[ExI] May Cryonics issue

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue May 29 00:50:02 UTC 2012

On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 5:47 PM, david pizer <pizerdavid at yahoo.com> wrote:

> public relations.  The non-cryonics public, (and some of the cryonics
> community too),  hates neuro.  The fact that Alcor does neuros is sometimes
> the single factor why government officials give us a hard time.  I was there
> 11 years and I saw that with my own eyes.   This very factor of such
> negative public relations is the main reason why CI will not do neuros.

### This is a very interesting and valuable insight. As an extremely
rational, or rationalistic person I have difficulty following the
thinking of regular people on such issues. It doesn't help that I
worked in an anatomy lab, and any residual squeamishness I had
disappeared there among fumes of formaldehyde. But, normal people are
the greatest potential market for cryonics services, so it is crucial
to understand their feelings and respond accordingly.

The question is, how can we quantify the possible losses that the
Alcor community incurs as a result of using neuro suspensions. Is it a
major impact, enough to discourage us from this procedure, even though
it is technically superior? Or is it more of a side issue?

You may also note that what Ralph elaborated on in his article, was
the question of how much should be the contributions of neuro and
whole body patients to the PCT - and this specifically excludes legal
and public relations expenses. The PCT covers (according to what Ralph
wrote) only the direct spending on keeping patients frozen, such as
building rent, cost of dewar manufacture, liquid nitrogen and
supervision - and this cost is in fact 10 times higher for whole body
patients. Is it worth to increase the long term cost of suspension by
10 times only to avoid causing "disgust" in some people? I would find
it hard to believe, in the absence of some hard data. If it were the
major issue separating successful cryonics companies from failures,
then the CI and ACS would have to be already vastly ahead of Alcor,
since they presumably do not come up against this emotional reaction.

This said, I agree that direct brain preservation, or the option of
preservation of the whole body and brain *separately*, could be
potentially interesting. There are many people donating brains to
research (perhaps in part because it does not cost them anything), and
if separate brain preservation could make cryonics more palatable to
potential customers, it is at least worth spending some effort on
marketing research to quantify the possibilities.

I would imagine that direct brain preservation for cryonics would
start out similar to a whole body case except that after the initial
cooldown, washout and stabilization the surgeon would open the skull,
and remove the brain to directly cannulate the internal carotids for
vitrification perfusion. While this would potentially expose the brain
to some mechanical stresses, it might also help achieve cryogenic
temperatures faster. Perhaps it would be possible to inject the
cryoprotectant into the ventricular system and the subarachnoid space
which might reduce the likelihood of fracturing during cooling. The
skull would be then replaced and the scalp would be sown up, just as
it is done during normal autopsies. This approach would pose some
technical challenges but also offer more options. For example, since
the brain is just a fraction of the size of the head, the procedure
would reduce the long term cost of neuro suspension even further,
without greatly increasing the initial expense.


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