Cryogenics sounds like the stuff of science fiction. But if it meant a chance (however slim) at prolonging your life, would you have your body frozen?
According to the CBC, 23-year-old Kim Suozzi is making a plea to for donations to have her body cryogenically preserved, in the hope she can be resurrected in the future. Ms. Suozzi is terminally ill with brain cancer and expects to have less than six months to live.
In a heartbreakingly frank Youtube video, she explained her situation: “Like it or not, I’m probably going to die soon from brain cancer … I’m interested in cryopreservation because this is really the last thing I can do to try to live longer. It’s not that I’m scared of dying but I don’t want to die knowing that I could have done something more.”
Ms. Suozzi acknowledged there are problems with the preservation process (more on that in a moment), but she noted: “It’s a long shot, but I think it’s worth it. But if it does work, the payoff will be huge.”
CBC reports the procedure, offered by Michigan’s Crygogenics Institute, may cost up to $35,000. A website has been set up on her behalf to receive donations. By Aug. 31, she had raised $27,000 (U.S.).
Incredibly, more than 200 bodies are cryogenically preserved and stored in freezing facilities around the world, according to The Independent. About 1,000 more people have signed up for it. The Independent explains how it works: The individual is placed in a bath of icy water immediately after death. Then the blood is replaced with something called a cryoprotectant fluid, which prevents ice from forming in the cells. The body (or in some cases only the brain) is then put in a sleeping bag and stored in a vat that resembles a giant Thermos flask, where it is cooled to -196 C.
“The only stage remaining after that, of course, would be for them to be revived,” The Independent says.
As the CBC points out, reaction to Ms. Suozzi’s fundraising has been mixed. Some Reddit commenters have said she should accept her condition, while others have opened their hearts and their wallets.
If you were faced with a fatal illness, what would you do?