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.