Continuing from the previous article the presentation of what Cryonics is.
Neuropreservation is the first topic of discussion in Part 2 of the Cryonic Freezing Article.
Neuropreservation is cryopreservation within the brain with surgical procedures used to remove the rest of the body, usually by means of cremation. Neuropreservation is one of the main two options that exist for persons interested in cryonics. The other option is fairly self explanatory, and that is “whole body” preservation. Here are several reasons why neuropreservation is important:
1. Preserving the brain is vital because it is the location of where that individual’s memory and personal identity are stored.
2. If future medical technologies are supposedly at the level of tissue regeneration, then by all means those technologies should be capable of rebuilding a body with a reanimated brain.
3. Since there is damage that does occur to the bodily tissues and organs during cryogenic freezing that is currently unavoidable, leaving portions of the body un-revivable, choosing Neuropreservation is the more economical method which allows for easier transportation, and the amount of time devoted to neuropreservation techniques is substantial and has been improved with time.
An individual must keep in mind that the various cryonic organizations have differing policies on whole body vs. neuropreservation. For example, the Cryonics Institute and American Cryonics Society will only do full body now, as opposed to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation and others have both full body and neuropreservation options available.
Financial & Legal Issues
The cost of cryonics differs considerably depending on which organization, which procedure and transportation fees. The European cryonics group KrioRus can complete the neuropreservation process for $10,000, with Alcor’s procedure slated at $80,000. A full body cryopreservation usually costs more than $200,000. Alcor members have an annual rate of $500 for membership, while American Cryonics Society members pay $300 a year. Usually the cost of a “standby team” is not included in the fees for neuro or full body preservation, and can range from $28,000-$35,000 just for the Cryonics Institute, including transportation costs. Cryonics Institute members can also sign up for Standby and Transport by cryonic professionals with additional payment to the company Suspended Animation, Inc.
Many have noted the substantial costs of cryonics being profitable, but the costs of cryonics are also high and well documented. The costs of cryonics is comparable to transplant surgeries, with a large percentage of the fees going towards a standby team of 5 cryonics professionals and a method to pay interest in paying for storage of the patient long term.
Luckily, there is a method of which a good portion of people can afford these cryonic technologies, most often through a life insurance policy, which helps spread the cost of processes over many years. With this and the increasing demand for cryonic technologies and procedures the costs will go down over time.
Legallly cryonics patients are treated as deceased persons, and Cryonics providers more often than not are seen as medical research institutes.
Philosophical & Ethical Questions
A fair percentage of the debate concerning cryonics amongst scientists and experts, is whether cryonics is an interment procedure or medicine. Particularly among the religious debaters, the issue of a soul comes into play. They claim that only a deity can resurrect the dead and that reanimation of a person in cryonic suspension cannot be achieved. Attempting to label cryonics as “interment” cannot be used, because it assumes that cryonics do not work period, without any data or evidence.
The amount of people interested and having knowledge of what cryonics is increasing due to general increased interest and the number of people like myself who are advocating for cryonics as an option that is currently available that aids in the potential opportunity for life extension.
One aspect of the research conducted on cryonics should be focused on improving the effectiveness of the “cryoprotectants” in minimizing the effects of ice cystalization in the body to as close to 0 as possible. Other means of cryogenics would be to find a solution that allows for the body to be best preserved via a solution, gel, etc that would allow for near “live” bodily tissues for the sake of longevity.
Lastly, it will be interesting to see how much computers come into play regarding the processes involved in cryonics. Computers could be used to improve the energy efficiency of the storage chambers, the amount of costs associated with a standby team, lowering the costs of cryoprotectants with more effective alternatives.
I hope that you all learned something about Cryonics, and that it is a readily available option in several countries around the world. Below is the information regarding some of the organizations discussed in Parts 1 & 2 of the article. Transhumanist Librarian will be back soon!
Alcor Life Extension Foundation (Scottsdale, Arizona, United States)
American Cyronics Society (Cupertino, California, United States)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanCryonicsSociety?fref=ts
Cyronics Institute (Clinton, Michigan, United States)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CryonicsInstitute?fref=ts
KrioRus (Moscow, Russian Federation)