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Monday, March 28th, 2005

Time Event
2:40p
What is a Cure?
I've been unhappily watching the current arguments over the definition of death and who gets to decide. This is only going to get worse as we invent more ways to repair damage and sustain badly damaged people. Anytime we settle on a definition somebody will come up with a new gadget that creates a loophole.

At the same time I'm watching the discussions on nanotechnology and other hoped-for breakthroughs. Science fiction has tossed out a whole bunch of possible technologies and reactions. I'd like to see what people really think of them.

So, a poll. If you were brain-damaged beyond any hope of recovery with current technology, but on stable life support, what would you think of these possibilities?

Poll #463392 Brain damage cures

1. Create a clone from scratch, bring it to full adulthood, and replace you with the clone (the clone gets your property, family obligations, etc.). Your old body is medical waste.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
0(0.0%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
1(4.5%)
This is not a cure.
2(9.1%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
19(86.4%)

2. Clone a brain, transplant it into your body, and begin educating the new brain from scratch.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
0(0.0%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
0(0.0%)
This is not a cure.
4(18.2%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
18(81.8%)

3. Clone a brain, impress upon it your memories and personality as derived from outside sources (friend/family descriptions, pictures/videos, writings, etc.), and transplant it into your body.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
0(0.0%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
1(4.5%)
This is not a cure.
6(27.3%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
15(68.2%)

4. Analyze your damaged brain for all the data that can be recovered, impress it upon the cloned brain, and transplant into your body.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
9(42.9%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
2(9.5%)
This is not a cure.
3(14.3%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
7(33.3%)

5. Implant a computer in your brain to bring you up to a minimally functioning level (eat, walk, tell time).

This is a cure and I'd want it.
2(9.1%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
4(18.2%)
This is not a cure.
15(68.2%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
1(4.5%)

6. Replace your brain with a computer programmed to emulate your personality.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
0(0.0%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
0(0.0%)
This is not a cure.
17(77.3%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
5(22.7%)

7. Repair your damaged brain, wiping all stored memories and personality in the process, and begin educating you from scratch.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
0(0.0%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
5(22.7%)
This is not a cure.
3(13.6%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
14(63.6%)

8. Repair your damaged brain, but only get partial recovery of memory and function.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
7(33.3%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
6(28.6%)
This is not a cure.
6(28.6%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
2(9.5%)

9. Freeze your body until an acceptable cure is invented.

This is a cure and I'd want it.
7(33.3%)
This is a cure but I still don't want it.
4(19.0%)
This is not a cure.
10(47.6%)
This would make a healthy person who isn't me.
0(0.0%)


There's a lot of ambiguities here--feel free to comment.

Current Mood: thoughtful

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