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From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:36:57 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 1: Index

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part1

Cryonics
Frequently Asked Question List
Last Modified Sun Jan 31 10:25:58 1993

Cryonic suspension is an experimental procedure whereby patients who
can no longer be kept alive with today's medical abilities are
preserved at low temperatures for treatment in the future.

Send comments about this list to Tim Freeman ([email protected]). The
words "I" and "me" in these answers refer to opinions of Tim Freeman,
which may or may not be shared by others.

There is much information available as cryomsg's. You can fetch
cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or to
[email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". You can get
--More--
a current version of this entire FAQ list by fetching cryomsg "0018".
You can get a current version of section "n" of this FAQ list by
fetching cryomsg "0018.n".

In this list, the acronym "CRFT" stands for "Cryonics: Reaching for
Tomorrow", which is available from Alcor. The address of Alcor is
part of the answer to Question 6-4.

Much more is said about Alcor than any other cryonics organization
in this list. There are several reasons for this. First, Alcor is
the largest, and it gets the most attention. Second, I am an
Alcor member, and most of the reference material I have on hand was
written by Alcor. I invite people more familiar with other
organizations to contribute answers to these questions.

This FAQ list needs a new maintainer. Cryomsg 1242 describes what the
new maintainer would need to do to take over the job. If you are
interested, send me mail.

This FAQ list would also benefit from a detailed comparison of the
various cryonics operations. My thoughts about what could go into
this are in cryomsg 1241. If you want to volunteer to write this
answer, send me mail.

Section 1: Index

This FAQ list has these sections:

1. Index
2. Science/Technology -- Is cryonics feasible?
3. Philosophy/Religion -- Is cryonics good?
4. Controversy surrounding Cryonics -- Dora Kent, Cryobiologists, Donaldson
5. Neurosuspension -- Whether to take your body with you.
6. Suspension Arrangements -- The organizations that exist.
7. Cost of Cryonics -- Why does cryonics cost so much?
8. Communications -- How to find out more.
9. Glossary & Acknowledgements -- Important and unimportant jargon.

The following questions are covered. Questions marked with a "*"
are not yet answered.

2. Science/Technology
2-1. Has anyone been successfully revived from cryonic suspension?
2-2. What advances need to be made before people frozen now have a chance
of being revived?
2-3. Is there any government or university supported research on cryonics
specifically?
2-4. What is the procedure for freezing people?
2-5. How can one get a more detailed account of a suspension?
2-6. Is there damage from oxygen deprivation during a suspension?
2-7. Do memories require an ongoing metabolism to support them, like RAM in
a computer?
2-8. If these frozen people are revived, will it be easy to cure them of
whatever disease made them clinically die?
2-9. If I'm frozen and then successfully revived, will my body be old?
2-10. Why is freezing in liquid nitrogen better than other kinds of
preservation, such as drying or embalming?
2-11. What is vitrification?
2-12. How is the baboon? Did it live? Any brain damage?
2-13. Who has successfully kept dogs cold for hours? Did they survive? Any
brain damage?
2-14. Who froze the roundworms? What happened?
2-15. What were the circumstances under which cat brains produced
normal-looking brain waves after being frozen?
2-16. Would it be possible to use some improvement on modern CAT or MRI
scanners to infer enough about the structure of a brain to reconstruct
the memories and personality?

3. Philosophy/Religion
3-1. Are the frozen people dead?
3-2. Is cryonics suicide?
3-3. What about overpopulation?
3-4. When are two people the same person?
3-5. What if they repair the freezing damage (and install a new body, in
the case of neurosuspension), and the resulting being acts and talks
as though it were me, but it isn't really me?
3-6. What would happen if people didn't age?
3-7. Would it be better to be suspended now or later?
3-8. Why would anyone be revived?
3-9. Is there a conflict between cryonics and religious beliefs?
3-10. Is attempting to extend life consistent with Christianity?

4. Controversy surrounding Cryonics
4-1. Why do cryobiologists have such a low opinion of cryonics? How did this
start, and how does it continue?
4-2. Who made the statement about reviving a frozen person being similar to
reconstructing the cow from hamburger?
4-3. What was the Dora Kent case?
4-4. What about that fellow in the news with the brain tumor?

5. Neurosuspension
5-1. What are the pros and cons of neurosuspension (only freezing the head)?
5-2. How many people have chosen neurosuspension over whole-body
suspension? (This question has only a partial answer.)

6. Suspension Arrangements
6-1. How many people are frozen right now?
6-2. How is suspension paid for?
6-3. How will reanimation be paid for?
6-4. What suspension organizations are available?
6-5. How can I get financial statements for the various organizations to
evaluate their stability?
6-6. How hard will these people work to freeze me?
6-7. What obligations do the suspension organizations have to the people
they have suspended? Will they pay for revival and rehabilitation?
6-8. How long has this been going on?
6-9. How much of the resources of the cryonics organizations are reserved
for reviving patients?
6-10.*What should I do if I want to be frozen but my relatives hate the idea?
6-11. How can I pay for my own revival and rehabilitation, and keep some of
my financial assets after revival?
6-12. Is Walt Disney frozen?

7. Cost of Cryonics
7-1. Why does cryonics cost so much?
7-2. Is anyone getting rich from cryonics? What are the salaries at these
organizations like?
7-3. *How do cryonics organizations invest their money to last for the long
term?

8. Communications
8-1. How can I get more information?
8-2. What is a cryomsg? How do I fetch one?

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:37:31 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 2: Science/Technology

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part2

Section 2: Science/Technology

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

2-1. Has anyone been successfully revived from cryonic suspension?

No. Fortunately, successful cryonics is a two-step process:
(1) put the patient in suspension and
(2) revive the patient from suspension
For cryonic suspension to be worthwhile, we only need to master
step (1) right now and have reasonable expectation that we might
master step (2) later.

2-2. What advances need to be made before people frozen now have a chance
of being revived?

A number of advances in basic areas of research such as medicine,
microbiology, engineering, and information sciences are required
before any serious attempt can be made to revive patients suspended
with current technology. Nanotechnology, the design and fabrication
of molecular scale machines, is an emerging technology that will
probably be both necessary and sufficient for revival.

2-3. Is there any government or university supported research on cryonics
specifically?

There was suspended animation research sponsored by NASA as late as
1979 at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

2-4. What is the procedure for freezing people?

Read an account of a cryonic suspension. Briefly, circulation is
restored by CPR, and the blood is replaced by other substances that
prevent blood clots and bacteria growth and decrease freezing damage.
As this happens the body is cooled as quickly as possible to slightly
above 0 degrees C. After the blood has been replaced the body is
cooled more slowly to liquid nitrogen temperatures.

2-5. How can one get a more detailed account of a suspension?

Cryomsgs 601 and 602 is The Transport of Patient A-1312 (28K bytes)
and cryomsgs 696, 697, and 698 are The Neurosuspension of Patient
A-1260. (35K bytes). These messages give a first-hand description
of the initial stages of two suspensions.

2-6. Is there damage from oxygen deprivation during a suspension?

Not if the suspension happens under good circumstances. One of the
big goals of the suspension procedure is to get the HLR machine onto
the patient as soon as possible, to prevent this damage. The
barbiturates they give reduce brain metabolism, as does cooling. In a
well done suspension, the damage from oxygen deprivation should be
minor. In a more perfect world, the suspension procedure would be
able to start before legal death, which should reduce the damage from
ischemia even more because there wouldn't be any time when the
heart is stopped and the body is warm.

2-7. Do memories require an ongoing metabolism to support them, like RAM in
a computer?

Not long term memories. When children nearly drown in cold water,
they can often be revived after having no apparent metabolism and
still have their memories. Likewise large doses of barbiturates can
suppress all measurable brain waves without destroying long term
memories.

2-8. If these frozen people are revived, will it be easy to cure them of
whatever disease made them clinically die?

Repairing the freezing damage looks much harder than curing any
existing disease, so if revival is possible then curing the disease
ought to be trivial. This doesn't include diseases that lose
information in the brain, such as Alzheimer's, mental retardation, or
brain tumors; in these cases, even if the disease were cured and the
person revived, the problem of replacing the lost information looks
hard.

2-9. If I'm frozen and then successfully revived, will my body be old?

No. Old age is a disease that ought to be easier to cure than the
freezing damage.

2-10. Why is freezing in liquid nitrogen better than other kinds of
preservation, such as drying or embalming?

Straightforward chemical arguments lead to the conclusion that
significant amounts of decomposition do not occur at liquid nitrogen
temperatures. (See Hugh Hixon's article "How Cold Is Cold Enough?"
from *Cryonics* magazine, January, 1985, or fetch cryomsg 0015.)
This isn't true for either dried or embalmed tissue kept at room
temperature.

Also, Alcor and Trans Time have done experiments with dogs that
demonstrate that part of the suspension process does not cause
damage. Dogs have been anesthetized, perfused with a blood
substitute, and cooled to slightly above 0 C for several hours.
After rewarming and replacing the original blood, the dogs revived
with no obvious brain damage. Experiments like this cannot be done
with drying or embalming.

Another option that may become possible in the future is vitrification.

2-11. What is vitrification?

(Next paragraph copied from CRYOMSG 6)

The cover article of the Aug. 29, 1987 issue of Science News describes
vitrification, which achieves cooling to a glassy state without the
water crystallizing into ice. The advantage of this is that the cells
do not suffer the mechanical damage from the crystallization. The
main disadvantage is that the concentration of cryoprotectants
required to achieve this is toxic. It is also, currently, a
technically difficult and expensive process requiring computer control
of cooling rates, perfusion, etc. The March, 1988 issue of Cryonics
magazine ("The Future of Medicine", Part 2 of 2) suggests that
vitrification may not be needed for ordinary organ banking, since
other, cheaper methods may be good enough. For tissues and cells,
though, it has a lot of promise for the commercial market. Thus,
commercial research into vitrification may stop short of what is
needed for making it viable for preservation of large organs or whole
bodies required by cryonics.

2-12. How is the baboon? Did it live? Any brain damage?

According to Art Quaife as of 14 Jul 92, the baboon is well and has
no signs of brain damage.

This is part of what CRYOMSG 865 has to say about the baboon:

Berkeley, California, May 29 1992. BioTime Inc. has, for the first
time, successfully revived a baboon following a procedure in which
the animal's deep body temperature was lowered to near-freezing and
its blood was replaced with BioTime's patent-pending blood-
substitute solution.

The animal was anesthetized, immersed in ice and cooled to below 2
degrees Celsius, using the BioTime solution with cardiopulmonary
bypass procedures. After being bloodless and below 10 degrees
Centigrade for 55 minutes, the animal was rewarmed and revived. The
baboon is presently under study by BioTime scientists to determine any
long-term physical effects.

The company intends to conduct further experiments on primates, using
its blood-substitute solutions.

2-13. Who has successfully kept dogs cold for hours? Did they survive? Any
brain damage?

Several people have achieved that. The first cryonics organization to
do so was Alcor, in the mid 1980's. For example, the Jan. 1986 issue
of Cryonics magazine describes, in the article "Dixie's Rebirthday", a
German Shepherd dog named Dixie who "experienced the privilege (and
the peril) of having all her blood washed out and replaced with a
synthetic solution and then being cooled to 4 C. For four hours she
was held at this temperature: stiff, cold, with eyes flattened out,
brain waves stopped, and heart stilled. Then, she was reperfused with
blood, warmed up and restored to life and health." She made a total
recovery. Several variations, with different perfusates and slightly
different temperatures and/or times were also performed by Alcor.
Later, ACS performed a similar experiment on a beagle named Miles and
recently (1992) BioTime successfully cooled and revived a baboon.

In comparison, hypothermic cardiac surgery was pioneered on humans
decades ago, although the temperatures used were not nearly as low as
in the dog experiments above. More recently, the October 1988 issue
of The Immortalist described successful surgery on a brain aneurysm in
which the patient was cooled to 15 C for almost an hour. During that
time the patient's blood remained drained from the body, there was no
respiration, the heart did not beat, and the brain barely functioned.

2-14. Who froze the roundworms? What happened?


(This text is quoted from CRYOMSG 790)

Gerry Arthus, our New York Coordinator, has announced preliminary
results of an experiment which was designed to investigate whether
memories will survive cryonic suspension.

For his experiment, Gerry used Caenorhabditis elegans, a nematode
(tiny worm) that's one of the simplest living creatures. It has a
complete nervous system, however, and can be "trained" in a
rudimentary way. Worms that are raised in a warm environment will
"remember" it and will prefer it if they are given the choice.
Conversely, worms that were raised in a cooler area will tend to
prefer that environment.

Gerry placed a small number of worms in a cryoprotective solution and
froze them to -80 degrees Celsius for two hours. After he revived the
worms, the ones that survived the experience still "remembered" their
former environmental preferences. So far as we know, this is the
world's first experiment designed to verify that memory is chemically
encoded and will survive the freezing process.

The sample that Gerry used is too small to prove anything
conclusively. Soon, however, Gerry hopes to repeat the experiment with
a larger sample. He also intends to devise tests to eliminate the
possibility that the worms changed physiologically to adapt themselves
to warmer or cooler environments.

2-15. What were the circumstances under which cat brains produced
normal-looking brain waves after being frozen?

This was reported by I. Suda and A.C. Kito in Nature, 212, 268-270 (1966).
The cat brains were perfused with 15% glycerol and cooled to -20 C
for five days and, upon rewarming and perfusion with fresh blood,
showed normal brain function (as measured by EEG). Since this experiment
was done so long ago, and technology has improved considerably since
then, there is some interest in redoing these experiments to see how
well we can do now.

The April 1992 Cryonics, volume 13 number 4 page 4, talks more about
this and gives more references. Appendix B of CRFT talks about the
plausibility of repair in general.

2-16. Would it be possible to use some improvement on modern CAT or MRI
scanners to infer enough about the structure of a brain to reconstruct
the memories and personality?

This was discussed on the cryonics mailing list some time back. The
conclusion was that using radiation to infer the structure of the
neurons in a brain in a reasonable amount of time would require enough
radiation to vaporize that brain. Then the discussion moved on to
nuclear-bomb x-ray holography devices in outer space that record the
results on film that has to be moving by at an astronomical speed so
it doesn't get caught in the blast. Cremation and immortality, all in
one convenient package. I find nanotechnology-based approaches more
believable, albeit less spectacular.

To read about this yourself, fetch articles from the cryonet archive
with the words "brain scan" in the subject. There are 18 as of July
30, 1992. See the "What is a cryomsg?" question below.

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:38:49 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 3: Philosophy/Religion

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part3

Section 3: Philosophy/Religion

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

3-1. Are the frozen people dead?

Using the definitions in the glossary, they are legally and
clinically dead but they may or may not have reached
information-theoretic death, depending on how memory is stored in
the brain and how much this is affected by freezing damage. A
person who has been cremated is dead in all senses of the word.
People who have been buried and allowed to decompose are also dead.
People can only legally be frozen after they are legally dead.

3-2. Is cryonics suicide?

No. People only get suspended if they are legally dead.
Suspending them sooner can lead to charges of homicide.
(The Dora Kent Case was about a suspension performed immediately
after clinical death, which the local coroner suspected may have
been done before legal death.)
Suicides, murders, fatal accidents, etc. almost always result in
autopsy from the local coroner or medical examiner. The resulting
brain sectioning and extended room-temperature ischemia (inadequate
blood flow) may easily cause true death.

3-3. What about overpopulation?

At present, an insignificant fraction of the population is
participating in cryonics. Thus, by any measure, cryonics with the
popularity it has now will never contribute significantly to
overpopulation.

Assuming an exponentially increasing population, immortality only
changes the population by a constant factor. Thus it doesn't
change the nature of the crisis, only the details. Also, before we
overpopulate the earth, we will have ready access to outer space,
which will, of course, give us much more room for expansion than
just our home planet.

Also, as countries become wealthier, they tend to have fewer
children. This is because children are much more likely to survive
in wealthy countries, and thus the parents do not need to try as
many times to have children that survive to adulthood. Any
civilization sufficiently advanced to revive people in cryonic
suspension will be sufficiently wealthy and advanced that people
will not need or desire as many children as people do in the third
world today.

If cryonics and other paths to life extension were prevented to keep
population under control, then that would be killing one person so
another person can have children.

CRYOMSG's 398, 582, 583, and 585 through 589 have more on this topic.

3-4. When are two people the same person?

Cryonics and, especially, the technologies required to reanimate
people from cryonic suspension, open new questions about who we are.
People interested in cryonics often disagree about questions of
identity that arise in various conceivable circumstances.

One way to resolve this is to treat it as a matter of definition.
We can define two people to be the same if they remember the same
childhood, and if the process by which they came to remember the
same childhood also copied most of their other memories and other
skills. Of course, there are other possible definitions.

Another approach is to use the person-as-software metaphor.
Deciding whether two people are the same is a similar problem to
deciding whether two pieces of software are the same. The
applicability of this simplier problem to the problem of comparing
people is debatable, but the exercise is a good one especially in
light of current debates on software copyrights.

Or one can defer to medicine. The identity questions raised by
cryonics are identical to those faced in medicine today when
considering partial amnesia, stroke survival, brain diseases, etc.

Another alternative is to suppose there is some as-yet-explained
physiological feature which acts as the seat of consciousness. In
this case, two people are the same person if they share this
particular piece of flesh. Preserving this feature becomes
important, and replacing it during revival is not an option.

Last but not least, some people believe in souls. With this
notion, two people are the same person if they have the same soul.
Since the laws that souls obey have not been empirically
explored, this model doesn't make clear predictions about the
consequences of cryonics.

3-5. What if they repair the freezing damage (and install a new body, in
the case of neurosuspension), and the resulting being acts and talks
as though it were me, but it isn't really me?

The answer to this obviously depends on which notion of
person-equality you subscribe to. If we use the definitional
approach, then someone who behaves identically to you is you.
Dealing with the other approaches is left as an exercise for the
reader.

3-6. What would happen if people didn't age?

Ecology: We might be better stewards of this planet if we
knew that we would have to live with the results of our actions.

Human relations: We will have to learn to treat each other
better if we are going to live in the same world together for a
very long time.

The situation I envision is that people will die of something other
than biological accidents like old age. They will die from making
mistakes, which seems to me to be a more interesting way to die.
We'll get stories like this:

Joe died because he didn't bother buying enough redundancy in the
life support system of his space ship.

Bill died because a machine was developed that could do his job
better than him, and before he could retrain for a different job he
ran out of money and couldn't afford his anti-aging regimen any
more.

Jill died because she wanted to.

Jane died because she believed in a religion that forbids life
extension.

I prefer endings like that over having nearly everyone die of symptoms
of the same disease (that is, aging) regardless of whether they want
to continue, and regardless of how well they were living their life.

3-7. Would it be better to be suspended now or later?

In general, one should live as long as possible and be suspended as
late as possible. An exception to this is if one has some disease
that threatens to destroy the information in the brain, thus
decreasing the quality of the suspension.

The later one is suspended, the better the suspension will be because
of generally advancing technology. This increases the chances that
one will come back at all, as well as increasing the chances that
one will come back in a world that one can deal with.

Of course, one never knows when an accident or disease could happen
that leaves one with the choice to be suspended now or not to be
suspended at all. So don't postpone your cryonics arrangements if
you are going to do them.

3-8. Why would anyone be revived?

CRFT gives a detailed answer on pages 46 - 47.

This has been discussed extensively on the cryonics mailing list.
To get a copy of the discussion, fetch CRYOMSG 0001 and then fetch
all messages with "Motivation" in the subject. There are 22
messages as of July 28, 1992. To summarize one of the motivations
for revival:

Cryonics patients will be revived in the future for the same reason
they are frozen today: a cryonics organization will be caring for
them. The success of cryonics is not predicated upon the good will
of society in general, but rather on the good will and continuity
of cryonics organizations. As long as a corps of dedicated
individuals continues to care for patients in suspension, those
same individuals will be able to revive patients when the
technology becomes available to do so. Their motives will be the
same as those that drive people involved in cryonics today: the
knowledge that their own lives may someday depend on the integrity
of their cryonics organization.

3-9. Is there a conflict between cryonics and religious beliefs?

If revival is possible, cryonic suspension is in no greater conflict
with religion than is any other life-saving medical technology. If a
religion does not object to resuscitating someone who has experienced
clinical death from a heart attack, it should not object to reviving
suspension patients.

On the other hand, if revival turns out to be impossible, then the
question becomes whether the suspension is consistent with whatever
instructions the religion gives for dealing with funerals.

Perhaps the most honest approach is to look at the instructions a
religion gives for dealing with a missing person who is not known to be
either dead or alive.

3-10. Is attempting to extend life consistent with Christianity?

All religions teach that life in this world has a purpose and a value.
The Christian denominations in particular teach that improving the
condition and length of human life in this world are of great
importance. Indeed, all of the miraculous acts of Jesus which serve as
the vindication of his divinity were aimed at improving the temporal
human condition: feeding the hungry masses, healing the sick, and raising
the dead. In Matthew 10:8, Jesus commanded his disciples to go forth and
do as he had done.

In most versions of Christianity, someone who refused medical care for
a treatable injury or illness would not be considered either very
rational or very conscientious in their religious duties. The point
is that life has a purpose here and now and there is nothing wrong
with acting to extend and enhance that life if it is lived morally and
well.

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:39:17 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 4: Controversy surrounding Cryonics

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part4

Section 4: Controversy surrounding Cryonics

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

4-1. Why do cryobiologists have such a low opinion of cryonics? How did this
start, and how does it continue?

Cryobiologists are scientists who study the effects of cold on
living systems such as insects, embryos, and organs. Those few who
specialize in the cryobiology of organs and larger animals do posses
knowledge relevant to the preservation phase of cryonics, although they
are seldom familiar with the future repair technologies cryonics depends
on. Unfortunately this is a recipe for misunderstanding.

Knowing full well all the damage inflicted by today's freezing
techniques, and being ignorant of the prospects for repairing it, most
cryobiologists believe cryonics cannot work. They view it as an
illegitimate pursuit that attracts unwarranted media attention, and that
tarnishes the image of their own profession. The resulting hostility
toward cryonics is often so great that even cryobiologists sympathetic
to cryonics cannot openly state their views without fear of ostracism.

4-2. Who made the statement about reviving a frozen person being similar to
reconstructing the cow from hamburger?

The cryobiologist Arthur Rowe is responsible for promoting this
misrepresentation. Specifically, he says:
"Believing cryonics could reanimate somebody who has been
frozen is like believing you can turn hamburger back into
a cow."

The analogy is not valid. Some vertebrates can survive freezing, but
no vertebrates can survive grinding.

Here is what CRFT said on page A-40:
"This is absurd. Cryonics patients are frozen long before most of
their cells die or become structurally disorganized. The freezing
techniques used in cryonic suspension are based upon hundreds of
published studies in which scientists have shown that almost all
mammalian cells, including brain cells, can survive freezing and
thawing!"

As an interesting aside, according to Matthew P Wiener
([email protected]), sponges can reassemble themselves
after being diced up into small pieces. I don't know if they could
survive grinding, and I don't know if each piece occupies the same
location after dicing as before.

4-3. What was the Dora Kent case?

Dora Kent is the mother of Saul Kent, a longtime supporter of
cryonics and leader of the Life Extension Foundation. On
December 11, 1988, she was suspended (head-only) by Alcor.
Although Dora was clinically dead at that time, she was not
legally dead due to an administrative oversight.

The coroner autopsied the non-suspended portion of Dora's remains. At
first the conclusion was that Dora died of pneumonia. Later the
croner retracted this, and on January 7, 1988 the coroner's deputies
took all of Alcor's patient care records and attempted to take Dora's
head for autopsy. Mike Darwin said that the head was not at Alcor's
headquarters and he did not know where it was. Mike Darwin and five
other Alcor members were arrested, but when they arrived at the jail
the police realized that they have no charges to use against them.

On January 12 and 13, the Coroner's deputies, UCLA police, and a SWAT
team again entered Alcor's headquarters and removed all computing
equipment in sight, all magnetic media including an answering machine
tape, and prescription medications used for suspensions. Many items
were taken that were not on the warrant.

Years of legal wrangling ensued. The final outcome was that the
coroner lost the next election, Alcor's equipment was returned but
damaged, and all charges against Alcor or Alcor members were
eventually defeated or dropped. None of Alcor's patients were
thawed. Fortunately, no suspensions needed to be done while
the police had custody of Alcor's equipment.

~References: Cryonics 10(12), December 1989, and 9(1), January 1988.

4-4. What about that fellow in the news with the brain tumor?

His name is Thomas Donaldson. His tumor is not growing at present,
but when and if it begins growing again, it is likely to seriously
damage his brain before it kills him. He went to court to petition
for the right to be suspended before legal death. The case has been
appealed several times. He lost the most recent appeal, as of July
16, 1992. The decisions of the judges are available from Alcor.

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:40:24 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 5: Neurosuspension

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part5

Section 5: Neurosuspension

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

5-1. What are the pros and cons of neurosuspension (only freezing the head)?

(The next two paragraphs are taken from CRYOMSG 6.)

An undisputed advantage of the neuro option (over whole body) is cost,
both for suspension and for maintenance (liquid nitrogen required to
remain frozen). Another advantage is the quality of perfusion with
cryoprotectants attained during suspension. Each organ has its own
optimal perfusion protocol and when the suspension can concentrate on
the head only, the quality of perfusion of the brain does not have to
be compromised to attain better perfusion of other parts of the body.
Another important advantage of the neuro option is mobility. Whole
body suspendees are stored in large, bulky containers that are hard to
transport whereas the neuro suspendees are stored in a concrete vault
on wheels that can be quickly hauled away in case of fire or other
emergency. (Also, if necessary, they can be removed from the large
vault and transported in smaller units that fit into a van.)

An obvious disadvantage of the neuro option is bad PR; it sounds
gruesome. Also, one would think that revival (as a whole,
functioning, healthy human being) when only your head was preserved
would be more difficult than if your entire body was preserved.
However, the whole body situation may not be that much better. Mike
Darwin of Alcor noticed several years ago, when examing two suspended
people being transferred from another organization to Alcor, that
every organ of their bodies suffers cracking from thermal stress
during freezing. In particular, the spinal cords suffered several
fractures. Thus, the whole bodies were not quite as "whole" as most
people assumed. Another reason that a whole body may not offer much
more than the head alone is that the technology required to revive
people from (whole or neuro) cryonic suspension should also be able to
clone bodies, which is much simpler than fixing damaged cells. One
possible objection to this approach of recloning a body to attach to
the head was voiced by Paul Segal of ACS (in the April 1988 issue of
The Immortalist). He suggested that adult cells in the head may be
missing some of the DNA needed to reclone the remainder of the body.
Even if this objection is valid, it is easy to circumvent by storing
samples of all the major organs with the preserved head (which is
standard practice at Alcor).

If the technology for suspension improves enough to make it
possible to store a body without much damage, that might tilt the
ideal tradeoff away from neurosuspension if the stored body is easily
repairable.

See the booklet "Neuropreservation: Advantages and Disadvantages"
published by Alcor for a more thorough discussion.

5-2. How many people have chosen neurosuspension over whole-body
suspension? (This question has only a partial answer.)

The different organizations market neurosuspension differently, so
the answer depends on which organization you have in mind.

>>>Question sent to [email protected] on Wed Jul 29 1992<<<

As of June 20, 1992, Alcor had 271 suspension members and 22
members in suspension. I don't yet have information about how
many of the suspension members have chose neuropreservation.

ACS has six whole bodies, two heads, and two brains in cryonic
suspension. They can do neurosuspensions, but they do not promote the
option. Art Quaife estimates that less than 20% of the living
members of ACS have chosen neuropreservation.

The Cryonics Institute does not do neurosuspensions.

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:41:07 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 6: Suspension Arrangements

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part6

Section 6: Suspension Arrangements

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

6-1. How many people are frozen right now?

The July 1992 issue of Cryonics magazine, published by the Alcor
Life Extension Foundation, includes a status report of all the
approximately 60 people who have been cryonically suspended.
Over 40 of these are still in suspension today; the remainder have
been thawed and buried because their cryonics organization failed
financially. According to Mike Perry's July 1992 Cryonics magazine
summary of all known cryonic suspension patients, nobody suspended
since 1978 has been thawed out, with one possible exception of a
private suspension done in 1982 for which we have no further
information.

6-2. How is suspension paid for?

The person who makes the cryonics arrangements pays for suspension,
usually with life insurance. Some life insurance companies refuse
to accept a cryonics organization as the beneficiary. Check with
your insurance agent, or check with your cryonics organization for a
list of cooperative companies.

6-3. How will reanimation be paid for?

The cryonics organization, relatives, or some charity will pay for
reanimation if it happens. There is also the Reanimation Foundation,
which is an attempt to allow people to fund their own reanimation.

6-4. What suspension organizations are available?

For a complete list of cryonics suspension organizations and other
cryonics-related organizations and publications, fetch cryomsg 0004.

The largest cryonic suspension organizations are:

Alcor is not only a membership and caretaking organization but also does
the cryonic suspensions, using Alcor employees, contract surgeons, and
volunteers plus equipment and supplies provided by Cryovita.
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
12327 Doherty St.
Riverside, CA 92503
(909) 736-1703 & (800) 367-2228
FAX (909) 736-6917
Email: [email protected]
Cryonics magazine, monthly, $25./yr. USA,
$35./yr. Canada & Mexico, $40./yr. overseas
($10./yr. USA gift subscription for new subscriber)

The American Cryonics Society is the membership organization and the
suspensions and caretaking are done by Trans Time.
American Cryonics Society (ACS)
P.O. Box 761
Cupertino, CA 95015
(408) 734-4111
FAX (408) 973-1046, 24 hr FAX (408) 255-5433
Supporting membership, including American Cryonics and American
Cryonics News $35./yr. USA, $40. Canada & Mexico, $71. overseas
(Note: The Immortalist (below) includes American Cryonics News.)

The Cryonics Institute does its own suspension and caretaking of patients.
Cryonics Institute (CI)
24443 Roanoke
Oak Park, MI 48237
(313) 547-2316 & (313) 548-9549
The Immortalist Society, which has the same address and phone number,
publishes The Immortalist, monthly, $25./yr. USA, $30./yr. Canada
and Mexico, $40./yr. overseas. Airmail $52. Europe, $62. Asia or
Australia. A gift subscription ($15./yr. USA, $25. outside USA)
includes a free book (The Prospect of Immortality or Man Into
Superman).

The International Cryonics Foundation has arrangements with Trans Time to
do the cryonics suspensions and caretaking of patients.
International Cryonics Foundation
1430 N. El Dorado
Stockton, CA 95202
(209) 463-0429
(800) 524-4456

Trans Time does suspensions and caretaking for both ACS and ICF and also
has taken on suspension customers directly who didn't go through either
non-profit organization.
Trans Time, Inc.
10208 Pearmain St.
Oakland, CA 94603
510-639-1955
Email: [email protected]

6-5. How can I get financial statements for the various organizations to
evaluate their stability?

At this point the best option is to send them paper mail or call
them and ask. I would like to eventually get current financial
statements from all of the on-line.

6-6. How hard will these people work to freeze me?

The Dora Kent case described above is an example. See question 4-3.

6-7. What obligations do the suspension organizations have to the people
they have suspended? Will they pay for revival and rehabilitation?

Alcor's Consent for Cryonic Suspension states "there are no
guarantees that any attempt will ever be made to return me to
healthy life". The Cryonic Suspension Agreement states "Alcor shall
use such methods as its good faith judgement determined will be most
likely to result in preservation and revival of the patient."

Reference: Alcor's book "Signing Up Made Simple", 1987.

6-8. How long has this been going on?

Robert Ettinger proposed the idea in The Prospect of Immortality
which was published in 1964. According to the July 1992 issue of
Cryonics magazine, the first person suspended was Dr. James
Bedford. He was frozen on 12 Jan. 1967 at the age of 73 by the
Cryonics Society of California and is now with Alcor.

Bedford has never thawed during that time. When he was moved to
another dewar in 1991 (?) the original ice cubes were still intact
and several other signs indicated that he had never thawed out.

6-9. How much of the resources of the cryonics organizations are reserved
for reviving patients?

Alcor's approach to this is discussed in detail in CRFT page
A-36. They compute the costs of liquid nitrogen, dewar maintenance,
rent, etc., per year. The amount of the trust fund for each patient
is twice the amount necessary to pay for this indefinitely assuming
a 2% return on investment after inflation. The doubling
mentioned in the previous sentence is to provide a margin for error
and funds for revival.

Assuming that the costs of storage do not change, and a 2%
return on investment, and the most efficient storage for a
neurosuspension patient, the value of the fund in 1991 dollars y
years after suspension is

$3300 + ($3300 * (1.02 ^ y))

The corresponding figures for the least efficient storage for a
whole-body patient are

$84357 + ($84357 * (1.02 ^ y))

Alcor's minimum fee for suspension and storage does not depend on how
they are going to do the storage, so it isn't clear to me how the
numbers derived in CRFT page A-36 should compare to Alcor's suspension
minimums.

6-10.*What should I do if I want to be frozen but my relatives hate the idea?

>>> Question sent to Alcor on Fri Jul 24 17:34:44 1992 <<<

6-11. How can I pay for my own revival and rehabilitation, and keep some of
my financial assets after revival?

The Reanimation Foundation is set up to enable you to "take it with you"
and provide financial support for your reanimation, reeducation, and
reentry. It is based in Liechtenstein, which does not have a Rule Against
Perpetuities, and thus allows financial assets to be owned by a person
long after the person is declared legally dead.
Reanimation Foundation
c/o Saul Kent
16280 Whispering Spur
Riverside, CA 92504
(800) 841-LIFE

6-12. Is Walt Disney frozen?

No. There was a time when all of the cryonics organizations would
tell you this. Since then Alcor (possibly among others) has realized
that if they admit when an individual is not frozen, then it is
possible to infer by elimination who is frozen, which they have in
many cases agreed to keep secret. Thus Alcor will no longer say
anything informative about whether Disney was frozen. Nevertheless,
Disney is not frozen.

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:41:57 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 7: Cost of Cryonics

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part7

Section 7: Cost of Cryonics

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

7-1. Why does cryonics cost so much?

Alcor has available a 15-page $3.00 reprint on "The Cost of Cryonics".
Also, Appendix C of CRFT has the same title. Here is a summary
from Page A-36 (which I rounded to the nearest 50 dollars):

Whole Body Neuro
Remote Transport $14,050. $14,050.
Cryoprotective Perfusion $13,400. $11,500.
Laboratory Evaluations $ 950. $ 950.
Temperature Descent $ 8,350. $ 1,750.
Record Keeping $ 450. $ 400.
------------------------ -------- --------
Total $37,200. $28,650.

Annual Liquid Nitrogen $ 850. $ 50. "Bigfoot" Dewar
Storage Costs $ 1,700. $ 150. Older-Style Dewars

The funds remaining after the suspension costs must be sufficient to
pay the annual liquid nitrogen costs from interest alone (which is
conservatively estimated as 2% in inflation-adjusted dollars).
The current fees ($42,000. for neuro and $140,000. for whole-body
approximate that well.)
Bear in mind that the above costs do not include extensive and/or
remote standby, which can be quite expensive, so everyone should
arrange funding in excess of the minimums.

Other organizations have lower fees. There have been debates about
how much money is really needed. (Citation?)

7-2. Is anyone getting rich from cryonics? What are the salaries at these
organizations like?

In December 1990, Cryonics magazine reported that the Board of
Directors of Alcor voted a 25% pay cut for all of the staff, so they
could keep their budget balanced. Many of the Directors are also on
the staff. The salaries after the cut ranged from $22,500 annually
for highest paid full-time employee (the President) to $14,400 for
the lowest-paid full-time employee. None of the Alcor staff are
getting rich from their salaries.

7-3. *How do cryonics organizations invest their money to last for the long
term?

>>> Question sent to Alcor on Fri Jul 24 17:34:44 1992 <<<

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:42:16 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 8: Communications

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part8

Section 8: Communications

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

8-1. How can I get more information?

Steve Bridge's "Introduction to Cryonics" gives a quick, three-page
overview of cryonics. This overview is cryomsg 972.

For a more detailed introduction, including a discussion of the
scientific evidence that freezing injury may be repairable, read the
booklet "Cryonics: Reaching for Tomorrow", which is available from the
Alcor Life Extension Foundation (Question 6-4 has the address). The
first copy is free. It also includes an extensive Question and Answer
section.

The books "Engines of Creation" and "Unbounding the Future", by
K. Eric Drexler, et al. describe nanotechnology (also called
molecular nanotechnology or molecular engineering). This is the
kind of technology needed to revive anyone preserved with today's
methods of cryonic suspension.

The largest three suspension organizations each have newsletters. For
contact information about on them, see the answer to Question 6-4.

8-2. What is a cryomsg? How do I fetch one?

There has been a cryonics mailing list since July 1988.
Cryomsg's are mostly the archived messages from this mailing list.

To get a cryomsg, send mail to [email protected] or to
[email protected] with the subject "CRYOMSG nnn nnn" where the
nnn's are the numbers of the cryomsg's you want. Cryomsgs numbers
100, 200, ..., 900 have one line summaries of the preceding 100
cryomsg's. Message number 0000 has a top level index, and message
number 0001 has the subjects of all of the messages. Message 0004
has a list of cryonics suspension organizations and also
cryonics-related organizations and publications. Message 0005 is
entitled "Suggested reference messages for new subscribers".

From: [email protected] (Timothy Freeman)
Date: 1 Feb 93 08:42:45 GMT
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics,news.answers,sci.answers
Subject: Cryonics FAQ 9: Glossary

Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part9

Section 9: Glossary

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to [email protected] or
to [email protected] with the subject line "CRYOMSG n". The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".)

The next three sections have definitions of cryonics vocabulary. The
list is divided (at the discretion of the editor) into words to use,
words not to use, and words to use in jest.

Words to Use

CRFT has a glossary on pp. 57 - 58.

biostasis - Synonym for "suspension".

cardiac arrest - Cessation of heartbeat.

clinical death - A person is clinically dead if they are in cardiac
arrest and their pupils do not contract when light is shined into them.

cryobiology - Biology at low temperatures. This includes organ preservation.

cryogenics - Science in general at low temperatures.

cryonics - The practice of freezing people at the end of their natural
lifespan, hoping for eventual reanimation.

information-theoretic death - A person has reached
information-theoretic death if a healthy state of that person could
not possibly be deduced from the current state. The exact timing of
information-theoretic death depends on presently unknown details of
how the brain works. The current best estimates put it several hours
after clinical death.

ischemia - Damage to tissues due to oxygen deprivation.

legal death - A person is legally dead if a doctor has signed a death
certificate with his or her name on it. This tends to happen when the
doctor believes that modern technology will not be able to restore
them to health. The criteria for legal death change with time.

neurosuspension - The practice of only freezing a person's head or
brain.

revival - The process of restoring a clinically dead person to health.

suspension - The process of preserving a person for eventual revival,
usually by freezing in liquid nitrogen. This happens after legal
death but hopefully before information-theoretic death.

Words Not to Use

corpsicle - Pejorative synonym for "suspended person".

cryonicist - An ambiguous term. 1. One who studies or who tries to
improve the process of freezing people for later revival. Use
"cryonics researcher" instead. 2. One who is interested in cryonics.
Use "cryonics fan" instead, or perhaps "person interested in cryonics".

death - A vague term. Use "legal death", "clinical death", or
"information-theoretic death" instead.

deanimation - An ugly-sounding synonym for "clinical death".

reanimation - An ugly-sounding synonym for "revival".

Words To Use In Jest

flexionally disabled - frozen stiff

metabolically disadvantaged - clinically dead

(Next five are from Alcor Indiana Newsletter #5 by Steve Bridge,
cryomsgs 1148 and 1149.)

chronologically gifted - old

experientially enhanced - old

achieved an overall metabolic deficiency - died, possibly frozen

thermally challenged - frozen

assumed room temperature - died, not frozen (Attributed to Rush Limbaugh)

Credits

The following people contributed to this document. Some of them
contributed by posting messages to cryonet or sci.cryonics which I
used. They are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Steve Bridge <[email protected]>
Kevin Brown
Tim Freeman
Daniel Green
Steven B. Harris <[email protected]>
Bryan Michael Kearney
Simon Levy
Lola McCrary
Perry E. Metzger
Micheal B. O'Neal
Art Quaife
Richard Schroeppel
Ralph Whelan
Brian Wowk <[email protected]>

and one person on the cryonet mailing list who chose to remain anonymous.

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