1. Thesis Statement Cryonics is the process of preserving dead body, and for its preparation for the future revival. The general idea behind cryonics is that since most diseases and old age that result in death result from damage to the bodies tissues, cells, organs, and cellular components that this damage should be curable in the future as science continues to develop. As such, persons who pay to have their bodies frozen by a cryonics company upon their death do not have any guarantee that the technique will be able to bring them back to life in the future. . Introduction Cryonics (from Greek kryos- meaning icy cold) is the low-temperature preservation of humans and other animals who can no longer be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future. Cryopreservation of people or large animals is not reversible with current technology. The stated rationale for cryonics is that people who are considered dead by current legal or medical definitions may not necessarily be dead according to the more stringent information-theoretic definition of death.
It is proposed that cryopreserved people might someday be recovered by using highly advanced future technology. 3. 1 Brief History of Cryonics Benjamin Franklin, in a 1773 letter, expressed regret that he lived “in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science” that he could not be preserved and revived to fulfill his very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence”. In 1922 Alexander Yaroslavsky, member of Russian immortalists-biocosmists movement, wrote “Anabiosys Poem”.
However, the modern era of cryonics began in 1962 when Michigan college physics teacher Robert Ettinger proposed in a privately published book, The Prospect of Immortality, that freezing people may be a way to reach future medical technology. Even though freezing a person is apparently fatal, Ettinger argued that what appears to be fatal today may be reversible in the future. He applied the same argument to the process of dying itself, saying that the early stages of clinical death may be reversible in the future. Combining these two ideas, he suggested that freezing recently deceased people may be a way to save lives.
Slightly before Ettinger’s book was complete, Evan Cooper privately published a book called Immortality: Physically, Scientifically, Now that independently suggested the same idea. Cooper founded the Life Extension Society (LES) in 1964 to promote freezing people. Ettinger came to be credited as the originator of cryonics, perhaps because his book was republished by Doubleday in 1964 on recommendation of Isaac Asimov and Fred Pohl, and received more publicity. Ettinger also stayed with the movement longer. Nevertheless, cryonics historian R.
Michael Perry has written “Evan Cooper deserves the principal credit for forming an organized cryonics movement. ” Cooper’s Life Extension Society became the seed tree for cryonics societies throughout the country where local cryonics advocates would get together as a result of contact through the LES mailing list. The actual word “cryonics” was invented by Karl Werner, then a student in the studio of William Katavolos at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, in 1965 in conjunction with the founding of the Cryonics Society of New York (CSNY) by Curtis Henderson and Saul Kent that same year.
This was followed by the founding of the Cryonics Society of Michigan (CSM) and Cryonics Society of California (CSC) in 1966, and Bay Area Cryonics Society (BACS) in 1969 (renamed the American Cryonics Society, or ACS, in 1985). Neither CSNY nor CSC are currently in operation. CSM eventually became the Immortalist Society, a non-profit affiliate of the Cryonics Institute (CI), a cryonics service organization founded by Ettinger in 1976. CI now has more current cryonics patients than any other organization.
Although there was at least one earlier aborted case, it is generally accepted that the first person frozen with intent of future resuscitation was Dr. James Bedford, a 73-year-old psychology professor frozen under crude conditions by CSC on January 12, 1967. The case made the cover of a limited print run of Life Magazine before the presses were stopped to report the death of three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire instead. Bedford is still frozen today at Alcor.
Cryonics suffered a major setback in 1979 when it was discovered that nine bodies stored by the head of the CSC, Robert Nelson, in a cemetery in Chatsworth, California, had thawed due to depletion of funds by relatives, after being maintained for a year and a half at the personal expense of Nelson. Some of the bodies had apparently thawed years earlier without notification. Nelson was sued, and negative publicity slowed cryonics growth for years afterward. Of 17 documented cryonics cases between 1967 and 1973, only James Bedford remains cryopreserved today.
Strict financial controls and requirements adopted in response to the Chatsworth scandal have resulted in the successful maintenance of almost all cryonics cases since that era. 3. 2 Definition of Cryonics Cryonics refers to the preservation of legally dead people or even pets at extremely low temperaturesin order to restore the person or animal to life in the future. The technology for freezing a person after a terminal illness or a fatal accident, in the hope that medical science will be able to revive that person in the future, when life extension and anti-aging have become a reality.
The freezing of a seriously ill or recently deceased person to stop tissues from decomposing; the body is preserved until new medical cures are developed that might bring the person back to life. 3. Processes involved in Cryonics 3. 1 Before Preservation If you decide to have yourself placed in cryonic suspension, what happens to you? Well, first, you have to join a cryonics facility and pay an annual membership fee (in the area of $400 a year). 3. 2 Preservation Then, when your heart stops beating and you are pronounced “legally dead,” an emergency response team from the facility springs into action.
The team stabilizes your body, supplying your brain with enough oxygen and blood to preserve minimal function until you can be transported to the suspension facility. Your body is packed in ice and injected with heparin (an anticoagulant) to prevent your blood from clotting during the trip. A medical team awaits the arrival of your body at the cryonics facility. Once you are transported to the cryonics facility, the actual “freezing” begins. Cryonics facilities can’t simply put their patients into a vat of liquid nitrogen, because the water inside their cells would freeze.
When water freezes, it expands — this would cause the cells to simply shatter. The cryonics team must first remove the water from your cells and replace it with a glycerol-based chemical mixture called a cryoprotectant — a sort of human antifreeze. The goal is to protect the organs and tissues from forming ice crystals at extremely low temperatures. This process, called vitrification (deep cooling without freezing), puts the cells into a state of suspended animation. Once the water in your body is replaced with the cryoprotectant, your body is cooled on a bed of dry ice until it reaches -130 C (-202 F), completing the vitrification process.
The next step is to insert your body into an individual container that is then placed into a large metal tank filled with liquid nitrogen at a temperature of around -196 degrees Celsius (-320 degrees Fahrenheit). Your body is stored head down, so if there were ever a leak in the tank, your brain would stay immersed in the freezing liquid. Cryonics isn’t cheap — it can cost up to $150,000 to have your whole body preserved. But for the more frugal futurists, a mere $50,000 will preserve your brain for perpetuity — an option known as neurosuspension.
Hopefully for those who have been preserved this way, technology will come up with a way to clone or regenerate the rest of the body. Neuropreservation is cryopreservation of the brain, often within the head, with surgical removal and disposal (usually cremation) of the rest of the body. Neuropreservation, sometimes called “neuro,” is one of two distinct preservation options in cryonics, the other being “whole body” preservation. Neuropreservation is motivated by the brain’s role as the primary repository of memory and personal identity. For instance, spinal cord injury victims, organ transplant patients, and amputees retain their personal identity. ) It is also motivated by the belief that reversing any type of cryonic preservation is so difficult and complex that any future technology capable of it must by its nature be capable of generalized tissue regeneration, including growth of a new body around a repaired brain. Some suggested revival scenarios for whole body patients even involve discarding the original body and regenerating a new body because tissues are so badly damaged by the preservation process.
These considerations, along with lower costs, easier transportation in emergencies, and the specific focus on brain preservation quality, have motivated many cryonicists to choose neuropreservation. 3. 3 Revival Those who believe that revival may someday be possible generally look toward advanced bioengineering, molecular nanotechnology, nanomedicine, or mind uploading as key technologies. Revival requires repairing damage from lack of oxygen, cryoprotectant toxicity, thermal stress (fracturing), freezing in tissues that do not successfully vitrify, and reversing the effects that caused the patient’s death.
In many cases extensive tissue regeneration will be necessary. Hypothetical revival scenarios generally envision repairs being performed by vast numbers of microscopic organisms or devices.  These devices would restore healthy cell structure and chemistry at the molecular level, ideally before warming. More radically, mind transfer has also been suggested as a possible revival approach if and when technology is ever developed to scan the memory contents of a preserved brain. It has sometimes been written that cryonics revival will be a last-in-first-out process.
In this view, preservation methods will get progressively better until eventually they are demonstrably reversible, after which medicine will begin to reach back and revive people cryopreserved by more primitive methods. Revival of people cryopreserved by early cryonics technology may require centuries, if it is possible at all.  People cryopreserved in the future, with better technology, may require less advanced technology to be revived because they will have been cryopreserved with better technology that caused less damage to tissue.
The “last in, first out” view of cryonics has been criticized because the quality of cryopreservation depends on many factors other than the era in which cryopreservation takes place. 4. Cases in which Cryonics can be applied The low-temperature preservation process of cryonics is most widely used in the case of dead human bodies, very ill persons, dying humans, and animals. Better technology and its own quality must be considered during the process of preservation to lessen the damage of the cells or tissues. 5. Disadvantages a) Severe strain on resources during the difficult ransition from voluntary help to properly paid professionals. b) Many new members, some of whom may become active in ways that are unpredictable and uncontrollable, with unknown effects on cryonics organizations and the public image of cryonics. Dilution of the dedicated spirit that only a small group of enthusiasts can possess. c) Errors and failures resulting from breakdowns in communication, which will be more frequent as the size of organizations increases. d) Bureaucratization of hitherto tight-knit organizations, so that they tend to become impersonal and nefficient. e) Less incentive for people in the far future to take the trouble to revive any one patient. One revived relic from the past is a thrilling novelty; 100 are interesting; 10,000 are tiresome; a million might constitute an unwelcome intrusion, especially if the world of the future is overpopulated. f) More potential for backlash from conservatives and nut groups. So long as cryonics is small, no one cares about it. If it became large, there would be more potential for resentment, envy, or outrage, leading to unpredictable consequences. ) More potential for corruption. If people start getting rich out of cryonics, we’re likely to see more scams such as flourished in the very early days, when some people still *thought* they could get rich out of it. 5. 1 Financial Concerns Financing storage of a cryonics patient at a cryonics organization by an on-going payment system was done in the early days of cryonics, but this system proved to be unworkable. Cryonics patients are to be stored for many decades, if not a century or two or longer, and a reliable source of outside funding is highly unlikely.
Pay-as-you go funding was part of the reason for the CSC Chatsworth financial failure described in the history section. All modern cryonics organizations require full payment for all future costs associated with storage “in perpetuity” before patient cryostorage will be accepted. Costs of cryonics vary greatly, ranging from the basic fee of $10,000 for neuro (head or brain only) cryopreservation at the European cryonics company KrioRus, to more than $200,000 for whole body cryopreservation by Alcor with overseas and last-minute fees. Alcor’s neuropreservation (just the head) is priced at $80,000.
There is an extra $500 annual membership fee during life by Alcor. After payment of an initiaton fee, ACS full members pay an annual fee of $300 currently.  To some extent these cost differences reflect differences in how fees are quoted. The Cryonics Institute fee does not include “standby” (a team waits for death to occur and begins procedures at bedside), transportation costs, or funeral director expenses outside of Michigan, which must be purchased as extras. While cryonics is sometimes suspected of being greatly profitable, the high expenses of doing cryonics are well documented. 45] The expenses are comparable to major transplant surgeries. The two most expensive things are standby expenses (a team of 5+ people needs to be hired for up to several weeks) and the money that must be set aside to generate interest to pay for storage of the patient in liquid nitrogen in perpetuity (especially for whole body patients). The most common method of paying for cryonics is life insurance, which spreads the cost over many years. Cryonics advocates are quick to point out that such insurance is especially affordable for young people.
Cryonics providers claim that even the most expensive cryonics plans are “affordable for the vast majority” of people in the industrialized world who really want it and plan for it in advance. With the advent of low-cost cryonics provided by companies such as KrioRus (so far in Europe only) cryonics becomes feasible even for last-minute cases. In the mid-1990s Alcor did a study of their costs for cryopreparation of a person, and the maintenance costs of a person’s cryostorage: Whole Body Neuro CRYOPRESERVATION COST: $27,469. 7 $18,908. 76 YEARLY COSTS: Whole Body Neuro Liquid nitrogen 318. 46 73. 00 Floor space 33. 75 2. 50 Custodial labor 135. 00 8. 00 Amortized Dewar/Alarm 296. 67 59. 26 Administrative charge 3. 00 3. 00 Utilities and overhead 67. 50 5. 00 —— —– 854. 38 150. 76 Nominal interest on the Patient Care Fund is composed of two parts: (1) a portion corresponding to anticipated inflation and (2) a real interest portion.
Alcor assumes that the real interest portion will be at least 2% (a reasonably conservative estimate). The 2% is allocated half for maintenance costs (1%) and half for capital appreciation (1%). Thus, calculating the amount of capital required for a 1% real return to pay maintenance costs gives (854. 38/0. 01) = $85,438 for whole-body and (150. 76/0. 01) = $15,076 for neuro, total maintenance capital. Adding cryostorage and cryopreparation costs gives: 85,438 + 27,469. 67 = $112,907. 67 for whole-body and 15,076 + 18,908. 6 = $33,984. 76 for neuro. Using these figures, the decision was made to raise the rates to $120,000 and $41,000 for whole-body and neuro, respectively. This was to provide a buffer against a few years of inflation, but no one is pretending that there will be no more price increases. Although these figures are out-of-date, they indicate the kind of thinking that can go into calculating costs for cryonics. The high cost of cryonics is not an indication that someone is being economically enriched.
Quite the opposite, most cryonicists who promote cryonics are motivated by a hope for the survival of themselves and their loved-ones — not economic gain. Most cryonicists find cryonics to be costly, and those who draw earnings from cryonics receive small salaries. Most of the money paid for cryonics services is not even spent — it is maintained in a fund on behalf of the person who paid the money for perpetual care and for reanimation costs. Alcor charges US$80,000 for preserving the head only (“neuro”) and US$200,000 for cryopreserving the whole body.
ACS has a similar fee structure. The Cryonics Institute (CI), which does not offer the “neuro” option, changes US$28,000/$35,000 for whole-body cryopreservation, plus a membership fee. Reasons given for such a radically lower cost include: (1) CI is largely a volunteer organization with few paid staff, (2) CI spends only $8,000 on cryopreservation costs (3) CI does not include Standby or Transport services in its fees, which can be very costly if not done by a funeral director. (CI Members wanting Standby can contract with Suspended Animation, Inc. Although cryonics sounds very expensive, most people arrange for payment through life insurance. For most people, particularly those who are young and healthy, a good life insurance policy costs less than a cigarette habit. While life insurance may be adequate for short-term protection, in the long-term it should be supplemented by a diversified portfolio of equities to protect against inflation. For a more detailed comparison of cryonics organization costs, see Comparing Policies and Procedures. 5. 2 Methodology 6 Advantages a) More membership fees; hence more money for research, roperly paid employees, new facilities, and equipment. b) Increasing public acceptance of the idea; hence less backlash from government agencies, from relatives of people who deanimate, from hospitals, and so on. c) Indirect social benefits that could accrue as a result of more people taking a long-term view of life. 6. 1 Life Extension 6. 2 Life Time Memory A central premise of cryonics is that long-term memory, personality, and identity are stored in durable cell structures and patterns within the brain that do not require continuous brain activity to survive.
This premise is generally accepted in medicine; it is known that under certain conditions the brain can stop functioning and still later recover with retention of long-term memory.  Additional scientific premises of cryonics are that (1) brain structures encoding personality and long-term memory persist for some time after clinical death, (2) these structures are preserved by cryopreservation, and (3) future technologies that could restore encoded memories to functional expression in a healed person are theoretically possible.
Cryonics is controversial because the technologies of premise (3) are so advanced that premises (1) and (2) are considered irrelevant by most scientists. Whether biological traces of memory or personhood might persist after clinical death is obviously a question of interest. Similarly, outside of cryonics there is no interest in the question of whether memory encoding might survive cryopreservation because the question is regarded as meaningless until cryopreservation can be reversed. At present only cells, tissues, and some small organs can be reversibly cryopreserved. 12]Medical science is primarily concerned with what is demonstrably achievable, not what is theoretically possible. There are therefore no established scientific specialties or journals directly concerned with the scientific questions posed by cryonics. Cryonics advocates claim that it is possible to preserve the fine cell structures of the brain in which memory and identity reside with present technology.  They say that demonstrably reversible preservation is not necessary to achieve the present-day goal of cryonics, which is preservation of brain information that encodes memory and personal identity.
They believe that current cryonics procedures can preserve the anatomical basis of mind, and that this should be sufficient to prevent information-theoretic death until future repairs might be possible. A moral premise of cryonics is that cryopreserving people when there is no other hope is the right thing to do, sometimes even under poor conditions that make the scientific premises of cryonics highly uncertain. Some cryonicists believe as a matter of principle that anyone who would ordinarily be regarded as dead should instead be made a “permanent patient” subject to whatever future advances might bring. 16] 7. Religious Issues Many people ask: “Where does the soul go when you are cryopreserved? ” — to which one might reply: “Where does the soul go when you are asleep or unconscious? “. One answer might be that the soul is quiescent in all these conditions and has no need to go anywhere. The Catholic Church has strongly condemned the destruction of cryopreserved human embryos — regarding the soul as being associated with a cryopreserved entity. To cryonicists, cryonics is a medical procedure unrelated to religious issues. Medicine has doubled the average life expectancy in the last hundred years.
It is hard to for cryonicists to understand why it would be an affront to religion for life expectancy to be increased even a thousand-fold. Chapter 5 of GENESIS names six Biblical figures who lived over 900 years, including Adam (930 years) and Methuselah (969 years). In the face of eternity — or even a billion years — it is strange to imagine that an extra thousand years of life would thwart God’s plan for human mortality. Without divine revelation it is presumptuous to make assumptions about God’s ideas of an appropriate lifespan for a given era.
If God wanted thousand-year lifespans in the time of Genesis and 40-year lifespans in the Middle Ages — who is to say what lifespan is within His Plan in the Age of Cryonics? If cryonics is regarded as a life-saving technique similar to other heroic medical procedures, such as heart transplantation or experimental drugs, refusing cryonics would be suicidal — and most religions frown on suicide. A religious problem might concern whether cryonics & anti-aging science greatly extends human lifespan or eliminates death entirely.
It is only the complete elimination of death that seems to trespass on religious grounds. Although many cryonicists speak of “immortalism”, the possibility (or inevitability) of death by accident, murder or suicide will never be eliminated — so it is presumptuous to speak of cryonics eliminating death. (For a more detailed treatment of this subject, see my essay Some Problems with Immortalism). 7. 1 Social Issue 7. 2 Religious Views Cryonics is strongly consistent with the pro-life views of Christianity and other religions that value the sanctity of human life.
Noted Christian theologian John Warwick Montgomery has written favorably about cryonics (“Cryonics and Orthodoxy,” Christianity Today, 12, 816 (1968)), there have been positive sermons about cryonics, and even one of the earliest cryopreservations in 1969 was consecrated by a Catholic priest (Cryonics Reports, Vol. 4, No. 9-10, 1969). Whenever negative views have been expressed, they are almost always based on the mistaken belief that cryonics is attempting resurrection. Cryonics is a form of life support, not resurrection.
We expect that cryonics, like surgical suspended animation and hypothermia rescue, will eventually be fully embraced by Christians as it becomes clear that cryonics is simply another medical technology. More information is available in the Religion section of the Alcor Library on this web site. 8. The Future of Cryonics The expansion of nanotechnology will make it possible to repair and even regenerate tissues at cellular level. This technology in the future, nanomedicine, will be able to theoretically repair any DNA defection or molecular error, without affecting other parts such as memory and personality.
Cryonics will be able to change the perspective of survival in many ways. Simply, assuming that survival of structure is tantamount to survival of individuals then preserving this structure would assure confident in the technology. Nano-technology, which is foreseeable, will certainly make a big impact on medical advancement. Cryonics is something feasible. There is no technology available nowadays that can demonstrate its plausibility. However, it is supported by scientific evidence as being possible. The step towards perfected preservation technology is creeping nearer as new technology enters the market. . 1 Benefits to Man 8. 2 Cryopreserved Persons The 91st patient of the Cryonics Institute (CI) is Jackson (Jack) Zinn, a 65-year-old California lawyer with a long history of cryonics membership. Jack has had cryonics arrangements with the American Cryonics Society (of which he was once President), Trans Time, Alcor and most recently CI. He even tried to start his own cryonics organization (the International Cryonics Foundation). He involved himself in a number of cryonics-related legal cases, such as the fight to establish the legal right to cryonics in
California. Jack may be most recently remembered for the “High Rollers” conferences that he organized in Laughlin, Nevada in the late 1990s. Jack preferred to be a “neuro” (head-only) patient, but CI does not offer that service. The patient had been suffering from congestive heart failure since the year 2005. In the months prior to the most recent hospitalizations CI received a number of phone calls (often in the middle of the night) either from the Member (because he was worried or upset) or in connection with his being in the emergency department of a hospital.
On October 2nd, 2008 CI received a phone call from the cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a St. Joseph’s hospital in Stockton, California because of the bracelet or necklace that the patient was wearing. This is probably the first case in the history of cryonics where jewelry has led to a phone call that assisted pre-mortem cryonics treatment. (In a previous case CI was informed post-mortem by a morgue that called because of jewelry they found on the patient. ) A social worker associated with the case for the hospital was helpful in providing information.
The hospital approved cooperating with the cryonics wishes of the patient. Later, when I phoned the hospital ICU I was told that the patient was “awake, alert and stable”, although confused. A few days later when I phoned I was told that he had been removed from the ICU and transferred to another wing of the hospital. When I phoned that wing they had no knowledge of the patient. For a couple of days I was unable to find anyone who knew of the patient’s whereabouts. I had phoned the patient’s home number many times, but it was always busy. I had begun to assume that the phone had been left off the hook.
But after a few days it rang, and the man who answered told me that the patient was in the ICU of Dameron, a different Stockton hospital. ————————————————- 138th Cryonics Patient Suspended Early last August, the 138th cryonics patient in history underwent cryogenic suspension, thanks to the Michigan-based Cryonics Institute. The patient was pronounced dead at 6AM on August 12, 2005. By that evening the patient had arrived in Michigan and was intravenously administered a vitrification solution which would allow the patient to be cooled to the temperature of iquid nitrogen without fear of damage to the neurons. After 105 hours of cooling at the Cryonics Institute facility, the patient was transferred to a cryostat where she will remain indefinitely, along with 68 others who have been preserved the same way. Our memories, personality, likes, dislikes, loves, and dreams are all encoded in the neural network of our brain. When our heart stops beating, the flow of oxygen to the brain is cut off, and neurological deterioration begins to occur. The information that constitutes who we are begins to be lost.
But complete loss is not certain. If the body is quickly transferred to a cryonics facility and cooled to very low temperatures, the connections between the brain’s neurons stay pretty much the same. In some cases, the difference between the two cannot even be detected with a microscope. In the future, it should become possible to do light repair on a cryosuspended body, heat it back up to room temperature, and reboot the metabolism and vital organs by restoring the chemical and thermodynamic environment of the body to that as it was before death.
This will require advanced technology capable of extreme precision and care – most likely medical nanotechnology. But it will be done. And if a civilization has the desire and means to revive cryonics patients, it’s overwhelmingly likely that it would be a fascinating place to live – for a very long time. This leads to the conclusion that we have an obligation to consider the possibility of making cryonics arrangements for ourselves and loved ones.
An action as simple as freezing the body after death could lead to a very long-lasting and fulfilling life, a life that extends beyond what would have otherwise been our ultimate end. Cryonics arrangements are very affordable – the Cryonics Institute offers contracts for a low annual fee of $120 and possession of a life insurance contract which names the Cryonics Institute as a beneficiary (also about $100/year). Something you should consider! 8. 3 Success of the Study Sadly, we can’t. No one can guarantee success, because no one can guarantee the future.
No one can predict scientific progress with certainty, but we believe a strong case can be made for the probable success of cryonics. But that doesn’t mean that social disruptions aren’t possible. Nuclear war, economic collapse, political strife, terrorism, are all possible, and they could end the lives of cryopreserved patients just as easily as they can end the lives of those outside it. The future repair technologies assumed by cryonics are still hypothetical and not widely known or recognized. 9. Feasibility of the study in the Philippines 9. 1 Government Law concerning cryonics