To get a better idea of how cryopreservation can do this, we first need to understand just what it is. Cryopreservation is an advanced medical/research procedure that puts a human into biostasis, or biological pause after legal death. The purpose is to keep people preserved until medical technology has advanced enough to treat their cause of death and revive them.
For cryonics, death isn’t the end but a process. If we can pause decay and preserve the structure, in this case our bodies and especially brains, then death itself could be reversed. This could tremendously extend the lifespan of people, giving them more time to enjoy life without restrictions.
From the moment we’re born to the moment we die, we have a limited amount of time on earth. The average life expectancy in Europe, for example, is around 80 years. Considering most of us are in school till our early 20s, then work full-time till we’re in our 60s, give or take, that’s nearly ¾ of our lives spent between school and work. That doesn’t leave us much time to make the most out of life. And that’s not factoring other things we spend our time on: personal care, eating & drinking, sleeping.
For many in the working world, time outside of work is precious: time with family and friends, hobbies or travel. But there’s only so much you can do in one day, let alone in one lifetime. While we consider hobbies to be important, we are limited by when we can do them. If you work full-time, chances are you do your hobbies in the evening or on weekends because that’s realistically the only available freetime you have. Simply put, you only have a few hours to do the things you want before you need to sleep.
However, advancements in cryonics may allow people to achieve a fair balance between work or school and their personal life in the future.
What about those dreams to travel to Italy? Or Japan? Or wherever in the world you’ve been thinking of visiting. There are 195 countries in the world, yet, a UK study found that the average Brit has only visited less than 10. In Germany and France it’s even less. Germans visit on average 8 countries while in France the average is 5. That’s only 3-5% of the world explored. The fact is, most of us wish to be able to travel more. 77% of travelers in 2021 say they’d like to do so, but were unable to due to current global events. Not to mention, traveling takes up time. Think about how long it takes to fly somewhere: time to get to the airport, to check in, to get through security, the actual time traveling till you finally reach your destination.
And let’s not forget the cost. Traveling is expensive and not everyone can afford a week long holiday. So, if you want to take that week-long holiday, you will need to work in order to afford it. That’s more time spent working rather than time spent traveling.
The sad reality is that while there are a lot of things we all would like to do, we can only do so much. How many countries have you traveled to or how many are still left on your bucket list? Luckily, cryonics wants to give you more time.
Cryonics members have opted for the opportunity of an extended life. But how does cryonics hope to achieve this?
The overall purpose of cryonics is to halt the process of death so that people that were doomed to an early death, whether due to diseases that can’t be helped with modern medicine or a sudden accident, can be saved with future medical technologies.
While we can’t predict what these future technological advances will be, the aim is to give people who are unable to live a long, fulfilling life the chance to do so. For Matheryn Naovaratpong’s parents, that is their hope for their daughter who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, ependymoblastoma in 2014. She was cryopreserved in January 2018, making her the youngest cryopreserved patient.
Think of how many people with life-threatening diseases could potentially live a longer, healthier life in the future with the aid of cryonics?
As medical, technological and societal advancements have historically increased the longevity of humanity, scientists continue to study how we can extend our lives further. This is where longevity research comes into play.
Understanding what happens to our bodies as we age is key. For example, while a healthy, young body is equipped to fight diseases, as we age, these defenses weaken. We become susceptible to diseases and ailments that, in a younger body, would have had nowhere near as much difficulty dealing with. This is known as genomic instability. As cells replicate, and mutations and damages occur, over time we are less and less capable of fixing these issues. For a more detailed examination of what happens to our bodies as we age, we discuss this topic at length.
So what does this mean?
If we want more time in the future, learning how aging affects the body means that science and medical technologies can work to address and repair these issues, and maybe in the process, allow us to overcome old age and deadly diseases. If this can be achieved, people can have the option to decide how long they want to live.
The purpose of cryonics is not to grant immortality, but to allow people the chance to extend their lives and for however long they choose to. The possibility of future revival means that cryonics could provide the extra time we want in our lives. Whether we want to travel or learn a new skill or even a new profession, cryonics might be your best chance at an extended life. And who knows what the future will hold. Maybe we can finally learn how to hoverboard or teleport to locations of our choosing, or travel to distant planets.
So, do you want more time in your life?