Friday, December 22, 2006
Would you buy immortality?
Do you want to live forever? My gut reaction to this question has always been a resounding, "No way!" I have no desire to outlive my loved ones and to endure the aches and pains of old age on my own.

But what if you could die, then come back hundreds of years later with a new body? What if you weren't alone? What if your children, your spouse, even the family pet could come back with you? Well then...maybe I'd reconsider.

Recently, I met a group of people who believe that scenario will one day become reality. It's called cryonics. In short, it's the deep-freezing of human bodies immediately after death for preservation and possible revival in the future. Believers call themselves cryonicists and they pay big money. It costs $150,000 for the whole body and about half that for just the brain and head. There are discounts for entire families and pets.

I'm sure you've heard of cryonics. It's been spoofed in countless movies. Many people think Walt Disney (false) and baseball great Ted Williams (true) are resting in liquid nitrogen indefinitely. The hope is that one day, technology will advance to the point where cryonicists will be revived from their frozen state.

Sound unlikely? Yes, it does to me too, but spending time listening to some of the cryonicists' arguments have made me just a little less skeptical. They point to the exponential rate of technological advances. As for me, it does make me consider all the medical procedures that were simply mind-boggling just decades ago. Dialysis allows people with kidney disease to live longer, healthier lives. Operating on fetuses still in the womb is commonplace. Brain surgery can be done without incision.

Cryonicists see the transport of chilled organs and tissue for transplants as a step in the right direction. Doctors at Harvard Medical School are working on a process similar to suspended animation. They can take severely injured pigs, the size of humans, and slow down their body's functions, just long enough to mend their traumatic injuries. When the pigs are revived they show no sign of cognitive loss.

To be clear, most doctors we spoke to said it's unthinkable that cryonics will ever become a reality. After all, we're still talking about bringing someone back from death.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta will examine the medical possibilities of cryonics in a report airing on CNN tonight on Paula Zahn Now at 8pm Eastern and this weekend. You'll also meet some of the people who are planning for their future...their very distant future...that is.

Let us know what you think? How much would you pay to buy immortality?
Open Your Eyes:
I think cryonics is interesting. However, I wonder about the irreversible damage that is caused to such organs shortly after one dies, such as lack of blood flow and anoxic injury to tissues and most importantly to the brain. Will these changes that are seen in one's organs be reversible? Does freezing oneself preserve the body's integrity and does it have to be done immediately after death?
I wouldn't wish imortality on my worst enemy. Medical science has turned human beings into weak and feable organisms by circumventing the process of life and death. The fact that we live longer than humans before us has nothing to do with living a full or meaningful life. More is not better... that includes food, sex, exercise and life itself.
Oh BTW, if we figure out how to be imortal, we are really in trouble. The entire earth would become one big mass of stinking human bodies without the ability to move anywhere.
Deutormy: 32:39 - I kill & I make alive
and theirbis None that can deliver out of my hand. We already have someone filling that job now, let's try just living the life he gave us.
I would not want to live forever.. I just think that when its your time to go, its time to go.
Intill the life force (a soul) can be minipulated and controled i doubt that just by attaching a body to a 600 year old frozen head would work where would you find a already live human or other futuristic source that would be sutable for attaching a head in the first place. Scientist have cloned live animlas and have made great advances in medicine but they still have no idea how to create life from scratch. Intill they do i fear those frozen heads and bodys are just a frozen ice cube on the silver tray of unreality.
I ALREADY have the promise of immortality-I'll have Eternal life because I'm saved by believing Jesus died for us all. So that's Immortal enough for me.
I think that immortality is a grand idea and as medical science evoloves people's life expetancies will rise as see more and more supercentenarians today. However, the challenge is to incresae the quality of life as we age and science should focus on ways to increase the quality of life for thosde living longer
No I would not want immortality but in a way I would like to come back in say 500 years and see where the world is at, if the world still exsists. I would like to be a fly on the world view though and not have the feelings that go with loss and anguish knowing that all my loved ones have long been gone. Once I die though all these questions of life will be answered and the desire will not exsist

Debt Free
It is writen in Revalations that 144 thousand times 2 will make it into Heaven. Death is our fait no matter if we live a long or short life. I am not one to judge and I will leave it up to Jesus the son of God, to determine my fait if I live a long or short life.
Immortality? Please, God, no. I would pay a hefty lump sum for whatever futuristic procedure would assure that I would live a healthy and comfortable normal lifespan. We need to be paying much less attention to protracting life through heroic medicine and much more attention to assuring a decent quality of life to a reasonable age. We need to rethink these heinous medical costs to keep not-really-viable newborns technically alive at one end of the lifeline and to protract technical life, in misery, of the very sick and very old. I find both a horrific waste and a real cruelty to the patients involved.
While only time will tell whether or not the promise of cryonics will ever be realized it is quite obvious that only those who are willing to undergo postmortem cryo preservation will see the benefits. The chances of successful revival may be vanishingly small, but they are infinitely higher than those of persons whom undergo more traditional burial or cremation.
What do you have to lose? You're going to "die" anyway.
Anyone who wants to live a long time in this world is out of their minds.
To the skeptics:
We have proven time and again that somehow humans find a way to prove the impossible or improbable quite possible. The world is round, man can fly and scary as it is... human cloning is either just around the corner or already in process without our knowing. Cryonics is not as far away as it seems many would like to think. We need to plan for events like this (imagine social security problems : ), not turn a blind eye. Technology and science will develop exponentially and given that constant it seems to me just that many of us simply cannot count that high.
Why would anyone want to live forever in this body and on this earth anyway??If you have any faith at all you know that the soul leaves the body at death and either heads north or south, and you know what I mean! The "body" may be able to be frozen but I'd like to see a person try to get their soul to go back into their body! Actually I know I'll be living forever, in a body that will never feel pain or hurt or cry or possibly melt being frozen for hundrends of years. Its called heaven and it will be with my Heavenly Father. Good luck to you all who think you can come back someday. I pity you.
I would not want to buy immortality at all. First of all, why is it that cryonicists assume that the person who is brought back to life is the same person? Do they not think about what happens when a person has died? I think cryonicists need to figure out what happens to the person itself after dying. If one believes that the soul of the dead person goes to heaven, then who exactly is being brought back to life? I have a heavy suspicion that the person being brought back to life again is not the same person as before.
in the late sixties THE LIFE EXTENSION SOCIETY was a well known cryogenic group in certain circles. i had a good friend who lived at millbrook with timothy leary who introduced me and i was deeply intrigued. my family howled. it was a such an offbeat idea. now almost 50 years later the story is HOT. i definately believe walt is in liquid nitrogen. i'm interested again; closer to such ideas and more able to commit. i need to find out just how much that would really cost and how to sign up. then i would need to win lotto so my son, daughter, son-in-law and baby grandson could follow suit. anyway, the future seems to be catching up with the past so why not? we need people in the future who lived through global warming,etc. we need people able to convince us that this is not a science fiction movie. its all really happening. al gore take note. we need you now and then!
Certainly, the duration of a life is not a measure of it's quality. For some afflicted with terrible disease, pain and lacking any hope, a life measured in minutes may seem too long. But if science could provide immortality with a high quality of life than I am sure I would be there at the end of the universe asking, is it over already? I could easily spend many lifetimes getting to know my country and people let alone my planet, my solar system, and so ad infinitum. Many people of faith believe that death will deliver them to someplace better. But for me, life in this universe is far too amazing to ever want to leave.
I would absolutely love to be able to be revived in the future, years after I die. It would be fascinating. I feel sorry for those living without the imagination and curiosity to drive the desire to live far into the future. Hopefully we will come up with a cure for mortality without having to die first.
Just imagine the many problems that will come around when this is made possible. People would be living along with their great-grandchilldren and social security problems would be on the high.
Live "forever", probably not. A few billion years? Absolutely! The universe is a big place and there's a lot to see :)
My existing life is burden enough, why would I want another or to extend it? Also, I am not willing to pay the price of eating hundreds of other mammals or sea life just to sustain my own existence. Like I said, one life is burden enough.
Technology has been advanced to better serve humans and help them live their lives easier. Now if we use these technological tools to increase the human life to a point of even immorality, the primary purpose of technology is erased. I think emotionally speaking, it would be a good idea to keep loved ones forever, but practically speaking, this isn't a good idea.
What about the frogs that freeze, virtually die, and then thaw out and come back to life?
When I'm gone I want to be gone. No afterlife or such. Besides who believes in that junk.
Immortality is already here. It was brought about by the first person who suggesting the idea to an open ear. If you need me to explain how it works you may never understand it, but it sure is fun trying to... it's also driven by our curiousity of the unknown. Think it and tell someone abou it and eventually someone will come along and make it happen. I give Kudo's to anyone who dares to push the boundries of space and time and I'd back up anyone who has desire and passion for creating, afterall it's what we do best!

"Miles of Smiles!" <-- (coin that)
What many in the medical field don't understand about the human race is that when God created man, he created them with a spirit, a soul, and a body. The medical field can treat problems associated with the physical body, and psychologist can help to heal a damaged soul which encompasses a person's mind, emotions, and will power. However many fail to recognize that man was created with a spiritual nature as well. When the spirit of that person leaves their body, then the body itself will cease to funtion. It is the spirit in a person that truely gives them life. It will be impossible to revive the person back to life if this occurs. Only God can send the spirit back into a person's body, and restore life to them again.
Fitcentric has great products and courses to ride on. Tacx the large Bike Trainer Company has very good VR Trainers and reallife videos to ride in. PS2 and 3 also have interactive programs that put you in the games or working with vitual health trainers using their eye toy camera.
Death does not have to be a fact of life. We already know that aging is a disease, like cancer - our cells are programmed to die and degrade, and they will eventually be programmed not to. Diseases and medical conditions are being phased out and managed more and more by every decade. Those of you who don't want to live forever: I feel sorry for you, because you must not like your life. I do want to live forever because as far as I know, this is it - this is all there is. If it turns out that there is an afterlife, that's great, but as a thinking human being, it's my obligation to ensure my own survival because the alternative may well be nothingness.

As for filling up the planet with people: there are 60 million earth like planets in our galaxy alone. Surely, by the time the technology exists to revive frozen brains (and hopefully the stored memories/skills/experiences along with them), and/or to do away with aging/disease/dying, we'll be able to easily travel to another rock and populate it. This planet isn't the be all end all: I challenge everyone to question death: just because everyone else has died, doesn't mean you have to accept it. We as a people can focus on technologies to extend life indefinitely, if we really want to.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
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