My forthcoming book ‘#Lazarus10’ dwells on a few themes, life after death being one of them and what being clinically dead actually means.
I’m thinking, in the UK anyway, that cryogenics isn’t taken that seriously. At least, not as seriously as it’s taken in the States. There is something in the region of 260 people cryonically preserved in the United States.
Cryogenics is the science of freezing things at very low temperatures, ‘cryonics’ is that science applied specifically to humans.
In recent years, the industry has picked up a bit. People are taking out policies, where they pay in an amount every month towards their deep freeze via Nitrogen, once they’re declared dead.
For around $200K, you can preserve your whole body and for $80K just your head, known in the trade as a ‘Neuro’. The thinking being, that one’s personality, one’s identity, is contained solely in the brain and, should science keep moving forward, it would become possible at some point in the future to either graft a head onto a new body, or even grow a new body, once the small matter of bringing someone back had been resolved.
The principal cryonics company in the States ALCOR, argues that our current definition of death is open to interpretation. That its definition and recognised placement has changed quite dramatically, over the years.
Where someone would have been declared dead after their heart stopped a few decades ago, is patently not the case any more, so therefore what we regard as clinically dead now is just an arbitrary line, that will no doubt move yet again in the near future.
What ALCOR therefore declare they do is preserve people prior to ‘death’, in the belief that- at some point in the future- those people can then be ‘rescued’, once technology has caught up a bit.