To freeze perchance to live
An introduction to cryonics and attendant bioethical issues.
Cryonics is the branch of cryogenics that concerns the freezing and preservation of deceased human beings in the hope that healing and resuscitation will be possible in the future. The cryogenics ‘movement’ is more widespread than most would think. The number of cryogenically frozen human bodies worldwide was estimated at 270 in 2013. There are seven major cryonics companies around the world – the majority in the US – and some of these companies are growing rapidly. The process is illegal in some countries, for example France, but authorities generally allow for bodies to be transported to other countries where corpse disposal laws are not as strict. Cryonicists claim that frozen persons are not actually dead, but rather in a temporary quiescent state. The video above provides an interesting insight into the process, as well as some of the bioethical issues.
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