Zombie dogs! The world just gets stranger

We live in odd times.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,15739502-13762,00.html

Scientists have managed to keep dogs ‘dead’ for three hours before reviving them with no apparent side-effects for the animals and they plan to do the same to humans soon.

They switch the blood for cold saline solution which creates a state of hypothermia before death. Brain functions and the heart stops, effectively rendering the being dead by all modern definitions. The body then can be kept like that for a few hours before the blood is replaced and the body restarted with electric shocks and pure oxygen. I am the only one who finds this all rather freaky? What happens to the hypocratic (EDIT: oops, I mean ‘hippocratic’) oath when a doctor has to kill their patient for a few hours to stabilise them?

So, what happens after death? I guess we’ll be finding out soon. I can’t imagine that various religions are going to be very happy about this, but it’s certainly a very interesting development, albeit a very, very creepy one. I think the dead rising is pretty much the definition of the uncanny, so it’s not surprising that I find this more than a little spooky.

5 thoughts on “Zombie dogs! The world just gets stranger”

  1. If you ask me, which no one is. That sounds like a Mata animation waiting to happen.

  2. That’s not “death” by any definition I’m happy with. Death is when the brain has ceased functioning and can never be made to function again by any technology. Similarly, then, cryonics patients aren’t dead – just unconscious.

  3. ah, that’s hippocratic 😉
    i’d usually just twitch nervously, rather than making the correction, but the similarity of your error with hypocrisy amused me.

    i don’t value life in suffering, so the hippocratic oath is pretty twisted from my eyes.

    oh, and you need to clean your wallpaper. it has fingermarks all over it.

  4. Good point Lxsli! Oops!

    The hippocratic oath is essential for medicine, but I think the definition of ‘life’ is the arguable piece. Is living in intense suffering and wishing to die really living?

    SeanH: the brain does cease functioning and in all previous regards of medicine that counts as dead. The body, if left alone, would remain dead. I think that that is a pretty good definition of ‘dead’, it just might mean that ‘death’ is a less rigid concept than we had previously suspected, but that’s one of the moral/ethical debates that this technology is going to evoke.

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