The Current

Cryopreservation: A freezing way to beat death?

A young Missouri woman's fundraising efforts to have herself frozen until a cure is found for her cancer renews the debate over whether the technology is desirable -- or even possible.
It is called Cryopreservation - the process of freezing the dead to bring them back to life in a future full of cures. Two weeks ago, a 23 year old with brain cancer died in the U.S. after raising money online to be preserved, setting off a debate not just about the science but of the acceptance of death.

Cryopreservation: A freezing way to beat death?

Kim Suozzi looked into the abyss when she was just 23. Then she looked into a technology that just might give her some more time.

Kim Suozzi died on January 17th. With help from friends, family and a lot of sympathetic strangers online, she raised enough money to pay for cryonic preservation.

Today, her body remains in the care of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit cryonics organization where it will remain in the hopes of a scientific breakthrough that could resurrect her.

Our next guest was instrumental in fulfilling Kim Suozzi's dying wish. Shannon Vyff, is a volunteer for the Society for Venturism, a pro-cryonics non-profit. She was in Lubbock, Texas.

And Christine Gaspar is President of the Cryonics Society of Canada. She was in our Toronto studio.

Cryopreservation: A freezing way to beat death? - Essayist/Cartoonist

The chance to start over with a fresh slate -- is intoxicating, even if it is just a fantasy. Before there were technological promises, people typically turned to religion to remove death's sting.

But there is a pretty good chance none of us is going to get out of this alive no matter what we believe. What exactly do these avoidance strategies say about the lives we live?

To talk about this, we were joined by Tim Kreider. He is an essayist, cartoonist and author of We Learn Nothing. He was in New York.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins.

Last Word - Father of Cryonics, Robert Ettinger

We've been talking today about freezing the dead for future resuscitation and the concept can hardly be discussed without mentioning the Cryonics Institute, founded by the so-called father of cryonics, Robert Ettinger.

Mr. Ettinger is stored in one of the Michigan centre's tanks along with his mother and two wives. The Cryonics Institute's Ben Best, shows off the facility on Youtube, and several relatives and future clients drop in for a visit. Whatever else they may have in common, they share a powerful optimism for the future.

They get today's Last Word. And who knows? Maybe they'll get Last Laugh as well.

Other segments from today's show:

Are we ready to stop asking "Are we ready?"

Historical Morgentaler decision marks 25th anniversary


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