Cryonics is the science of preserving the dead body by freezing the body in cold temperatures in an attempt to be able to revive them sometime in the future. The idea here is that when a person ‘dies’ of an incurable thing, he/she can be ‘frozen’ in time and then ‘revived’ when a cure is found. A person preserved this way is said to be in cryonic suspension.
There have been many cases when a person drowned in an icy lake and then were rescued after about an hour. The ones who have survived, did so because the icy water put their body into a sort of a suspended animation, slowing down their metabolism and their brain function, this caused them to not need oxygen to survive and hence they could survive in the icy lake for an hour or so.
However, cryonic is much different than being resuscitated after drowning in an icy lake. It is illegal to perform cryonic suspension on a person who is alive. The person who wants to undergo this procedure has to pronounced legally dead by the doctors.
But if a person is ‘legally dead’ how can they be revived?
A person is ‘legally dead’ if their heart has stopped beating. According to the students of cryonics, ‘legally dead’ is not the same as being ‘totally dead’. Totally dead is when the brain activity is completely stopped while legal death is when the heart has stopped beating but some cell function is functioning. This remaining cell function is preserved by the people performing cryonic suspension, to theoretically be able to revive them when science has advanced to that level.
Critics who have studied cryogenics have constantly said that the industry of cryogenics is milking people out of their money on a fake promise of immortality. Scientists who perform cryonics have also said that the actual procedure to revive a person has not yet been discovered.
Even though, no one has been revived from cryonic suspension yet, living organisms have been brought back from dead or a near dead state. Defibrillators and CPR bring back accident victims and heart attack patients. Neurosurgeons have been known to cool a patient’s body to operate on aneurysms (large blood vessels in the brain) without rupturing or damaging them. Human embryos are often frozen in fertility clinics, then defrosted and implanted into the mother’s uterus. They grow upto be perfectly normal human beings.
Cryobiologists believe that, nanotechnology would be able to develop a technology that would make reviving of cryonic suspension a reality. The hope that they have is that nanotechnology would be able to repair not only the cell damage caused by the freezing process, but also the damage caused by ageing and diseases.