X-Message-Number: 10094
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 09:57:48 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #10085 - #10090

Hi everyone!

In cryonics there is indeed a serious problem, but it is NOT just with
suspensions which may not be "adequate" --- whatever that is supposed to
mean (I think the very notion stinks of the idea that if it can't be
done now it can never be done).

The serious problem is that if you ARE in a condition which will lead to
your "death", then you also cease to have any choice about cryonics. You
are either frozen in the hope that at some indefinite future time 
we'll know how to revive you, or you are destroyed permanently and 

Sure, we'd all like much improved suspensions, and many of us are 
supporting that goal --- if only by donating money. But don't get turned
off by that. No one knows just when they will need suspension, and when
they do, the techniques available will be those which will be used.
If we look at it in terms of risk, all the risk comes when you are 
NOT signed up for suspension. You are risking complete destruction.
What happens if you are signed up cannot really be called "risk". 
You risk nothing at all, but instead set up a situation in which,
if you would otherwise "die", you will be suspended and retain the
possibility, impossible to calculate, that you can someday be revived.
Particularly if you are young and can afford the life insurance,
you're not risking a thing. Even if you are old, even the most 
expensive suspension is usually not a big slice out of your estate.

One other point. "Death" puts people off, and so does discussing it.
I will say that there is a major difference in definition of "death"
between cryonicists and normal medicine (which is actually quite
confused on this point). We consider that you are "dead" not because
your heart has ceased beating, or even because you've been found 
with no heartbeat or respiration where you fell onto the floor of 
your flat 12 hours ago, but when NO TECHNOLOGY WILL EVER THROUGHOUT
OUR ENTIRE FUTURE HISTORY be able to revive you. And yes, it is still
possible to die according to this criterion. Anyone who has been
cremated is DEAD. Anyone whose brain has been destroyed is DEAD.
The most that can be said of anyone who has been suspended so far
is that we do not know now whether or not they are dead. (And I
include some very bad cases in this statement, too).

So as soon as you can afford it, you should get life insurance. And
as soon as you get life insurance, you should sign up with a 
cryonics society. Heck, you aren't even risking that life insurance!
No society I know of will not let someone leave it... either for 
another cryonics society or for none at all. Some members may regret
you're leaving, but that does not apply any force at all.

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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