the right to know the truth about the quality of the services being delivered by these organizations.

Mr. Ettinger, and others, may think looking the other way or covering up these activities, (in regard to an obvious long-standing history of bad behaviors at organizations, such as Suspended Animation and Alcor), protects cryonics organizations, as a whole, but I disagree. At the very least, it grossly impedes progress. At worst, it puts cryonics at a risk of being over-regulated, or banned, altogether. For as long as the players remain the same, there will always be another Kunzman, Johnson, or Maxim, filing public "variance reports" about cryonics activities.

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