In his January 2008 Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) article, “Nothing but the Truth,” Criss Brainard provides examples of two cases where voice recording technology could aid in clearing the names of emergency personnel who had been accused of inappropriate conduct during patient transport. While cryonics standby team members may not need to worry about such allegations, it is obvious that voice recording can be useful in clarifying any questions regarding the specifics of a case. In fact, nearly every aspect of a cryonics case can be voice recorded including logistical operations, start of procedures, medication administration, physiological measurements, descriptions of complex procedures, and real-time reporting of equipment malfunctions and concerns.
Voice recording technology has existed for at least as long as cryonics has, and yet cryonics organizations have rarely made consistent use of it during standby, stabilization, transport and cryopreservation. Instead, cryonics has often relied solely on the services of a “scribe,” whose duty it is to take written notes of all procedures. Voice recording not only provides a more accurate and reliable method of documentation, but also can free up a person to assist with procedures when a clip-on microphone is used. This feature also enables use of voice recorders by multiple team members, including team members performing procedures that are often hard to observe by the scribe, such as surgery. The utility of voice recording can be further strengthened by training team members how to describe specific technical cryonics procedures and to recognize important events.
Brainard points out that the San Diego Fire Department has used voice recording as a standard practice for over two decades to provide objective information about thousands of cases. He writes:
As a best practice, every EMS system should want the truth, good or bad. We should ensure that we’re on the front end of an incident, equipped with all the facts, not just recollections of the facts. If we make a mistake, we must own it; and if we’re being falsely accused, we should want that to come out also.
In addition, voice recording makes case reporting more rigorous and less prone to speculation, which helps to improve quality of care for future patients. Lack of voice recording shrouds cryonics in an aura of secrecy that damages credibility and makes it difficult to factually defend actions of cryonics team members.