Cryonics – Cool Body Preservation Technique? The Cold, Hard Truth
Cryonics, the process of freezing the human body or head at extremely low temperatures for preservation upon death, is a hotly debated and controversial topic. It is the option of choice for those who may be dying from an incurable illness, dying young, dying from a traumatic injury, or simply from old age, with the hope that someday a cure will be found to “‘fix” the terminal condition they have, and they can be brought back to life to take advantage of it.
Others may opt for it simply because it gives them a hope that they can achieve literal immortality. Because of these lofty, sci-fi style possibilities, as well as the heavily involved process and maintenance used by cryogenicists to achieve it, this is by no means the least expensive option post-mortem (regardless of what any website may tell you). So… does it deliver? Let’s separate fact from fiction, and find out.
Does Cryogenic Freezing Keep Me Alive?
Medically and legally speaking… no. In fact, a person must be considered “legally dead” in order to begin the cryonic process. However, cryogenecists and believers in the science behind it believe that, as the essential information in the brain remains “in tact”, the body is in a state of “near death”, that resembles a coma, as the body’s metabolic rate is frozen to a near halt.
Does Cryogenic Freezing Preserve My Body Perfectly Forever?
Cryonics involves freezing a dead body with liquid nitrogen to well below freezing temperatures to the point that decay mostly stops. But as with any organic matter, there is no way to stop decay 100% for eternity.
But Wouldn’t This All Cause Some Kind Of Extreme Frostbite?
No. While normal freezing can do massive amounts of damage to body tissue, Cryogenecists use a process called “vitrification” to prevent the jagged, cell-destroying ice crystals that would otherwise form during the freezing process and cause such damage. Vitrification is the insertion of (what is essentially) ‘medical grade anti-freeze’, along with other preserving chemicals, into the body (or whatever amount of it is chosen for preservation), to put the body into the glass-like state we typically associate with liquid nitrogen. Once the process is complete, the body’s temperature is slowly lowered with an easing-in to the liquid nitrogen over several days, until it freezes to a temperature of about -300 degrees. It is at this time they are transferred to an insulated container, in the hopes of being revived at a later date.
Has Anyone Been Brought Back To Life Yet?
This question is at the crux of the controversy surrounding the expensive, resource-consuming process of body preservation via cryonics. As of the date of this article, no one has ever been “brought back to life” after being cryogenically frozen. And with such a hefty price tag, the idea that this promise has yet to be delivered on creates a lot of skeptics to rival the numbers of those hoping for a chance at life-extension, and getting to spend that extra time having beers with their robot friends in the year 3000.
It’s important to have the right conversation and make the right preparations to ensure all arrangements are safe, dignified, and taken care of. If you are having trouble figuring out where to start, you can speak to a friendly, knowledgeable expert who can guide you every step of the way, absolutely free.