X-Message-Number: 4513
From:  (Brian Wowk)
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics
Subject: Re: Australian Euthanasia Legislation online!
Date: 15 Jun 1995 05:38:48 GMT
Message-ID: <3roh18$>
References: <3rebb0$> <>

In <>  (Brad Templeton) writes:

>I would certainly hope that nobody combines cryonics and euthanasia.

>This is *exactly* the sort of thing that euthanasia opponents (and even
>some advocates) fear the most.   Remember, most think that cryonics is
>a false hope, many think it is even possibly a scam.

	I think that this is a good reason for cryonics organizations
(as distinct from their individual members) to not get visibly involved
with the euthanasia debate.  However, if a member does choose to be
actively euthanized in a jurisdiction where it is legal to do so,
are you saying that their cryonics organization should not serve them?
	Yes, it is true that most cryonicists dearly wish for
cryopreservation to one day become an elective medical procedure. 
It is unfortunate that laws are now such that active euthanasia
legislation appears to be the most direct route to this goal.  It
is unfortunate because euthanasia fundamentally has nothing to do
with cryonics, and combining the two (as you fear) profoundly muddies 
the philosophical waters of cryonics.  Nevertheless I think it
is inevitable that the two will be combined (perhaps with some
neutral third party administering the "lethal" barbiturate injection).

	One hopeful note on the horizon is the possibility of achieving
reversible (in real-time) brain cryopreservation in the next few
years.  A development like this has the potential to completely bypass
legislative obstacles to elective cryopreservation.  With a technology
like this you could make a strong legal argument that cryonics
patients are still alive, and that cryonics is a life-saving process.
The bad news is that you then run smack into the FDA.

	Ultimately the FDA is the final, most-insurmountable obstacle
to cryonics ever graduating from mortuary science to real medicine.
Bob Ettinger's truest stroke of genius 30 years ago was not the idea
of freezing for future reanimation, but rather the idea that by
doing it rapidly after "death" you could for a relatively small 
biological price bypass one shitload of regulatory bureaucracy.
The large price that was paid (and is still being paid) is a big
philosophical misunderstanding of what exactly cryonics is.
Combining cryonics and euthanasia will simply be a part of 
this tradition (as will the accompanying philosophical confusion).
The only way to get beyond this will be to perfect brain
cryopreservation and dismantle the FDA (as we know it today).
I am more optimistic about the former than the latter.

Brian Wowk
CryoCare Foundation

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