X-Message-Number: 6704
From: Brian Wowk <>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 1996 15:23:07 -0500
Subject: Suspended Animation vs. Cryonics

	In response to Thomas Donaldson, there is a qualitative
distinction between cryonics and suspended animation.  Cryonics
means more than just doing the best job you can to freeze someone.
Cryonics means continuing to care for people even when you have
no idea how to revive them, or whether they are living or dead.  
Cryonics is about giving people the "benefit of the doubt" about
future technology.  And I agree with Thomas that cryonics in this 
sense will always be necessary.  Things will always happen 
to people that cannot be fixed in real time, and people should
not be thrown away on this basis.  More than a technology, 
cryonics is a philosophy (one that not everyone accepts).

	Suspended animation is distinct from cryonics because
it does not require this "benefit of the doubt" concerning
future technology.  It is something that immediately and
demonstrably works.  The medical use of suspended animation  
will still require optimism that diseases can cured.  But there
will be no uncertainty about whether the patient is living or
dead.  This is medically, ethically, and philosophically
different from cryonics as described above.

	Semantics aside, the real point is that suspended animation
(or the body or brain) is a radical leap beyond cryonics as 
practiced today.  To say it is merely an improvement in cryonics
technology belittles its true significance.

Brian Wowk          CryoCare Foundation               1-800-TOP-CARE
President           Human Cryopreservation Services   

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