X-Message-Number: 0033

Subject: Cryonics and You: An Introduction to Cryonics and the CryoCare 

From: Brian Wowk <>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 00:29:19 CST


An Introduction to Cryonics

and the CryoCare Foundation

by Brian Wowk
for the CryoCare Foundation

(c) Copyright 1994 by Brian Wowk

Welcome to the Future

	Cryonics is about the future.  It is about our personal future, the 
future of humanity, and the relationship between the two.  Predicting 
the future is a dangerous business, and this booklet does not pretend to 
be a crystal ball.  Sometimes, however, there are trends in science and 
technology that are so overwhelming that certain consequences seem 
inevitable.  This booklet, and the science of cryonics, are based on a 
vision of the future that we at the CryoCare Foundation believe to be 
both foreseeable and compelling.  It is a future with computers smaller 
than bacteria, cures for all of today's diseases, and people who live in 
good health and youth for centuries.  If these developments sound too 
fantastic to be believed, you need read no further.  If, however, you 
can imagine a future of such dramatic potential, then read on.   


	The Future of Medicine

	Introducing Cryonics

	Cryonics Today

		The CryoCare Foundation

		Cryonics Procedures

			Cryoprotective Perfusion
			Long-Term Care
			The IPCF and Patient Advocate System
		Non-Ideal Scenarios


	Cryonics and You

	CryoCare Membership

	Further Reading

	Common Questions

The Future of Medicine

	What will medicine be like 100 years from now?  If physicians a 
century ago had been asked this question, how many would have 
foreseen antibiotics, gene therapy, and MRI machines?  Probably 
none.  In fact no radiologist could have foreseen MRI (magnetic 
resonance imaging) even 30 years ago, let alone 100 years ago.  The 
developments leading to MRI were occurring in computer science and 
physics labs, not radiology departments.  Sometimes we have to look 
outside medicine to see where the next medical breakthroughs will 
come from. 

	In 1959 Nobel laureate and physicist Richard Feynman 
presented a paper entitled, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom."  In 
it, Feynman proposed building tiny machines that would build still 
smaller machines until individual atoms could be manipulated like 
building blocks.  Feynman predicted that such a capability would have 
a profound impact on the science of biology and technology in general.

	In 1981 MIT engineer Eric Drexler published a technical paper, 
later followed by a book in 1986 ("Engines of Creation"), that outlined  
how protein engineering could lead to the capabilities that Feynman 
described.  Drexler foresaw a whole new technology, which he called 
"nanotechnology," that would emerge from the ability to engineer 
materials on a molecular scale.  In particular, he foresaw general 
purpose "assemblers" that like plant seeds would grow complex 
objects from simple raw materials, powerful computers the size of 
bacteria, and microscopic "cell repair machines" able to do surgery on 
individual cells.

	Nanotechnology and nanoscience are now virtually buzzwords, 
with cover stories in Science and Nature appearing regularly 
documenting progress in the field.  The Japanese government is 
sponsoring a billion-dollar initiative to develop methods for 
engineering at the molecular level.  Think tanks and major 
corporations in the U.S. are now employing scientists to specifically 
study the engineering applications of nanotechnology.  While the 
capabilities to actually build the devices foreseen by Feynman and 
Drexler will emerge slowly over decades, the medical applications are 
already clear.

	Medicine today does not heal patients.  It depends almost 
entirely on patients to heal themselves.  It is not always successful.  
Traumatic injury, massive infection, or the genetic alterations of 
viruses, cancer, and aging often leave the body unable to heal itself. 

	During the 21st century this will slowly change.  Vast new 
arsenals of medical tools will become available.  These tools will 
include microscopic robots able to perform surgery from within the 
body, engineered viruses able to repair genetic defects, and even 
intelligent cell repair organisms that are able to enter and heal cells 
one molecule at a time.   

	Medicine will enter a new era.  Detailed understanding and 
control of genes will allow the conquest of viruses and cancer.  
Systems of engineered cell repair organisms will be able to repair 
injuries that the body cannot heal by natural means.  Specialized 
genetic programs will make possible the regrowth of injured or lost 
organs and limbs.  Eventually even the genetic changes of aging itself 
will be understood and controlled.  Lifespans will increase 

	This is CryoCare's vision of the future: a medicine based on 
mastery of the molecular basis of life.  We are all made of atoms and 
molecules.  The difference between health and disease, youth and old 
age, even life and death, is ultimately a difference in the arrangement 
of our atoms.  Medicine will not reach its fullest potential to heal and 
restore health until it is able to analyze and rearrange atoms in 
sophisticated ways.  Such a time is still far off.  But it will come.  

Introducing Cryonics

	In 1964 physicist Robert Ettinger made a remarkable 
proposition.  Ettinger suggested that low temperature preservation 
(cryopreservation)  might be a way for dying patients today to reach 
future medicine.  Tissue cooled to the temperature of liquid nitrogen (-
196'C) can be maintained for centuries, if necessary, with no change.  
If during this time new medical technologies become available, then 
cryopreserved patients could be treated with those technologies.  This 
idea-- maintaining dying patients at low temperature for future revival 
and treatment-- has come to be called cryonics.

	Cryonics is controversial because freezing an entire body is not 
reversible today.  Although many individual cells remain viable and 
able to resume function after freezing and thawing, the ice crystals that 
form between cells cause extensive tissue damage.  This damage 
prevents the return of normal organ function.  Freezing, according to 
medicine today, is a fatal injury.

	Will the injuries of freezing always be irreversible?  This is the 
central question of cryonics.  If the cell repair technologies of the 
future can heal the injuries produced by freezing today, then freezing 
is not truly fatal, and cryonics is a viable path to the future.  Of course 
this is speculative, and therein lies the controversy.       

Cryonics Today

	Cryonics would have remained idle speculation to this day were 
it not for another idea proposed by Robert Ettinger.  How could a 
procedure that is widely believed to be fatal be legally applied to dying 
patients?  Ettinger's answer was to wait until a patient's breathing and 
heartbeat stopped before starting cryonics procedures.  The patient 
would then be legally dead, and cryonics could do no additional harm.

	  The rationale for applying cryonics after legal death is that legal 
death and +real+ death are often not the same.  Patients dying of a 
terminal disease are usually given a "no code" or DNR ("do not 
resuscitate") status, which means that no attempt will be made to 
resuscitate them if their heart stops.  This is despite the fact that often 
they +could+ be revived if an attempt was made.  This discrepancy 
between legal death (stopping of the heart) and when the brain really 
dies creates a window of opportunity for cryonics.  Although having to 
wait for the legal death of terminal patients creates substantial 
logistical (and sometimes medical) problems for cryonics, it is a 
perfectly legal way to implement cryonics today. 

	At the time of writing, approximately 50 cryopreserved patients 
are in the care of six U.S. organizations that offer cryonics services.  In 
addition, more than 600 other people have made the legal and 
financial arrangements necessary to have cryonics available for them 
and their families.  These people include doctors, scientists, students, 
tradesmen, housewives and children-- people from all walks of life 
who share a common desire to reach beyond the limits of today's 

The CryoCare Foundation

	In 1993 a group of long-time cryonics activists and professionals 
gathered together.  Their goal was to combine the best features of 
existing cryonics companies with important new features in order to 
create the best possible cryonics organization.  The result was the 
CryoCare Foundation, a non-profit Delaware corporation that manages 
cryonics services for its members.   

	CryoCare is a membership organization that provides cryonics 
services to its members by contracting with outside companies that 
possess special expertise in various aspects of  cryonics.  CryoCare 
was founded on the belief that excellence in cryonics can be best 
achieved in a competitive business-like environment that encourages 
individuals and companies to focus on their own areas of 
specialization.  CryoCare and its members are then free to choose 
among the best resulting cryonics service companies.

Cryonics Procedures

	A typical scenario for a human cryopreservation begins in a 
hospital, nursing home, or home hospice setting where a CryoCare 
member is seriously ill.  In consultation with local physicians, the 
member's condition is evaluated by medical staff at BioPreservation, 
Inc., CryoCare's initial-response cryonics service provider, based in 
Rancho Cucamonga, California.  BioPreservation will then dispatch a 
cryonics transport team to the member's location.


	If the member's condition was terminal, legal death will be 
pronounced by an independent attending nurse or physician the 
moment the heart stops.  The CryoCare member now becomes a 
CryoCare patient, and the cryonics transport team begins its work.  
The patient is lowered into an ice bath, and two minutes later 
circulation and breathing are artificially restored by a Heart Lung 
Resuscitator (CPR machine).  Intravenous lines are established, and 
special medications are administered to protect the brain from any lack 
of oxygen.

	Thirty minutes later, major arteries and veins have been 
surgically accessed, and the patient is placed on cardio-pulmonary 
bypass.  ("Bypass" means that blood is now circulated through a heart-
lung machine, which takes over the function of the patient's own heart 
and lungs.)  CPR is no longer necessary, and is discontinued.  A heat 
exchanger in the heart-lung machine now greatly accelerates cooling 
to near the freezing point of water.  If the patient is outside of 
Southern California, their blood will be replaced with an organ 
preservation solution, and they will be packed in ice for air shipment 
to BioPreservation's surgical facility near Ontario International 
Airport.  (Transplant surgeons prepare organs for long-distance 
transport using similar procedures.) 

Cryoprotective Perfusion

	At BioPreservation's facility, surgery is performed to gain access 
to the great vessels of the heart.  The organ preservation solution is 
then replaced with a solution containing glycerol (an anti-freeze agent) 
to protect against freezing injury.  Once perfusion (circulation) of this 
cryoprotectant solution is complete, the patient is immersed in silicone 
oil for cooling to -79'C (dry ice temperature) over the next 48 hours.  
This completes the Transport and Perfusion phases of human 
cryopreservation as performed by BioPreservation, Inc.  

Long-Term Care

Long-term care is the maintenance of cryonics patients for the indefinite
future at -196 degrees Celsius, the temperature of liquid nitrogen.
CryoCare's long-term care service provider is CryoSpan.

	CryoSpan is a for-profit company founded in 1993 that 
specializes in providing long-term care of cryonics patients on a 
contract basis with cryonics membership organizations, such as 
CryoCare.  CryoSpan is located in the same facility as 
BioPreservation, Inc., although it is an independently owned and 
operated company.  CryoSpan has recently completed construction of 
an underground storage vault that has been certified by seismic 
engineers to withstand even major earthquakes.  CryoSpan is the only 
cryonics care facility to offer vault protection of all its patients against 
fire, vandalism, or earthquakes.  CryoSpan currently cares for two 

	Following initial Transport and Perfusion by BioPreservation, 
CryoCare patients are transported at dry ice temperature to the long-
term care provider of their choice.  They are then slowly cooled over a 
two week period to the temperature of liquid nitrogen (-196'C), and 
immersed in liquid nitrogen for long-term care.  At this temperature all 
biological processes are stopped, and tissue remains unchanged 
virtually indefinitely.

	CryoCare retains legal custody of its patients.  If the patient's 
funds are sufficient, CryoCare has the power to transfer a patient to the 
long-term care of another company if necessary.  CryoCare patients 
are thus protected from business failures or other failures of long-term 
care providers.

The IPCF and Patient Advocate System

	CryoCare has established a separate non-profit organization 
called the Independent Patient Care Foundation to administer the 
funds that patients leave for their long-term care.  The IPCF exists 
solely for the purpose of safeguarding the long-term care funds of 
CryoCare patients, and will employ professional money managers to 
invest patient funds for security and long term growth.  The IPCF 
bylaws require it to disburse funds for patient care and administration 
only.  No exceptions are permitted.

	It is the intention of CryoCare and the IPCF to account for 
patient funds individually.  This means that money you set aside for 
your care pays for your care only, and is not pooled with funds from 
other patients.  It is also the intention of CryoCare to return to you any 
left over, or "walkaway" funds, should you ever be revived.  These 
unique features of CryoCare create complex legal and tax issues.  
Briefly, CryoCare and the IPCF are in the process of applying for tax-
exempt 501(c)13 status with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  
Minimum cryopreservation funding for all patients would fall under 
501(c)13 tax exemption, and amounts above minimum would be 
placed in individual trusts either offshore or in the state of Wisconsin, 
which has no rule against perpetuities.  If the 501(c)13 application is 
unsuccessful, several other alternatives to minimize taxes and 
maximize fund protection are available.  A fuller discussion of these 
issues can be found in the CryoCare discussion paper, 
"Corporate/Trust Structures for Long-term Care and Restoration 

	CryoCare is the only cryonics organization with a system of 
Patient Advocacy.  A Patient Advocate is an individual, group of 
individuals, or organization that you optionally appoint to oversee your 
care after you are cryopreserved.  Patient Advocates serve as 
"watchdogs" to ensure that CryoCare always looks out for your best 
interests when you can no longer speak for yourself.  Patient 
Advocates have the power to vote for a special class of CryoCare 
directors called Patient Directors, who vote on issues related to patient 
care.  Patient Advocates also have the power to initiate the transfer of 
a patient under their supervision from one long-term care company to 

Non-Ideal Scenarios

	In some cases, particularly when sudden death is involved, it is 
not possible to begin cryonics procedures promptly after the heart 
stops.  There may be a wait of many minutes, or even hours before 
cooling can begin.  Brain injury is severe in such cases.  By today's 
medical criteria, anyone whose blood circulation has been stopped for 
an hour is very "dead."

	The question we must ask, however, is what will future medicine 
define as "death."  Today's medicine cannot revive people after the 
heart has been stopped for much longer than five minutes.  This is 
because injuries to blood vessels within the brain (such as blood 
clotting) prevent circulation from being restored after five minutes.  
Surprisingly, individual brain cells (neurons) remain alive and able to 
resume function for as long as an hour after the heart stops.  If future 
medicine can heal and replace injured blood vessels, then it should be 
able to resuscitate people far beyond today's time limits.  If it can use 
microscopic devices to reverse chemical imbalances within injured 
cells, then there is no apparent reason it could not revive people after 
an hour or more of clinical death. 

	With a view toward advanced future medicine, it is difficult to 
say where the outer limits of resuscitation will be.  It is for this reason 
that cryonics is still applied to patients who are far beyond the reach of 
today's medicine.  It would be extremely short-sighted and arrogant for 
us to believe that medicine today is the best medicine that could ever 
exist.  This is why cryonics is medically +conservative+.  Continuing 
to care for a patient with an uncertain prognosis is the morally and 
ethically correct thing to do.  Many patients that we would call "dead" 
today are likely to be reclassified as "seriously ill, but treatable" in the 


	Cryonics is an expensive and speculative route to the future.  A 
large part of the expense is providing sufficient principal to pay for 
indefinitely long care.  This has led some people to ask what the bare 
minimum requirements are for cryonics to work.

	One of the lessons that modern medicine has taught us well is 
that our most irreplaceable organ is our brain.  We can transplant 
hearts, livers, kidneys, and lungs (sometime simultaneously!).  We can 
suffer severed spinal cords.  We can lose limbs.  Yet all these events, 
with whatever impairments might result, still leave us as +ourselves+.  
In contrast, even minor injuries to the brain can fundamentally change 
+who we are+.  Taken to the extreme, death of the brain is the 
absolute and incontrovertible death of the person.  No other organ has 
this property.  Our brain is the most unique and personal thing we will 
ever possess.

	Future medicine will have vast and general capabilities for tissue 
repair and regeneration.  The healing of spinal injuries and regrowth of 
lost limbs and organs will be straightforward for a technology with 
detailed understanding and control of gene expression.  The challenge 
of repairing a brain with extensive microscopic freezing injury will be 
much more formidable.  It is arguable that by the time technologies are 
developed for repairing freezing injury to the brain, complete regrowth 
of a healthy new body for the healed brain will be a minor exercise.

	How do we know that growing a new body "from scratch" is 
possible?  First, the ability to do so is implicit in a technology that can 
understand and manipulate genes.  Second, and perhaps more to the 
point, +the growth of a new body starting from a single cell is a 
technology already demonstrated in nature+.  That "technology" is 
how we got the body that we now have.  Imagine the newly healed 
brain of a cryonics patient, suspended in the fluid of a 22nd century 
"artificial womb."  Genetic reprogramming of a single cell on the 
surface of that brain begins a process of growth and development that 
perhaps a year later surrounds the brain with a complete young adult 

	This is the rationale for neuropreservation, which is 
cryopreservation of the brain.  Neuropatients consume one-tenth the 
volume and one-tenth the maintenance expense of whole-body 
patients.  Neuropreservation is therefore a significantly less expensive 
form of cryonics.   Even when sufficient funds for whole-body 
cryopreservation are available, the same amount of funding will in 
general offer a neuropatient ten times the security of a whole body 
patient.  Many CryoCare members have chosen the neuropreservation 
option.  In addition, all CryoCare members who choose whole-body 
cryopreservation must consent to emergency conversion to 
neuropreservation if future economic problems or other difficulties 
make such conversion necessary for continued care.  CryoCare will not 
allow the loss of a whole-body patient as long as the neuro option 
remains available. 

	The physical procedures followed during the cryopreservation of 
neuropatients are similar to those outlined above for whole body 
patients.  Following the completion of cryoprotective perfusion at 
BioPreservation, cephalic isolation is performed between the sixth and 
seventh cervical vertebrae.  Because the brain by itself is an extremely 
fragile organ, it is maintained within the head for protection and 
security.  Non-preserved remains are disposed of in accordance with 
the patient's wishes.   

Cryonics and You

	What is your vision of the future?  Some people see a future of 
overpopulation, resource depletion, and environmental ruin.  Some 
people see a future not very different from the world today.  Some 
people, perhaps most people, don't think about the future at all. 

	At CryoCare, we believe that the next one hundred years will 
bring more technological change than perhaps the last thousand years.  
These changes will render most of today's ideas about resources, 
population, and medicine quaint and obsolete.  The result may be a 
world where people for the first time in history have the time and 
resources to enjoy life without the prospect of progressive physical 
decline and imminent death.  It may also be a world with frontiers that 
extend to the stars.  We plan for such a future now not because it is 
certain, but because it is +physically possible+.

	At CryoCare, we believe that there is no higher value than that 
of an individual human life.  If a doorway exists, or can be created, for 
reaching the future from today, we are prepared to step through that 
door when there is no other choice.  We invite you to
join us.  

For more information, call or write:

				10627 Youngworth Road
				Culver City, CA 90230


CryoCare Membership

	For $30 a year, Associate Members of CryoCare receive 
CryoCare's quarterly newsletter, CryoCare Report.  CryoCare Report 
features news, opinion, and technical developments related to the 
practice of cryonics.     

	For $350 a year, you can make cryonics services available to 
yourself and your family by becoming a Cryopreservation Member of 
CryoCare.  Additional family members may join for $250 a year, or 
$125 for children under 15.  Students may become Cryopreservation 
Members for $175 a year.  These annual membership dues help 
support emergency readiness at BioPreservation, Inc., as well as 
CryoCare's own administration.  There is also a one-time-only $100 
sign-up fee.   (This fee is waived if you are already a member, or in the 
process of becoming a member, of another cryonics organization.)

	In addition, CryoCare requires that Cryopreservation Members 
provide a guaranteed source of funds to pay for their cryopreservation.  
These funds can be in the form of a trust, or more commonly, ordinary 
life insurance.  Life insurance sufficient to fund cryonics arrangements 
can be surprisingly inexpensive, especially if you are young and 
healthy.  Call your insurance agent or CryoCare for more information.

	Minimum funding requirements depend on the long-term care 
provider that you prefer.  For care at CryoSpan, current minimums are 
$125,000 for whole body cryopreservation, and $58,500 for 
neuropreservation.  After the up-front costs of cryopreservation are 
disbursed (approximately $40,000), the remaining principal is 
managed by the IPCF to produce revenue that pays billings from 
CryoSpan on an annual basis.  CryoCare has set its funding minimums 
for care at CryoSpan based on a conservative assumption of 2% annual 
return on investments after inflation. Movement from CryoSpan to 
another long-term care provider (if ever necessary) is expected to 
always be possible because the principal is not depleted.   

	If you choose the Cryonics Institute (CI) for long-term care, the 
current minimum funding requirement is $95,000 for whole body 
cryopreservation or $69,000 for neuropreservation.  After the up-front 
costs of cryopreservation are disbursed, CI charges CryoCare a one-
time fee of $28,000 for whole-body patients and $10,000 for 
neuropatients for long-term care.  The remaining principal is held for 
the patient by the IPCF to pay for care elsewhere if ever required.  
CryoCare members desiring long-term care at CI must also become CI 
members, which requires a one-time-only payment of $1250 per 
person, or $1875 per couple, payable at the time of joining.

	CryoCare strongly advises its members to arrange funding 
greater than the current minimums.  Newer, more expensive 
technology as well as inflation will certainly increase minimum 
funding levels in future years.  Members not able to meet new 
minimums will be required to cancel their arrangements.

Further Reading



	Engines of Creation (Anchor Press, 1986) by K. Eric Drexler
		(Highly Recommended)

	Unbounding the Future (Morrow, 1991) by K. Eric Drexler with Gail Pergamit

Monographs (available from CryoCare)

	Many  Are Cold But Few Are Frozen: A Humanist Looks at Cryonics
		 by Steven B.  Harris, M.D. 

	Will  Cryonics Work?: Examining The Probabilities, by Steven B. Harris, M.D.



	Nanosystems (Wiley & Sons, 1992) by K. Eric Drexler, Ph.D.

Published Papers

	Drexler K E, Molecular Engineering: An Approach to the Development of General 
	Capabilities for Molecular Manipulation, PNAS (USA), 78: 5275-5278 (1981)

	Merkle R C, The Technical Feasibility of Cryonics, Medical Hypotheses, 39: 6-16

Monographs (available from CryoCare)

	The Cryobiological Case for Cryonics, by Gregory Fahy, Ph.D.
	A "Realistic" Scenario for Nanotechnological Repair of the Frozen Human Brain
		by Gregory Fahy, Ph.D.

Common Questions

Science Questions:

Doesn't freezing burst cells, like water freezing in a bottle?

	No.  Slow cooling causes ice to form outside cells first.  This 
causes an increased concentration of salts outside cells, which draws 
water out of cells, dehydrating them.  At the end of freezing, the space 
between cells is filled with ice crystals, but cells themselves remain 
unfrozen (vitreous) in their interior.  Ice crystals outside cells still 
cause damage, but not as much damage as would be caused by ice 
inside cells.   

Can humans be frozen and revived?

	Humans can only be frozen, they cannot be revived with today's 
technology.  The purpose of cryonics is to carry people to future 
technology that will be able to revive and treat them.  

If no one has been revived yet, then isn't cryonics unproven and 

	Cryonics is unproven, but it is not unscientific.  Cryonics 
depends on foreseeable medical advances, not blind faith in the future.  
In 1961, when the United States committed itself to landing a person 
on the moon, there was no proof this could be done.  It had never been 
done before.  Nevertheless it was concluded from known principles of 
science and engineering that such a feat was possible.  The space 
program, human genome project, freezing the DNA of endangered 
species for future cloning, are all projects that were begun based on 
the expectation of foreseeable technologies that did not yet exist.  Like 
cryonics, they are scientific undertakings not acts of faith.         

Won't memories be lost if a brain stops working, like turning off a 

	No.  Neuroscientists agree that long-term memory is stored by 
durable structural and molecular changes within the brain, not 
transient electrical activity.  In fact there are many situations in 
clinical medicine today in which a patient's brain is stopped and 
restarted with no lasting harm.  These situations include ischemia 
(stopped blood circulation), deep hypothermia, and deep anesthesia.

Isn't freezing after legal death too late?

	In many cases it is possible to have a cryonics transport team 
standing by during the final stages of a terminal illness.  CPR and 
administration of stabilizing medications can begin within a minute or 
two after breathing and heartbeat stop (legal death).  Under such 
favorable circumstances, brain injury can be so minor that there would 
be no difference even if cryonics procedures were begun before legal 

	It is also possible that cryonics may still work even if legal death 
occurred many minutes (perhaps even hours) earlier.  There are 
published reports in the scientific literature of viable brain cells 
sometimes being found hours after legal death. Some so-called "dead" 
patients today may in fact still be treatable by far future medicine.  
(From a cryonics standpoint, the chief problem caused by protracted 
clinical death is failure of the brain's circulatory system.  This prevents 
good cryoprotective perfusion, greatly worsening freezing injury.)

	Does this mean that future medicine might be able to bring back 
the dead?  Not at all.  If patients in the future can be recovered after 
hours of +clinical+ death, it will simply mean that medicine today is 
wrong about when it thinks death really happens.  When considering 
these questions it is helpful to remember that death is usually a 
+process+, not an event. 

	The most difficult cryonics scenarios are those involving chronic 
degenerative brain diseases (such as Alzheimers), or protracted 
respirator support of severely brain injured patients.  By the time legal 
death is declared in such cases, loss of brain structure can be so 
extensive that these patients are dead by +any+ medical criteria, 
present or future.  To counter these possibilities, CryoCare 
recommends that individuals take legal steps (such signing a Durable 
Power of Attorney for Health Care) to ensure that medical measures 
such as life support are never utilized in a manner that violates their 
wishes for timely cryopreservation. 

Is research being done?  What improvements can be expected?

	At the time of writing, small privately-funded cryonics research 
projects are being pursued by BioPreservation, Inc. in California, the 
Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona, and the Cryonics 
Institute in Michigan.  These initiatives are directly aimed at better 
understanding and improving cryopreservation of the human brain.

	Unfortunately no government agencies or other conventional 
funding sources have an interest in brain cryopreservation.  There is, 
however, some wider interest in cryopreservation of the kidney, heart, 
liver, and other transplantable organs.  In recent years great strides 
have been made toward reversible cryopreservation of the kidney.  The 
most promising approach is called vitrification.

	Vitrification is cryopreservation without formation of damaging 
ice crystals.  CryoCare is hopeful that vitrification will be used to 
achieve reversible (non-injurious) preservation of the human brain 
within the next decade.  If successful, this technology would be 
perhaps the most important medical breakthrough of our time-- an 
assured  means to transport the most essential part of ourselves (our 
minds) to any point in the future.

Social Questions:

Why would anyone want to live beyond their natural lifespan?

	"Natural lifespan" is a relative term.  Today we consider a 
natural lifespan to be about 75 years because this is how long the 
average person lives in the industrialized world.  Someone from the 
Middle Ages (with a life expectancy of 30 years) would regard today's 
medicines and lifespans as extremely unnatural.  A century from now, 
people will probably look back on the lifespans of the 20th century 
with amazement and even pity as they look forward to centuries of life, 
health, and youth.    

Why would people of the future revive cryonics patients?

	Cryonics patients are not being cast adrift upon a sea until some 
future historian finds them.  They are being cared for continuously by 
an organization (such as the CryoCare Foundation) with the express 
purpose of reviving them.  If a patient stays frozen long enough for 
revival technology to be developed, it will be because they are still in 
the care of an organization that intends to revive them.  In other words, 
revival will happen (if it happens) because someone cared enough 
about your revival to keep you frozen.  It will not really matter what 
the rest of future society thinks.

	How will future society likely regard cryonics patients?  By the 
time it is possible to revive today's patients, future medicine will 
already have a long tradition of treating patients in "suspended 
animation" and other forms of biostasis.  Today's cryonics patients 
would be morally equivalent to any other injured patient who needs 
help in that era, and will likely be regarded as such.  

When will cryonics patients be revived?

	When you are revived will depend on when you were frozen.  
Cryonics will be a last-in-first-out process.  Patients preserved with the 
most advanced technology will require the least treatment.  At some 
point, perhaps 50 years from now, completely reversible "suspended 
animation" will likely be developed.  The wait for revival for such 
patients will be zero; they will be revivable at any time.  Patients 
frozen before suspended animation is developed will have to wait for 
revival.  The older the technology used, the longer the wait will be.

	Today's cryonics patients are severely injured, even by future 
medical standards.  Although there are reasons for optimism, the wait 
will be long.  Comprehensive cell repair systems based on mature 
nanotechnology will have to be developed.  Cells will have to be 
repaired individually, in some cases even one molecule at a time.  
Responsible estimates of the time required to develop such technology 
range from 100 to 200 years.          

What will the future be like?

	Many futures are possible.  Not all possible futures (particularly 
the bad ones) are compatible with revival of cryonics patients.  This 
has interesting implications.

	For instance, the simple fact that you stayed frozen long enough 
to get revived means that civilization did not collapse.  Human 
progress must have continued its unsteady march forward, reaching a 
level of very advanced medical technology.  The world must also be a 
be reasonably comfortable, safe place.  If it were not, the people 
reviving you would be preoccupied with their own problems instead of  

	Advanced nanotechnology, as foreseen by Drexler, Feynman and 
others, must also be a reality.  Among other things, this technology 

*       Computers thousands of times faster, and millions of times 
smaller than today. 

*       Self-reproducing manufacturing systems able to produce mass 
quantities of
	most any product at near zero cost.

*       Per capita wealth perhaps a thousand times greater than today.  

*       Lifespans with no natural limit.

*       A spacefaring civilization.

	If cryonics works, it will work in a world that is much bigger, 
wealthier, and more interesting than the one we know today.  

Ethical Questions:

Doesn't cryonics contribute to overpopulation? 

	Currently about three children are born for every one person who 
dies.  Rushing people off to an early grave is not going to solve this 
problem.  Birthrates must be reduced to sustainable levels.  This has 
already happened in the industrialized world, where population is 
generally not a problem.  If past trends continue, birthrates will 
eventually drop in poorer nations as they too become more 
industrialized.  Longer life spans in rich countries will not hinder this 
process, and eventually all the world will benefit.     

Isn't cryonics an expensive extravagance?

	The cost of cryonics is comparable to the cost of other major 
medical procedures today.  It is affordable for most middle class 
people who can buy life insurance.

What happens to the soul of a frozen person?

	What happens to the soul of a person who is awakened after 
many decades in a coma?  Most people would say that the soul was 
dormant, or asleep in God's care, until it was time to wake again.  In 
fact many babies have been born after years of frozen storage in liquid 
nitrogen (while they were embryos).

	Revival of frozen embryos is not resurrection, and neither is 
cryonics.  If cryonics works it will simply mean that cryonics patients 
were never really dead in the first place.  They were instead in a kind 
of coma that today's primitive medicine mistakenly calls death.  
Medical definitions of death have changed several times this century.  
These definitions are bound to change even more during the next 

Does cryonics conflict with religious beliefs?

	Medical advances that increase the quality and length of our 
lives are usually embraced by most religions.  If life in this world has a 
purpose and value, then acting to preserve that life by reasonable 
means is morally valid.  Is cryonics a reasonable means?  This is a 
question we must each answer for ourselves.

	Acceptance of new medical ideas is sometimes slow.  There was 
once a time when many people considered surgery (or even anesthesia 
during surgery) to be unreasonable and against God's will.  Today we 
take painless surgery for granted.  Cryonics may also require a long 
time to achieve wide public acceptance.  In the meantime we must 
strive to evaluate cryonics according to its own merits.

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