Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence

I re­cently found some­thing that may be of con­cern to some of the read­ers here.

On her blog, Melody Maxim, former em­ployee of Sus­pended An­i­ma­tion, provider of “standby ser­vices” for Cry­on­ics In­sti­tute cus­tomers, de­scribes sev­eral ex­am­ples of gross in­com­pe­tence in pro­vid­ing those ser­vices. Speci­fi­cally, spend­ing large amounts of money on de­sign­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing novel per­fu­sion equip­ment when cheaper, more effec­tive de­vices that could be adapted to serve their pur­poses already ex­isted, hiring lay­men to perform difficult med­i­cal pro­ce­dures who then botched them, and even find­ing them­selves un­able to get their equip­ment loaded onto a plane be­cause it ex­ceeded the weight limit.

An ex­cerpt from one of her posts, “Why I Believe Cry­on­ics Should Be Reg­u­lated”:

It is no longer pos­si­ble for me to be­lieve what I wit­nessed was an iso­lated bit of cor­rup­tion, and the pic­ture gets big­ger, by the year...

For forty years, cry­on­ics “re­search” has pri­mar­ily con­sisted of lay­men at­tempt­ing to build equip­ment that already ex­ists, and lay­men try­ing to train other lay­men how to perform the tasks of paramedics, per­fu­sion­ists, and vas­cu­lar sur­geons...much of this time with the bene­fac­tors hav­ing am­ple fund­ing to provide the real thing, in re­gard to both equip­ment and per­son­nel. Or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Al­cor and Sus­pended An­i­ma­tion, which want to charge $60,000 to $150,000, (not to men­tion other ex­tra charges, or years worth of mem­ber­ship dues), are not ca­pa­ble of pre­serv­ing brains and/​or bod­ies in a con­di­tion likely to be vi­able in the fu­ture. Peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with these com­pa­nies, have been known to en­courage peo­ple, not only to leave hefty life in­surance poli­cies with their or­ga­ni­za­tions listed as the benefi­cia­ries, to pay for these am­a­teur sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures, but to leave their es­tates and ir­re­vo­ca­ble trusts to cry­on­ics or­ga­ni­za­tions.

...

Again, I have no prob­lem with peo­ple re­ceiv­ing their last wishes. If peo­ple want to be cry­op­re­served, I think they should have that right. BUT...com­pa­nies should not be al­lowed to de­ceive peo­ple who wish to be cry­op­re­served. They should not be al­lowed to pub­lish pho­tos of what looks like med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als perform­ing surgery, but in ac­tu­al­ity, is a group of lay­men play­ing doc­tor with a dead body...peo­ple whose in­com­pe­tency will re­sult in their clients be­ing left warm (and de­cay­ing), for many hours while they strug­gle to perform a vas­cu­lar can­nu­la­tion, or peo­ple whose brains will be un­der­per­fused or turned to mush, by lay­men who have no idea how to prop­erly and safely op­er­ate a per­fu­sion cir­cuit. Cry­on­ics com­pa­nies should not be al­lowed to re­fer to lay­men as “Chief Sur­geon,” “Sur­geon,” “Per­fu­sion­ist,” when these peo­ple hold no med­i­cal cre­den­tials.