Brains…..

brainsurgeon.jpg Time to check in with our favorite wacky popsicle makers: Alcor Life Extension.

They’ve been busy these last few weeks with three cryo-preservations. I’ll let the curious read the after action reports, but here’s a great paragraph about patient A-1026 who suffered cardiac arrest in southern California:

Due to delays in obtaining the doctor’s signature on the death certificate, transporting the patient to Arizona was nearly delayed an extra day. Because he was a neuro patient,

Alcor’s storage facility is in Arizona. And neuro patient means he was a member of the Frozen Heads Only Club.

we chose instead to perform a cephalic isolation in California.

Cephalic Isolation = Chop his head off. But their term sounds so much more serious.

Doing this eliminated the immediate need for a transit permit, because the brain is considered a tissue sample and is not subject to the same regulations as human remains.

Anybody else really disturbed by the logic of the law here? I would think logically that the opposite would be true. The brain is the really important part, the rest is really just life support and an exo-skeleton for the brain.

It was a choice of last resort, and was only done because an additional 24 hours delay would prevent us from being able to cryoprotect the patient. The patient arrived at the lab at 00:25 on 1 May, almost exactly 18 hours after pronouncement.

I’m not exactly sure why an additional 24 hour delay would have prevented cryo-protection outright. By this point a team was present, they had already washed the patient out (no blood) so clotting shouldn’t have been a factor. The head temperature had been lowered significantly to slow decay. Sure an extra 24 hours would have impacted the preservation achieved, but not nearly as much as a typical delay (the body sitting in an un-cooperative morgue).

These three most recent patients bring the total patients in long-term storage up to 82. Wonder if #100 gets something special (maybe a storage dewar with a window)?

Fun side note, there’s a link on the top of the Alcor blog to a small blurb that the CrazyEngineers’ college newspaper just did a story on cryo-preservation and used some photos from Alcor. It also says:

Please note: They declined our offer to do fact-checking before publishing the article.

I find this immensely amusing since I know from my days at CMU that The Tartan never let facts get in the way of a good story. This also brought back fond memories of when I lit The Tartan up in the alternative student paper with an article on just how incompetent they were at actually running a newspaper ($30K plus in debt, which was getting paid off with student activity fees that should have been going to student organizations).

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2 Responses to “Brains…..”

  1. dan says:

    When i see people make fun at the expsense of progressive thinkers like Alcor I am reminded over and over again how short sighted most people really are. It is easy to make fun of an organization who is forward thinking and challenges current ideas of how life and death are defined, because it doesn’t take much mental muscle to do so. If at any point you want to have a rational discussion on how Alcor is one of the most rational decisions you can make in life I will be happy to provide you with the logic behind it, supporting material, and at the very least an entertaining email or two…

  2. CrazyEngineer says:

    Better update your Alcor membership documentation with your apparent lack of reading ability. That may prove crucial to the neural reconstruction because it would explain your low IQ even after the neural damage has been repaired.

    Or I could give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you wrote your “holier than though” post when you saw the title of the article and didn’t bother to actually read it or the other posts I’ve made about Alcor. But I’m not exactly in a gracious mood today, so I’m going with explanation #1.

    For the record, I fully support cryonics and other sensible life-extension technologies (although I think the whole “singularity” prediction is a bunch of hippie crap). But, at the end of the day, cryonics is still freezing a dead person. If you can’t laugh at that, then you need someone to pull that stick out of your ass a little.

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