An Example of Continuing Legal Opposition to Cryonics

The small four decades old cryonics industry provides low-temperature storage at the end of life, an attempt to preserve the fine structure of the brain until future technologies can restore a preserved individual to life. This is not beyond the realm of the possible: it will require at the very least mature molecular nanotechnology and near complete control over cells, but both of these are expected to come to pass over the next century.

Cryonics has long faced legal opposition, and it remains illegal in many regions for reasons that have less to do with actual directed opposition and more to do with a state of bureaucracy surrounding death and funerary arrangements in which everything not explicitly permitted is forbidden. The tiny size of the cryonics community makes effective lobbying a challenge at this level; its membership can oppose local government and win, as happened in the US some years back, but that is about it at this time. This post outlines another similar situation in Canada, but here the legislative opposition to cryonics is more deliberate:

The Cryonics Society of Canada was created by Douglas Quinn in 1987. ‚ÄčIn 1990, British Columbia, our westernmost province passed a law prohibiting the marketing of cryonics, and the early 1990's were spent by the CSC unsuccessfully attempting to overturn it. Similar legislation was considered in Alberta, but it was not passed into law. Even though it is fortunate that no other state or province has passed such a law, it still remains in force to this date. Technically, a resident of British Columbia can have cryonics arrangements made, but as one can imagine, a law written in such a manner makes it difficult to find funeral directors and medical professionals that are comfortable assisting these efforts.

Cryonicists in BC have been trying to have that prejudicial law overturned for many years now. This is a very important issue, not only for the people of BC, but also for cryonicists in other regions. Having an anti-cryonics law on the books creates the potential for others to be influenced by that established precedent. It is in everyone's best interest to overturn it, lest another zealous lawmaker sees that as an opportunity to create similar rules. In consultation with a civil rights attorney, BC cryonicists have proposed that the best way to challenge the law is to create a business that would be directly affected by it and appeal on the grounds that it is discriminatory. This creates an opportunity to formally start an organization with a similar purpose that Suspended Animation Inc has in the USA, and it falls beautifully in line with the above mentioned goals of the CSC.



Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.