Whether we like it or not, the current reality is that every day 150,000 people die. And while I have no doubt that one day humanity will defeat death of old age, like anyone else, I am not guaranteed that I will be alive to benefit personally from such a radical development. And so, while I am hoping for the best, I am doing what I can to get ready for the worst. In my case this entails planning for a number of contingencies – such as death where my brain has been destroyed or not, and taking a number of pro-active steps such as writing a will and signing up for cryonics. In this context I thought it may be useful to bring in a guest who meets daily with death so that we can at least open up a conversation about a topic that is often considered a taboo in our sanitized society. While both me and Dr. Michael Fratkin have very strong personal biases as well as established thinking on the topic of death, I wanted to see if and what we can each take away from such a conversation so that we are both better off in the end. I have to say that I was not disappointed and I hope you will find something beneficial for you too.
Dr. Michael Fratkin is a palliative care physician and during our 2 hour conversation we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his personal story, motivation and medical background; whether we are more than our physical form or not; palliative care, completing life and ResolutionCare; the definition of death; why he is a “presentist” and not a futurist; the origins of my own personal biases against death; his take on cryonics; Zoltan Istvan‘s Transhumanist Wager and on-going presidential campaign…
(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more high-quality episodes like this one please make a donation!)
Who is Michael Fratkin?
Father, husband, brother, son, and physician, Dr. Fratkin is dedicated to the well being of his community. Since completing his training, he has made his home and built his family in rural Northern California. He has served his community in primary care in a community clinic system, as a medical director of our local hospice, as a leader in the community hospital medical staff, and a transformative voice for improving the experience of people facing the end of life.
At a time of great demographic and cultural change in our society, Dr. Fratkin has created ResolutionCare to insure capable and soulful care of everyone, everywhere as they approach the completion of life.
ResolutionCare leverages partnerships with existing healthcare providers and payers to provide telehealth applications that bring greater quality of living and greater quality of dying. The Palliative Care team at ResolutionCare openly shares our expertise and mentorship so people can receive the care they need where they live and on their own terms.