Stathis writes

> It's interesting that during an operation, while the patient is well and 
> truly unconscious, the same physiological response to a painful stimulus is 
> seen as in an awake person: when the surgeon makes the first incision, heart 
> rate and blood pressure immediately rise. If you give the patient more 
> opioid analgesic (like morphine or fentanyl), this response is attenuated - 
> again, just as in an awake patient with pain who is given opiods. Another 
> strategy is to use local anaesthetic in conjunction with the general 
> anaesthetic, so that the part of the body the surgeon is working on is numb. 
> It sounds silly: why would you want to make it numb when the patient is 
> unconscious? The reason is, as you [Pete Carlton] suggest, because of the
> associated physiological response to painful stimuli which is present
> even when there is (presumably!) no conscious experience of pain.

I'm glad that even the appearance of pain in an unconscious patient
is disturbing to physicians. That's very good. For the body to be
experiencing pain---and presumably sending pain signals to the brain
---too closely resembles pain being experienced but with no memory
trace being left.

Yes, yes, yes, by all means, let's diminish pain in all its forms.

> Returning to the topic of torture with memory loss, consider the most 
> extreme case. You are to be tortured for the rest of your life.

Aren't you glad that people on this list can entertain hypotheticals
without freaking out?  People realize that there is a "Suppose that"
implied in your sentence?  People here can think the unthinkable?

> When you get really old you will become demented, or, if you escape
> that fate, you will have a stroke or a myocardial infarct which will
> result in brain damage and complete loss of memory and other cognitive
> facilities, just before you die or end up a vegetable.

Yet more fun.

> Therefore, anyone who is tortured will eventually have their memory
> of the experience completely erased, and it should be OK to torture
> people.

NOT!  :-)

Lee

P.S. How about this?  You get to create a person from whole cloth
down in your torture chamber, and give him the most wonderful
conceivable experiences. He or she manages to pack in more benefit,
thrills, joy, exuberance, zest for life, satisfaction, and contentment
than any hundred normal people all put together.

There is just one catch: since you like killing people, you have
him painlessly put to sleep when he's 20.

Is this pastime you so enjoy down in your torture chamber a good
or bad thing?  Is it right to do this?

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