If you think that morphine solves that, you have had the very good fortune to never experience severe pain. I've watched my father bellow in pain for hours while he was on several times the maximum recommended dose of every pain medication a hospital could provide.

We are very bad at controlling severe pain; any belief to the contrary is simply mythology believed by people who have never been there (I have as well, and I can assure you this is true).

My father was in severe pain, every day, for the last decade or so of his life. It happens to be the case that he wouldn't have chosen suicide were it offered, but what if he had wanted to choose that? WTF is wrong with our culture that a person in such a situation cannot get help? He certainly couldn't handle it himself; he could barely walk, and many days couldn't function at all. RomeoStevens is quite correct here.

I've seen claims that doctors know how to control pain, and no evidence that it's true in general. (One of my friends has severe neuropathy from no known cause, and heavy duty meds, electrical stimulation, and I forgot what other medical methods have been tried leave her barely able to walk.)

I would like to have a method of recognizing it when someone makes a comforting generalization ("it will get done soon" is a small scale example) to check for evidence. There's a temptation to accept the comfort too fast.

Another angle on doctors and pain cont... (read more)

What deserves cryocide?

by rlpowell 1 min read19th Apr 201239 comments


So being signed up for cryonics shifts my views on life and death, as might be expected.

In particular, it focuses my views of success on the preservation of my brain (everything else too, just in case, but especially the brain).  This means, obviously, not just the lump of meat but also the information within it.

If I'm suffering a degenerative disease to that meat or its information, I'm going to want to cryocide to preserve the information (and the idea of living through slow brain death doesn't thrill me regardless).

What I don't know is: given the current state of science, what sorts of things do I need to be worried about?

In particular, I'm wondering about Alzheimer's; does it appear to be damage to the information, or to the retrieval mechanism?

But any other such diseases interest me in this context.