Myths and truths
Library > Myths and Truths about Criónica
Cryonics has attracted a great deal of attention since the concept was first promoted in the late 1960s. Unfortunately, much of the news coverage has been based on misconceptions and statements from “authorities” that lack basic information about the field.
The cryonic patients are frozen.
The process of cryonics is quite different from what most people assume is “frozen directly,” like putting something in the freezer at home. The main difference is a process called vitrification, where more than 60% of the water inside the cells is replaced with protective chemicals that prevent freezing and the formation of ice crystals even at cryonic temperatures (approximately -124 ° C). The goal of cryonics is to reduce molecular movement to a practical stopping point, effectively preserving cells and tissues indefinitely in their original state. The main problem with “direct freezing” is the damage associated with freezing, where the formation of ice crystals could damage the tissues, especially the sensitive tissues in the brain and nervous system. The vitrification tries to avoid freezing during deep cooling. It has been shown that vitrification combined with a carefully controlled cooling sequence significantly reduces and even eliminates the structural damage that would occur with a direct freezing process. Scientists have reversibly vitrified the blood vessels and a whole kidney has been recovered and transplanted using vitrification. It has been shown that vitrification combined with a carefully controlled cooling sequence significantly reduces and even eliminates the structural damage that would occur with a direct freezing process. Scientists have reversibly vitrified the blood vessels and a whole kidney has been recovered and transplanted using vitrification. It has been shown that vitrification combined with a carefully controlled cooling sequence significantly reduces and even eliminates the structural damage that would occur with a direct freezing process. Scientists have reversibly vitrified the blood vessels and a whole kidney has been recovered and transplanted using vitrification.
Crionics is freezing the dead
Cryonics is about preserving patients until science can revive them to health using what we predict will be a combination of advanced medical procedures and nanotechnology. The distinction is the definition of clinical death. A critical care expert who wrote for the American College of Surgeons stated: “In this age of critical care, death is more a process than an event … a prognosis of death … can not serve as a diagnosis.”
Even after what conventional medicine diagnoses as “death” (the heartbeat stops), the processes of normal life continue in the brain, cells and tissues of a body. These cells and tissues stop working slowly and eventually begin the process of decomposition due to the lack of oxygenated blood from the heart. Cryonics seeks to stop this process immediately after the heart stops beating to maintain and preserve these still viable cells, tissues and organs, particularly the brain (which many cryonists believe is the key to a person’s individuality) with hope to restore full functionality in the future.
CI uses medical life support equipment to continue blood circulation and oxygenate the lungs to maintain the viability of tissues and organs during the initial cooling process. Many people are surprised to see that the initial cooling process (or “wait”) in chronic media is remarkably similar to standard emergency procedures for cardiac arrest, including assisted breathing devices and cardiac compression equipment. We do not make this effort for a “dead person,” but for a patient that we feel is in the early stages of the death process, it can be stabilized indefinitely and ultimately saved.
In our opinion, death is a process that is not inevitable or irreversible if it can be stopped in time and the patient stabilizes at cryonic temperatures until science can revive them.
Experts say that cryonics can not work
The typical case against cryonics is the argument of the burden of proof that “it can not work because it has not yet successfully revived a patient.” We may not have the technology to revive patients today, but we do believe that future science can overcome the limitations of today’s understanding and technology. Our premise is not that successful cryonary revivals are now an indisputable fact, but that current evidence and technology suggest that revival will be possible in the foreseeable future. We fully recognize that if society had the technology to reverse many of the conditions in which our patients find themselves today, most of them would never have had to be placed in cryostasis to begin with.
In fact, very few people have the necessary experience in a variety of disciplines to adequately evaluate the viability of cryonics. For example, very few scientists know what vitrification is. Less still know that vitrification can preserve the cellular structure of whole organs or complete brains. Certainly, the average physician knows little or nothing about the scientific basis of cryonics. And the “experts” have no advantage in predicting future technological advances. The “experts” have undervalued the future again and again. The most important “experts” of their time predicted that air transport heavier than air, and even the widespread use of computers, would never happen.
Until it is demonstrated that a theory is an irrefutable fact (that is, it is difficult to dispute a flight heavier than air from the passenger seat of an airplane) there will be defenders in favor and against any argument. Many respected scientists and cryobiologists agree with the theory, and many do not. However, no one has unarguably demonstrated that the theory will not work, so despite claims to the contrary, the viability of cryonics remains an open debate and not a settled issue.
Cryonics keeps “Frozen Heads”
What is known as “Neuro” or head suspensions are, in fact, available in the cryonics industry today, but you will not find that option in CI. CI is interested in preserving people and our policy is the preservation of the whole body just so that our patients can be revived in their entirety and in the future.
The argument in favor of head suspensions only is that the brain is the only truly critical organ for preservation, since it is the source of a person’s memories and identity. Following this reasoning, it is assumed that a vitrification only for the head can be done more quickly and that long-term liquid nitrogen storage of a head is more efficient than a complete body.
We agree that the brain is a critical organ, and our vitrification process perfumes the head and body simultaneously, so there is no appreciable advantage to only perfuse the head and discard the body in terms of time or effectiveness. We simply feel that it is our duty to preserve the whole person, not just the head.
To argue against the economic savings of head-only storage, the IC prices for full-body suspensions are actually lower than the only neuro option in competing companies. This is because the philosophy of CI from the beginning has been to offer our members the services of cryonics suspension of the highest quality at affordable prices.
Cryonics comes into conflict with religion.
CI has members of many religious denominations around the world, pointing out the affirming nature of the life of cryonics.
We consider cryonics simply as another medical procedure that saves lives, which is consistent with the pro-life principles that defend medicine and religion. Our goal is not to “give life back to the dead” (see number 3 above), but to preserve people in what we consider a critical condition until medical technology can cure them. People often die from reversible conditions such as a heart attack simply because they do not receive adequate emergency care quickly enough. Cryonics seeks to extend that window of time indefinitely to ensure that our patients can eventually receive the care and attention they need, no matter how long it takes science to “catch up.”
Cryonics cools the patient to a point where molecular motion stops for practical reasons, stopping the death process of individual cells and keeping the body in a state of indefinite preservation. It can be considered that patients in this state are in a deep coma, a condition that we believe will be reversible by future technologies.
Cryonics is a scam
CI is not for profit and, as such, its books are open to public scrutiny. Our organization is directed by and for our members. Our Board and officers provide their services often expertly on a voluntary basis. We do not make money with cryonics, and we do not want to do it. We want to improve the possibilities of revival for ourselves and our families.
The mission of the Cryonics Institute is to keep patients in indefinite suspension until science can find a way to revive them, not enrich themselves. Our members and patients (including Robert Ettinger, the father of the cryonics and their family members) believe that this will happen and that we will all have a second chance in life. However, today science does not have the means to revive these patients, which leads to the accusation that this is a scam or a scam. On the contrary, no one in CI benefits from the organization or from membership fees. We have only two full-time employees and the rest of our Board of Directors and our management team contribute their professional experience and time on a strictly voluntary basis. The money raised is used to maintain operations and keep our patients in a safe, stable and indefinite suspension until the time comes when they can be successfully revived. A large part of these costs includes the expenditure of liquid nitrogen, which must be replaced periodically. In addition, we keep our expenses to a minimum to make cryostasis as affordable as possible for our members and to maintain operations as long as necessary for successful reactivation.
In regards to revival, our members and patients are fully aware that there is no absolute guarantee or conclusive proof that this great experiment works, yet. In this we all tell: that science will finally find the means for revival and that we will all have a second chance in life.
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