Showtime’s ‘Citizen Bio’ is an eye-raising documentary that delves deep into the world of biohacking and radical medicine. Following the accounts of four of America’s most notorious biohackers, as they detail their experiences, we see how these do-it-yourself specialists continue to break the bounds in the field of medical and scientific research to extend human life.
One of the most controversial biohackers mentioned is Aaron Traywick, whose strange death and even more puzzling experiments, especially for HIV and herpes, are thoroughly explored in this film. Now, if you’re here wondering how he died, you’ve come to the right place!
Who Was Aaron Traywick?
Born on December 19, 1989, Aaron Traywick was a graduate of the University of Montevallo in Alabama with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. He had no background in the sciences, and neither did he receive any formal training in clinical medicine. For about six months in 2016, Aaron worked to advocate investment in radical approaches towards anti-aging at the Global Healthspan Policy Institute, but then he was let go.
Subsequently, in 2017, he founded Ascendance Biomedical in Washington, D.C., with the mission to make biomedical products available to everyone. As the CEO of the company, Aaron worked towards his goal to showcase his view that individuals should be able to self-design and administer unapproved medical treatments – even those like gene therapy – without the provision of a healthcare professional.
This was to such an extent that in February of 2018, at a biohacker conference in Austin, Texas, Aaron injected himself with something he referred to as a “research compound” to cure his herpes. This stunt, performed on stage, was also broadcasted live on Facebook, gaining him a lot of media attention. However, it apparently also alienated him from his community, who thought his tactics went too far, even by their standards.
Shortly thereafter, without mentioning anyone, the FDA issued a warning against the self-consumption of such products, calling it illegal and stating their concern over the risks involved. But that didn’t stop Aaron because, at the time he died, he was planning a gene therapy trial for the treatment of lung cancer in Mexico and was also serving as a managing director for a company that was looking to rejuvenate hormones, especially in women.
How Did Aaron Traywick Die?
At the age of 28, Aaron Traywick was found unconscious in a sensory deprivation isolation tank, or “flotation pod,” at a float spa on April 29, 2018. One of the spa’s spokesperson revealed that the co-owner of the place arrived twenty minutes after Aaron’s session was scheduled to end and immediately asked why someone was still in the room. The door of his chamber was closed but otherwise unlocked, and when opened, it only revealed Aaron on the floor. The saltwater it was filled with for relaxation purposes had automatically been drained by that point.
The emergency responders arrived within four minutes of the spa’s 911 call and subsequently pronounced Aaron dead. His body was then taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, D.C., for an autopsy. The report of this, made public on June 28, revealed that Aaron’s death was an accident caused by “asphyxia due to drowning with ketamine intoxication.” Aaron drowned in the saltwater filled tank because of the dissociative anesthetic drug ketamine he had consumed before.
Apparently, Aaron was known to use it for recreational purposes. The authorities found no signs of foul play or any suspicious activities. Therefore, they soon closed the case. And in May of 2018, the Transhumanist Party issued an official statement calling Aaron Traywick’s death “a tragic accident,” adding that “regardless of the cause,” they emphasize that “death is deeply wrong and will remain so.” (Featured: Image Credit: Showtime / Citizen Bio)