Getting this technique into hospitals hasn't been easy. Because the trial will happen during a medical emergency, neither the patient nor their family can give consent. The trial can only go ahead because the US Food and Drug Administration considers it to be exempt from informed consent. That's because it will involve people whose injuries are likely to be fatal and there is no alternative treatment. The team had to have discussions with groups in the community and place adverts in newspapers describing the trial. People can opt out online. So far, nobody has.
If you wake back up again, then you weren't ever dead, by definition. And if you weren't ever dead, then you were alive the whole time.
"Every day at work I declare people dead. They have no signs of life, no heartbeat, no brain activity. I sign a piece of paper knowing in my heart that they are not actually dead. I could, right then and there, suspend them. But I have to put them in a body bag. It's frustrating to know there's a solution."
"We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction," says Samuel Tisherman, a surgeon at the hospital, who is leading the trial.
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