X-Message-Number: 10947
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 16:42:32 -0500
From: Crevier <>
Subject: The downside of success.

I had a bad dream last night, and I wonder if anyone else had it at one
time or other. It went something like this:

It is the year 2020, and cryopreservation technology has progressed by
leaps and bounds. It is now possible to reversibly suspend human beings,
and cryonic suspension, though still expensive, is  a frequent procedure
in the care of terminally ill patients. The law has been modified
accordingly: it is now possible to perform suspensions before the 
clinical death of patients, since suspended patients are no longer
considered dead. (In order to be legally dead nowadays, you 
ought to have suffered enough brain tissue destruction to render any 
future reconstruction of your brain and personality impossible.) 
Of course, cryonics organizations are thriving, and this conquered 
beachead over death makes everyone very happy.

Everyone, that is, except many who planned for their suspensions by 
purchasing life insurance in the twentieth century: if you are no longer
dead when suspended, then, by definition, the death benefit of a life
insurance policy is no longer payable at that time. Those with no other
resources than their life insurances cannot be suspended.


After breakfast and coffee, I realized that my dream had exaggerated the
problem, and that there might be solutions to it. I'd like to hear other
people's opinions before posting them, though.

Daniel Crevier

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