2015-04-25 (Sa) Cryonics Roundtable Discussion

On Saturday I attended a roundtable MeetUp with the Twin Cities Plus group. The subject of the discussion was cryonics. Before the gathering I didn't know the difference between cryonics and cryogenics. 
Cryogenics is the study of the production and behaviour of materials at very low temperatures (below −150 °C, −238 °F or 123 K).
Cryonics is the low-temperature preservation of animals and humans who cannot be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future. 
To begin we watch a video tour of the Cryonics Institute est 1972. Following the video was a video conference call with Mr. Dennis Kowalski the president of the Cryonics Institute.

Mr. Kowalski is a volunteer firefighter and Nationally Registered EMT-Paramedic. His knowledge of cryonics was impressive but his frankness about the procedure was the most impressive. He admitted early on that there is no reliable way to store a person cryonically and revive them. Even organs have not been able to be completely revived after reaching liquid nitrogen temperature.

The video explains candidly how the vitrification process is performed. The video is not graphic but very sensitive people may find the discussion difficult to accept. Probably not the people who read this blog though. Dennis Kowalski's frankness did not abate when he admitted there is damage done by the vitrification process and the extent is unknown from patient to patient.

By the end the most impressive thing Dennis Kowalski said was cryonics was an "ambulance to the future." And there may not be a hospital there. But he added that a person who is buried or cremated has a zero percent chance arriving but a cryonic's patient has a greater-than-zero chance.

My opinion of cryonics doesn't exist. Simply knowing the technology exists is exciting. Sort of. The science of preserving someone exists but reviving them from this particular process hasn't been proving. If I were to find out that my expected lifespan could be measured in a small day planner I would probably have a very different view on cryonics.

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2015-04-25 (Sa)