NYT sounds cautionary note on self-decapitation, freezing of brain



Have you ever considered having your head cut off, your brain pumped with antifreeze, and then cryogenically frozen? If you have, you should first read this very important article the New York Times thought it important enough to write more than 7,000 words about and feature prominently on its front page. The story was about a young woman named Kim Suozzi, who, dying of brain cancer, decided that when she was near death that her head should be chopped off from her body and then frozen until science found a cure for her cancer. And, also, a cure for her lack of a body. And, also, a cure for the freezing damage too.

“If I get frozen I will get my head chopped off,” Kim told her friend Ms. Neidig matter-of-factly. “It’s cheaper, and apparently it gets the juice in there faster.”

And the idea of a disembodied Kim was O.K. with Josh [her equally nutty boyfriend]: “I wasn’t planning on leaving her when she got old and saggy,” he observed.

If the $80,000 fee for neuropreservation seemed steep, they learned that about a third of it pays for medical personnel to be on call for death, while another third is placed in a trust for future revival. The investment income from the trust also pays for storage in liquid nitrogen, which is so cold that it can prevent decay in biological tissue for millenniums.

Some of what they found out gave them pause. Alcor’s antifreeze, once pumped through the blood vessels, transitions into a glassy substance before ice can form and do damage.... But that glassy substance has been known to crack, likely causing damage of a different kind.

When a CT scan of Kim’s brain arrived from Alcor, it appeared to show that the cryoprotectant had reached only the outer portion of her brain, leaving the rest vulnerable to ice damage.

Josh took some solace in the fact that the outer layer, associated with abstract thinking and language, appeared to have been protected.

If Fred Sanford were alive, he would surely call Josh a "big dummy". Most of this woman's brain was destroyed by the freezing. The rest was destroyed in a "different way" by antifreeze. Even if they found a cure for her cancer, her brain is destroyed. She has no working eyes, nose, or mouth. She has no body too, by the way. But, most of all, her brain has been destroyed.

You know how liberals blame gun violence on violent pop culture? Well, I blame pop culture for influencing people to do this, specifically:

1) The Star Trek episode "Spock's Brain", where Spock's brain is effortlessly transplanted into a computer which runs a complex inhabited by underdressed women in tall spikey leather boots with pain bracelets and low IQ's.

2) The Gene Roddenberry pilot "Planet Earth", featuring a man named Dylan Hunt who was frozen for hundreds of years, only to be revived in a future where women ruled the Earth and men were drugged sex slaves.

3) The Doctor Who episode "The Brain of Morbius", where an evil brain wants to implant himself in Dr. Who's head, but, failing that, implants his head in a robot body with his brain mounted in a goldfish bowl instead.

4) Buck Rogers. Buck Rogers featured a man frozen for hundreds of years in a space shuttle. He was thawed without a scratch. He even had his own body. And it was fully functional with both Princess Ardala and Wilma Deering. How unrealistic is that?

5) Han Solo. Han Solo was frozen in carbonite. All he suffered was a bit of short term blindness and cryogenic castration that made him a pliant whipped lackey of Princess Leia.

So, if you're thinking about doing this at home, just remember, freezers are for steaks. Not for brains!

(Abridged version originally published in AT)









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