Response to Aschwin's Future Development article

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Response to Aschwin's Future Development article

Post by jordansparks »

Aschwin de Wolf wrote an article that just came out in Long Life Magazine. The title is "Part 4: New Research and Future Development". He devoted the second half of the article to Aldehyde Stabilized Cryopreservation (ASC), which is the protocol that we employ at Oregon Cryonics. I think he covered the issues well. I don't think the conclusions were accurate. I will address a few of them:

"Allowing funeral directors to perfuse a CI patient with a chemical fixative could be an attractive option ... in remote ... areas"
The issue I have with this is that it's not ASC; it's just embalming. It's not perfusion; it's just pumping embalming fluid. ASC is not something that anyone can perform without years of experience and proper equipment. Let's quit conflating embalming with ASC just because they both happen to use aldehydes.

"there is a consensus that a subset of cryonics patients can benefit from ASC"
No. Our position is that all patients should be getting ASC because it's a higher quality procedure than traditional cryonics. The subset that you describe would not really be getting ASC. Their quality of care would be abysmal if performed remotely by funeral directors. ASC is a very specific procedure which is done immediately after death in a controlled environment. If there is a time delay, or if long distance transport is involved, then it isn't ASC anymore. It's exactly the same as when you have a low quality traditional cryonics patient. You say they were "straight frozen" to emphasize they they did not actually get any cryoprotective agent. You don't go around saying that a subset of patients would benefit from being straight frozen.

Now, the suggestion to embalm certain patients prior to shipment was in the context of distance and time delays. Is embalming helpful in those cases? Is it better than nothing? I have no idea, and at that point, the quality is so low that it probably doesn't matter one way or the other. There is no mind left to preserve. I guess embalming would be fine. It's what the funeral director expects, and it prevents decomposition. But don't be fooled into thinking that it's helping with preserving the mind. When we get a brain in that condition, we submerge it in glutaraldehyde and CPA for a few months on the assumption that the damage from delayed subzero cooling would be less than the damage from freezing. Perfusion is never be possible in those cases. It wouldn't matter how hard the FD tried to prevent air from entering the vessels.
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Re: Response to Aschwin's Future Development article

Post by Mati_Roy »

Thanks for posting this.

Oregon Cryonics is the only organisation in the world currently providing Aldehyde Stabilized Cryopreservation (ASC), correct? Since when do you offer this procedure? How do you think your procedure compares with Alcor's procedure?
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