An Outsider's Overview of Cryonics, Part II

The second part of an article in CMAJ that shows off some of the subtle prejudices against cryonics that exist in the medical scientific community (such as in the choice of title) while attempting objectivity: "Although death and taxes are said to be the only two certainties in life, a small but vocal community takes issue with the inclusion of the former. There is, they say, the alternative of cryonics, in which a legally dead person is preserved at -196C in hopes that he will ultimately be revived and rejuvenated, once a cure for his ailment is found. And it's entirely consistent with the basic tenets of medicine, providers argue. ... Although it seems like an unusual and radical idea to many people, I think in the very truest sense of the term, this is conservative medicine. This is literally conserving a patient rather than giving up on them by today's standards of medicine. It's true a doctor can't do anything more for these people, but that doesn't mean the future cannot. ... Those interested in cryonics tend be optimistic, hopeful about technological developments and dissatisfied with an ordinary life span, says Ben Best, president of the Cryonics Institute. ... a miniscule chance is better than none, enthusiasts say. ... Nobody has come up with a better idea yet, so therefore myself, as well as some others, believe that cryonics is simply the second worst thing that can happen. You're going to die. You're going to stop breathing. Whether you be buried or cremated or cryopreserved, it's going to happen. There's nothing we can do about this now, but I know that if I'm cremated or buried, even if technology vastly increased, I'm never coming back. ... Enthusiasts are mystified that only a small segment of the general population has investigated the cryonic option. ... I don't know why there are far more people who don't sign up for cryonics arrangements. It's true that what we do is unorthodox and different, at least in 2012. But there are so many bizarre ideas out there which have no evidence to support them and get many, many people fascinated ... Yet we only have less than 1000 members after 40 years. ... People tend in my experience to kind of rely on this naturalistic [fallacy] that because people have always gotten older and died, therefore they should get older and die as a result of simply living longer."



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