[ExI] Medical power of attorney for cryonicsts

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Dec 6 04:26:38 UTC 2014


From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2014 3:24 PM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] Medical power of attorney for cryonicsts


spike <spike66 at att.net> , 5/12/2014 3:23 AM:



There is a man here who I know from long association is one who always does the right thing, who loves humanity and has useful insights into ethics, Anders Sandberg.  I want to hear his take.  Anders, where are ye, lad?


>…Hi! Always happy to do a think about things like this, for what it is worth.



Thanks Anders.  It looks like it makes sense to go forward.  I am partially off the hook in a way: I am not the one making the decision to continue.  The doctor (patient) and his family will be the ones to do that.


>…Medical ethics at its simplest typically runs the issue past the Beauchamp principles: http://www.ukcen.net/index.php/ethical_issues/ethical_frameworks/the_four_principles_of_biomedical_ethics

1.	Does the treatment respect the autonomy of the patient? (this is where informed consent comes in, as well as the right to withdraw for any reason)
2.	Does the treatment in expectation help the patient more than it causes risk? (This is where things are tricky with experimental drugs.)
3.	Does the treatment have some risks of harm that are unacceptable? Can they be reduced? (the thyroid thing seems to be related to this)
4.	Does the treatment cause injustice? (This is why I think reporting is important: it spreads the benefit of the experiment even if it doesn't work out. And this is also why super-expensive treatments might be problematic. )

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University



All these suggestions are useful, and fill me with a sense of urgency.  We need to get these decisions made and get going before the patient can’t give informed consent (item 1) and before it gets too tricky to determine if it is helping (items 2 and 3.)  


As for item 4, HAH!  Finally I get an easy question.  Reagent grade bexarotene in the quantities I think might be therapeutic are only a couple bucks a day, which would make it the cheapest AD treatment I ever heard of.  That field is loaded with very expensive medications which don’t work at all as far as I can tell, which is part of what makes me crazy to start with: plenty of families report positive results with medications I think are doing nothing except impoverishing already-strained families.  I fear the false-positive reporting on this malady is appalling.  I can imagine that Parkinson’s is another one: the effects are difficult to measure.  If anything AD is even harder to measure than Parkinsons.  I don’t know in the latter case from any personal experience, but it is far too easy to imagine that also suffers from a pile of expensive and useless therapies.  My point: if a therapy is useless, it should at least be cheap.


OK, well then, I am convinced to start writing up a proposal.





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