finding the truth in a ongoing cryonet debate...

From: John M Grigg (
Date: Tue Jan 09 2001 - 21:11:40 MST

Hello everyone,

I was away from the net for several days to find on my return that a debate on the cryonet had grown. I am very fond of both Charles Platt and Robert Ettinger, which does at times make for hard reading. I have tried to get to the core of the matter here as best I can. I would recommend a reading of the entire thread by going to the cryonet archives at the url given below. This will be a rather time absorbing task though so be warned... As soon as you get there click onto "local cryonics archive files."

Robert Ettinger wrote:
Specifically, is the difference between - 80 C and - 130 C important? You bet your bottom dollar--it is an immense difference. Just for openers, we know that storage in liquid nitrogen results almost certainly in insignificant damage over centures, at least--but storage at dry ice temperature, - 79 C, shows significant deterioration of some kinds after years only, in a few cases after months. Not to mention the mere fact that obviously the work involved was to - 80, rather than lower, because they couldn't go lower and show the same results. Maybe they will soon--I hope so--but then again, judging from history, maybe not.

I would like to see if possible Fred Chamberlain or Saul Kent give us at least a rough idea when a study will be done at - 130 C so this controversy can be settled?

I do think Robert Ettinger may have a point to a limited extent in saying the claims regarding vitrification are overblown. The issue of toxicity nags at me and so I think a study with rabbit brains taken to the correct temperature and then thoroughly tested for damage could allay it.

David Pascal wrote:
Friends: the state of cryonics has never been better. Developments and
improvements in vitrification are continuing, and developments in
nanotechnology are all but exploding. Membership in CI has all but
doubled, and membership in Alcor has been rising too. Thanks to the web we have world-wide exposure. We have more funds, more people, more
services, more credibility, than we ve ever had. Is everything perfect? Everything will never be perfect. Yes, we only have a thousand members worldwide but among those thousand members are some of the best known and respected scientists in the world; we have doctors, researchers,financiers, best-selling authors, we have multimillion-dollar organizations caring for patients, and growing in assets and members.

These are very exciting times for cryonics in general and also for the Cryonics Institute. I believe now more then ever we need to take a close look at suspension protocol methods so those now being suspended will get the very best care possible.

Charles Platt wrote:
When they use an embalming pump, for instance, they are not concerned with monitoring the pressure to avoid bursting brain capillaries. To them, the patient is dead--period. To us, this is not necessarily true. For this reason, no mortician should operate on a cryonics patient unsupervised, and field work should be done using a mobile kit such as the one built by Hugh Hixon at Alcor, or the elaborate setup created by Mike Darwin when he was active in cryonics.

Morticians clearly are not perfusionists; and with the best will in the world, they can screw up in very basic ways.

I just tend to wonder(as I always have) just how effective CI suspensions will prove to be. Even if the "once around" perfusion is adequate, I do wonder if a mortician can apply cryoprotectant to the body without causing severe damage as Charles Platt suggests. What is the CI view on this? For an Alcor member with the necessary funds, could a mobile kit be "rented out" to a mortician if enough warning of impending death is near? Could this device be shared with CI so they could improve the care given by morticians on the behalf of their clients?

In closing I want to say thank you to those who have gotten us where we are. I feel very indebted to Robert Ettinger, Greg Fahy, Saul Kent, Will Faloon, Fred and Linda Chamberlain, Paul Wakfer, Mike Darwin, David Pizer and the many others who have really contributed to cryonics.

Cryocare did not succeed, but I think it was a noble experiment which Charles Platt endeavored to create. And with his writings and promotional efforts he has done so much over the years. I am grateful to Charles for stirring things up and getting the cryonet list to focus on... cryonics! lol

And as for Robert Ettinger, well, he is quite simply the father of cryonics. We all owe him so much. But that does not mean we cannot disagree with him from time to time. It just must be done in a way which does not cause things to degenerate into hostility. I can see where his son got the talent for the legal profession.. lol! I am so glad he is here with his organization CI which provides a much cheaper though lower tech alternative to Alcor. Like Charles Platt though, I am concerned over the odds of revival because of CI suspension methods.

I wish the debate between them were much more civil, but still I am very glad the topics have been discussed. Alot of good could come of it if the listmembers started doing their own investigating into the matters involved and requested the necessary studies be done with the results shared publicly.

best wishes to all,

John Grigg

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