Would cryonic suspension be worth it?
By Carole Christman Koch
I just read in the paper some guy wishes to have his head frozen. Mainly, he’s anticipating that future scientists will have discovered a way to cure a tumor or how to reattach a decapitated head to a healthy body. This procedure, where all or parts of a body are preserved in a deep freeze, is called cryonic suspension.
I’d certainly have to call our insurance company. If my husband considers this alternative, what would be the death benefits, or should I say iced benefits for the surviving spouse and children? I wonder if they’d even consider giving us anything, knowing he’d be living again in the future. I wonder if we’d have to draw up a new will, or maybe it would be called an immortality will. There certainly would be lots of new terminology involved. Things like the deceased would be changed to iced. Are the assets yours to keep when one “comes back” or do I bequeath them to the children? Of course, studying this new terminology would be the responsibility of the lawyers. Why worry over nonsensical things?
You know, when I think about it, nobody would get to cry at my funeral. I wonder if I’d miss people not crying over me. Would I feel cheated? After all, I’ve been to plenty of funerals and did my share of crying. And what if one of us just gets their head iced, do you invite the family and friends to pay their respects to the torso?
Even newspapers would have to change things a bit. How would they announce my demise? They wouldn’t be able to list it under obituaries. Maybe a new column could be started, like ICED — JOHN DOE’S HEAD HAS BEEN ICED AS OF JUNE 12, 2002. THE REST OF HIS BODY CAN BE VIEWED AT… Well, it’s a start.
Of course, we’d have to consider the financial aspect of cryonic suspension. Considering the astronomical expense of funeral, burial, and tombstone being iced might be the cheaper alternative. After all, how much would it cost to freeze a body? I wonder, too, if these 2-Koch Ice Foundations charge less for an arm versus a whole body. I doubt one will need perpetual care. I don’t think dust collects in an enclosed freezer. On the other hand, what if there is a black out and the electric goes off for hours? What if the country’s economic situation goes in a slump and the foundation goes out of business? Would they just pull the plug and let my body parts thaw out? I’d really be in trouble if scientists haven’t invented a cure for what I was going to die of in the first place.
In looking ahead, I’d have to determine if it’s all worth it. I’ve always been vain about my body. I just take a 30-minute bathtub lounge, my body shrivels up from size 16 to size 10. What would years of being frozen via cryonic suspension do to my body? They’d have to guarantee that my body would look better than it does now. Absolutely!
Then, too, suppose I only freeze my head and decide to be thawed out in the year 2500. It’s a problem nowadays having access to organ donations. Would anyone in the year 2500 want my head on their 26th century body? Since the beginning of time, we have progressed in wisdom and stature. By the year 2500 the normal IQ could be 500. Who would want my 20th century IQ?
You know, my husband, children, and family mean a lot to me. I wonder how a great-great-great-great grandchild would treat me. Would they love this thawed out person in another’s body like my grandchildren do today? I wouldn’t know anyone. I’d imagine, upon waking up, I’d have to spend lots of time at the library. I’d certainly have to catch up on years of history in order to have a normal conversation with someone. I wouldn’t have much time for a social life, that’s for sure. What if my family moved to another planet? I’m so accustomed to earth. Yet, if my family of future relatives is on planet Mars, I’d have to move.
The more I think on this, even though I’d be cured of the disease I would have died of, my frail, wrinkled body could pick up a new 26th century disease. I could die the day after being thawed!
I think I’ll just forget the whole thing!