Cryonics: The Science of Immortality? 

Aug 10, 2023, 05:22 PM IST

Cryonics: The Science of Immortality? 

Riya Teotia

What is cryonics? 

It is a science to save life by using temperatures so cold that a person beyond help by today’s medicine can be preserved for decades, even centuries, until some new medical technology in future can restore that person to full health. 

Concept of cryonics 

Cryonics is based on the belief that a human survives even within an inactive, badly damaged brain, provided the original encoding of memory, can be adequately inferred and reconstituted from what remains. 

Legally dead vs totally dead 

Total death is the point at which all brain function ceases. Legal death occurs when the heart has stopped beating, but some cellular brain function remains. 

The first case of cryonics 

James Bedford, an American psychology professor at the University of California, is the first person whose body was cryopreserved after legal death and remains preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation to the present day. 

Cryonics in practice 

As of 2014, about 250 bodies had been cryopreserved in the United States, and 1,500 people have made arrangements for cryopreservation of their corpses. 

Cryonics in India 

As of now, there is no law in India to regulate cryonics. 

Criticism of Cryonics 

Cryonics is regarded with scepticism within the mainstream scientific community. It is generally viewed as a pseudoscience, and its practice has been characterised as quackery.