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July 19 2010 at 10:26 AM
  (Login melmax)
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Response to notes

Charles misunderstands. The "disgusting" and "grotesque" portions of the notes had to do with the surgery and things like blood pouring out from every place EXCEPT where it should have been. Erico's poor English was more comical, than anything else.

Platt: "It seems obvious to me that the notes were taken on an informal ad-hoc basis."

It seems obvious, to me, that after three decades, Alcor should have had someone capable of providing operating room personnel on more than an "informal ad-hoc basis," especially in light of the fact they seemed to be banking on this celebrity case to bring them positive publicity, and they had a long time to prepare, since Mr. Williams had to be transported from Florida.

Platt: "But if it wasn't obvious, why not ask nicely? Like this: "I don't understand why a non-native English speaker with no medical experience was the scribe in this case. Can anyone explain this to me?" See, it's not so hard. And guess what, if you ask nicely, you are MORE LIKELY TO GET ANSWERS. But maybe the objective is not to get answers. Maybe it's just to score points wherever an opportunity presents itself. Gosh, I hope I'm wrong about that. It wouldn't be very nice, would it."

Everyone who worked with Platt, at SA, knows that "asking nicely," or "suggesting nicely," when it comes to Charles, gets even less results than being direct and/or confrontational. Regardless, I did once write a post in which I asked a version of the question Platt is suggesting. I'm not going to dig for it, but I believe my question went something like this: "Charles Platt has publicly complained about a large number of observers milling about, snapping souvenir photos of the Ted Williams case, and I'm sure most of them had a reasonable mastery of the English language. So, why was someone whose first language is not English, and who, (according to Platt, himself, in his conversations with me), would "take six months to read one of his novels, and then probably not understand most of it," taking the Ted Williams case notes?

At SA, Charles also recommended this same friend, the person he describes as "a non-native English speaker with no medical experience," to design SA's website. He'll say Bary Wilson hired Erico, but Bary Wilson told me he was new at SA, and that Charles made it pretty clear he would question Bary's judgment, if Bary did not hire Erico. Bary, being aware of Charles' influence with Saul, and wanting to continue working at SA, agreed to pay Erico (actually a partnership owned by Charles and Erico), $8,000, plus $50 an hour, to work on the web site. Erico, understandably, made little-to-no progress, on the website, over a period of many months. As I recall, Charles defended her as a "talented web designer." Here's her own web site, still in the same condition it was, four years ago, when Bary felt pressured to hire her, at Charles' urging, in spite of feeling she was under-qualified: http://endesigns.com/

Platt: "I was merely a visiting photographer at that time, but when I realized that Alcor did not have a designated scribe, I asked a friend to write down anything that she heard or saw. I figured that some record was better than no record. I am sure we can agree on that. Can't we?"

No, we can't agree on that. It was foolish for Alcor to allow "merely a visiting photographer at the time" to assign tasks for Ted Williams' surgery, and even more foolish for "merely a visiting photographer" to take it upon himself to direct activities, in Alcor's operating room. (The truth is, no one can rely on job titles, when it comes to cryonics and/or Platt, and I have a mountain of SA emails, to prove that. People make up their own job titles, (I and my co-workers were instructed to do so, by Charles, at SA), and judging by my past experience with an SA "consultant," there's a possibility someone described as a "visiting photographer" could be running the show. In fact, Charles, himself, is offering up proof he influenced a (very poor) decision made in Alcor's operating room, that day.)

Platt: "Of course I am ignoring one rather pointed question: Why did Alcor not have any designated scribe during the case in question? Why did a visitor, such as myself, have to ask someone to fill in on an impromptu basis? Well, Jerry Lemler was running things then."

Charles taking another opportunity to blame mistakes on others. Charles has frequently carried on campaigns to get others fired, and I believe Lemler was one of his many targets. I know Mathew Sullivan and Bary Wilson were, and even Aschwin to some degree, and I think there's plenty of evidence and witnesses to support that he went to great trouble to undermine me.

Platt: "(Too bad Johnson couldn't get access to those pictures; I took them away and locked them in a safe deposit box. That's why they never appeared on the "Free Ted" site. Sorry about that, Larry.)"

We all know that, from the email Charles sent to Larry Johnson, suggesting Johnson should have let him co-author "Frozen," claiming he (Charles) had the Ted Williams photos in a safe deposit box. Why was "merely a visiting photographer," or a "COO," or ANYONE taking Ted Williams photos away, and locking them in a (?personal?) safe deposit box? Are these photos still in the possession of Charles Platt? If so, I would suggest Alcor retrieve them. (Actually, I suggested that to Ms. Chapman a long time ago.)

Platt: "Incidentally, anyone who thinks it's easy to find someone who will remain attentive and make good notes for hours on end, during a cryonics case, obviously has no experience in this area (not that ignorance has ever provided any disincentive for criticism on this horrible forum)."

Platt's own ignorance continues to be as mind-boggling as it was nearly four years ago. Surgical personnel remain attentive to critical tasks AND take extensive notes, for hours on end. As a perfusionist, I charted every 10-15, while I was operating a heart-lung machine, and an assortment of other equipment. The anesthesia personnel and the circulating nurse took equally extensive notes. There were times when our heart team worked for days on end, with very little sleep. (Note: If Platt finds this forum to be "horrible," why is he even reading it?)

Platt: "During my six months and five cases at Alcor, I tried numerous different scribes. I didn't feel that any of them did a really thorough job. The trouble is, the job requires someone to show up, often in the middle of the night, with minimal advance warning, maybe once every two months. It's NOT LIKE A HOSPITAL, can we get that straight? In a hospital, you can have fulltime people doing the same job again and again, day after day. They draw regular pay. It's a career for them. This ought to be so incredibly obvious."

What "ought to be so incredibly obvious" is that after four decades of trying to deliver something that should be at least as good as, or more advanced than, conventional hypothermic medicine, organizations like Alcor and SA look like a bunch of bumbling idiots. They have the money to use as "regular pay" for qualified people, who could show up in the middle of the night and know what they are doing. I'm certain everyone who ever worked with me in open-heart surgery, would describe me as a very skilled perfusionist, and SA could certainly afford me and others like me, (as could Alcor). If they don't have such people, I believe it's only due to extremely poor management, and a hostile environment toward medical professionals who want to make changes that might turn the attention away from certain design and fabrication projects.

Platt: "The bottom line is, the notes were taken, they were relatively complete, they have been useful, and if that person hadn't been asked to fill in, I doubt there would have been any notes at all. And if Johnson hadn't copied them so that Sports Illustrated could print excerpts, they would have retained the status that was intended: As an impromptu adjunct to the photographic record."

This is just really weird. I agree the notes have been useful, in painting Alcor's surgical team as grossly incompetent. Not surprisingly, Charles seems to think his photographic record should have been the "be all, and end all," of the Ted Williams case documentation. I've got news, for Charles...pictures may be worth a thousand words, in some situations, but not in a surgical setting. If such were the case, surgeries in conventional medicine would be documented photographically, and it's pretty rare for a camera to be used in a surgical setting.

Platt: "In fact I tried hiring qualified people. Larry Johnson was one. I'll have more to say about this in a future post when my attorney has finished checking it."

We've already been through this, Charles, and everyone who has worked with you knows how it plays out. You make a big show of hiring qualified people, and the minute they disagree with you, on anything, (even matters within their area of expertise), you start undermining them. I once posted a list of 6-8 people and asked if anyone knew what the people on the list had in common. I don't think anyone responded, on the forum, but I got a couple of private (correct) responses. The people on this list had all worked with Charles Platt. We (I was on the list) all had known difficulties working with Charles. I think at least half of us had been hired by Charles, and most of us initially considered Charles to be a friend, but later did not. At least three of us had, publicly, accused Charles of being dishonest.

Wouldn't it have been interesting to know what would have happened, if Charles had actually left the SA facility, when he "resigned," and Aschwin and I had remained there? I think Charles Platt, and others, have substantial financial incentives to see that things remain on an amateur level, in cryonics.

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