X-Message-Number: 10056
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 18:59:46 -0400
From: Paul Wakfer <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10044 Re: Will they need it when they want it
References: <>

> Message #10044
> From: "Scott Badger" <>
> Subject: Re: Will they need it when they want it
> Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 09:44:30 -0500
> I want to thank everyone who kindly responded to my post.  If I understand
> correctly, my argument was apparently based on a false premise.  The
> majority of responders apparently believe that suspension (correct term?)

This term is only used among cryonicists. The medical terminology for
what we do (and what the doctor puts on the death certificate) is
cryopreservation. That is why CryoCare Foundation (at Steve Harris'
suggestion and the easy concurrence of most others) threw out the term
suspension and adopted "cryopreservation" as the official term in all
its documentation. (More on terminology below.)

> WILL be reversible

I would be better to say that at some time in the future the process of
suspended animation by the use of cryopreservation will be *perfected*
(ie patients so processed will be restorable to life - but not health,
youth, and vitality - immediately after the suspension procedure is
complete). People processed just before that time will likely take only
minor technology advances to restore them. The amount of technology
advance needed will increase with respect to the length of time for
which a patient has been suspended and the degree of damage that was
done. Note: that I am *not* saying that time in suspension does damage,
only that earlier suspension generally are done with more damaging

> before senescence and most other diseases are conquered.
> I, of course, believed this all along

I thought that this might be the case. You had been around long enough
and appeared too intelligent to have missed that major point.

> and was only concerned that this
> question might be bouncing around in the minds of lurkers too shy to express
> their concerns (ahem).

Very good. I have always stressed to my classes that students who had
questions should always ask them because they would be helping others
who surely also had the same questions but were too shy or unconfident
to ask.

> Allow me to temporarily continue as their advocate
> and ask for further clarification on one issue.

Certainly. More of this is needed, I am sure.

> Most of the responses seemed to place the greatest amount of optimism on the
> future viability of vitrification.  Paul Wafker suggests this process will
> likely be reversible at least 100 years before senesence and other diseases
> are conquered

Not quite. I think there is a reasonable chance that major advances in
anti-aging will be accomplished (without any use of nanotechnology)
within 25-50 years. I think that it is quite likely that anyone below
the age of 10 will never need to die of aging and even possible that *I*
will not. Again all of this will take place without nanotechnology (as
it is currently conceived). Specific disease are and will be conquered
at the years proceed. Therefore, what I said it that is will be over 100
years, IMO, before *nanotechnology* will be the major technique applied
to conquer aging and disease.

> and the process called cryonics will likely be obsolete (I
> hope I am characterizing this accurately).

Again this you misunderstood somewhat (or my explanation was not
adequate). Perfected suspended animation will become a standard
medical/hospital procedure. Cryonics will still be necessary for those
cases which are so badly damaged that they cannot be fixed and the
procedure which will allow a *reversible* suspension cannot be done.
These badly mangled/burned patients will, of necessity, be declared
legally dead (although it is possible that the enhanced credibility of
cryonics will remove this need), cryopreserved in a damaging manner, and
will required technological advances before they can be restored.
Therefore, they satisfy the current definition of cryonics. Whereas, the
ones who enter suspended animation as a standard medical procedure do
not satisfy the current definition of cryonics, IMO, and that name will
not likely be applied to the procedure.

> Would someone please tell me (I
> mean, the lurkers) how the term "suspended animation" is differentiated from
> "cryopreservation".

_Suspended animation_ means literally what it says "suspending (or
stopping) *time* with respect all changes occurring in the patient".

_Cryopreservation_ is simply one technique (the one with far and away
the best chance, IMO) of being able to accomplish that biological
process. Others think differently. I think that Doug Skrecky, for
example, believes that desiccation and high temperature storage is a
better technique to use. Still others believe that chemical fixation and
embedding in epoxy resin is superior. 

_Vitrification_ is one method of cryopreservation (invented by Greg
Fahy) and the one which looks to have the best chance of achieving
perfected suspended animation, IMO.

NOTE: I apply the modifier "perfected" only because cryonicists usurped
the phrase "suspended animation" and used it for a process which had not
been yet proven to work. Thus, I needed to apply a term (perfected)
which separated what my research goal is after, from what cryonics does.
Thanks are due to Brian Wowk for pointing me toward the phrase
"perfected suspended animation" which I now use as my standard.

> One other quick point:  Whatever protocol is used to preserve me, I
> personally would not WANT to be revived unless there was a youthful body
> waiting for me (my own, I mean). So it's not going to matter much to me if
> suspended animation becomes reversible prior to that point?

The mistake you are making here is that time in storage is *danger*
time. In addition, a world in which you could be *living* is going by

Even at 60, I am very vital and get a tremendous amount from living. If
suspended animation were perfected today and I needed it because of some
simple disease (say ebola virus), then I would certainly wished to be
restored as soon as this was curable, even if that were long before my
body could be rejuvenated. 

> Do you think most others will feel the same way?

I think people who are really bothered by their age will feel that way.
I am not and so I don't.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that once suspended animation is
perfected and has a virtually certainty of not killing you, there will
be many who wish to use it as a method of forward time travel because
they do not like the present or simply cannot wait for the future to
come. There have been science fictions stories written about such groups
of people who were essentially "dabbling in reality" as they moved
forward in time, somewhat like tourists in a foreign country, except
through time.

-- Paul --

 Voice/Fax: 416-968-6291 Page: 800-805-2870
The Institute for Neural Cryobiology - http://neurocryo.org
Perfected cryopreservation of Central Nervous System tissue
for neuroscience research and medical repair of brain diseases

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