Could someone considered dead today be saved with the aid of cryonics?
More than 60 years ago, if you had a heart attack, you were considered dead. Medical knowledge and procedures wouldn’t have been able to save your life. Now, this isn’t the case anymore thanks to innovations like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Advancements in medicine and technology have allowed humanity to develop new life-saving interventions to halt the process of death. But what about people who are beyond saving? Is there nothing that can be done to help give them a chance at life?
Biostasis achieved through human cryopreservation might be the answer.
Cryonics (aka biostasis) is the process of preserving bodies at cryogenic temperatures after legal death. A patient is vitrified (not frozen), or transformed into a glass-like state, so as to stop cellular decay within the brain and body. This puts patients into biostasis.
The goal is to preserve a patient so that with the aid of future medical technology, whatever caused their death can be cured, and they can be revived at a later date. Someone who’s life is cut short, might be able to live in the future because of this life-saving procedure.
Once a patient is cryopreserved, they are stored indefinitely until they can be treated. While we can’t predict when revival will be possible, medical technologies are already working on how to make this a reality.
While we cannot know for certain what medical developments the future will hold, there has been progress in current existing technologies that may help in the treatment of diseases and the revival process. We outline this in detail in one of our articles, but let’s take a look at one example of possible future treatment.
Nanotechnology, a subset of nanoscience, works at a nanoscale to design, produce and apply materials, systems and structures. For cryonics, this could help treat the cause of death through nanomedicine. In addition, nanotechnology could be critical in cellular repair, both from aging as well as the cryopreservation procedure.
Another application of nanotechnology could be managing the toxicity of cryoprotectant agents (CPAs) that are used during the cryopreservation procedure. Finally, we may be able to utilize this technology to help raise the temperature throughout the body by targeting specific cells from the inside. This could allow for a uniformed rewarming process.
This is one potential technology that cryopreserved patients could benefit from in the future, if and when revival happens. Other innovations in longevity research and aging could also contribute to the revival process with enough time. This life-saving treatment could give people currently doomed due to disease or an accident more time to live. Cryonics is currently the only service that gives people a chance to experience this.
Cryonics aims to provide people the choice to decide how long they want to live. As medicine and technology continue to advance, so does our understanding about life and death. Just as CPR gives people a chance to come back from the brink, human cryopreservation may be a new form of live-saving interventions to give people a chance to live.
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