Friday, November 18, 2016

Cryogenically frozen for years: then what?

From the BBC - the story is carried by many outlets.
"A 14-year-old girl who wanted her body to be preserved, in case she could be cured in the future, won a historic legal fight shortly before her death.

The girl, who was terminally ill with a rare cancer, was supported by her mother in her wish to be cryogenically preserved - but not by her father.

She wrote to the judge explaining that she wanted "to live longer" and did not want "to be buried underground".

The girl, who died in October, has been taken to the US and preserved there."
Her letter is quite poignant.
"I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done.

"I am only 14 years old and I don't want to die but I know I am going to die.

"I think being cryopreserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up - even in hundreds of years' time.

"I don't want to be buried underground.

"I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up.

"I want to have this chance.

"This is my wish."

In order of likelihood, most likely first.

  1. Civil disturbances result in loss of cooling sometime over the coming centuries.
  2. The best they can do is clone her from her DNA - so no memories.
  3. They scan her brain and recreate her mind in a total VR simulation.
  4. She is resurrected as a physical android with brain emulation.
  5. They scan her brain, run her mind as an emulation controlling a biological clone body.

The most unlikely option? She gets thawed out, they fix freezing damage and her cancer, and she resumes life in the future.


Brain scanning was discussed in Robin Hanson's book. Em stands for 'brain emulation' via scanning.

In this scenario, the girl (like other cryonauts) becomes a human time capsule, a resource for future historians.

No-one seems to dispute that both neurological and other organic damage will result from the cryogenic process. Presumably a sufficiently robust scanning procedure could review, edit and fix errors - mostly.

We don't have the faintest glimmerings today of such technology.

1 comment:

  1. Actually the most likely outcome is that the Cryogenics company goes out of business before any medical advances happen. I read somewhere that that had already happened with one of the early 1970s California companies, and that everybody was thawed and buried in the normal way. I haven't found an online reference yet.


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