X-Message-Number: 3503
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 1994 12:30:39 -0500
Subject: SCI. CRYONICS neuro risk

Martin Olah asks whether neurosuspension (head or brain only) will risk
missing some important information stored elsewhere in the body. I suspect
not--after all, quadriplegics do not seem any different as persons, after
allowing for the obvious. 

Nor do we see major personality changes in people with diseased or damaged
endocrine systems, again aside from the obvious impairments resulting from
clear deficiencies or pathology. Minor or subtle changes seem highly unlikely
to make a major difference. 

Finally, it should eventually be possible to infer from the brain structure
just what the previous habitual input  from the spine and glands had been,
and adjust accordingly.

But I do think there is one potentially serious problem with the neuro option
(besides the bad public relations and the reduced chance of getting
cooperation from relatives and others): 

Suppose you fund for neuro, and down the line some time, while you are still
alive, we achieve reversible-on-demand cryostasis, or something close to it.
Then, if you are funded for full body, and assuming the cost will cover this
perfected or almost-perfected technique, you are in very good shape. You will
probably be revived as soon as anti-senescence is perfected, or (if you are
still relatively young) as soon as your particular fatal disease or damage
can be reversed. This might be fairly soon. But if you are only funded for
neuro, you still have to wait for regeneration techniques, or techniques for
cloning (and then growing to maturity!) a brainless body. This might take
much longer, adding risk, and you might be unable at your advanced age to buy
more life insurance or otherwise increase your funding sufficiently.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute   

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