Would you pay to have your dead body frozen? How about your head? Cryonics anyone?
Did you ever hear of cryonics? I came across an article a few months ago and it got me very curious, enough to want to find out more about it. I had never looked into it before. Do people actually buy into it? How does it work? How much does it cost?
We all (those of us interested in personal finance and financial independence) plan for our future: our career path, our travel plans, our kid’s activities and education, our retirement, our journey towards financial independence and freedom. Then we plan a little past that point to ensure we don’t leave our loved ones without a good transition plan, simply by having a will, doing some estate planning or even plan and pay for our funeral (now that’s planning!).
But how many of us think about the future of our dead body? I mean, I have, briefly, because I don’t like bugs and critters so I want everybody to know I want to be cremated. I don’t need to think beyond that. It is a personal choice (for others it could be a cultural or religious choice) but nobody would likely call me crazy for it!
But while some of us plan our living years and a little beyond, others are actually planning their “afterlife” life! And it’s not cheap.
Welcome to the world of Cryonics!
What Is Cryonics?
Not to be confused with Cryogenics (Branch of physics that deals with the production and effects of very low temperatures – Source: Merriam Webster)
Cryonics is the practice or technique of deep-freezing the bodies of people who have just died, in the hope that scientific advances may allow them to be revived in the future. (Source: Oxford Dictionary)
“Cryonics procedures can only begin after legal death, and cryonics “patients” are legally dead. Cryonics procedures ideally begin within minutes of death, and use cryoprotectants to prevent ice formation during cryopreservation. The first corpse to be cryopreserved was that of Dr. James Bedford in 1967. As of 2014, about 250 bodies were cryopreserved in the United States, and 1,500 people had made arrangements for cryopreservation after their legal death.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Does It Sound Crazy?
It does to me! Why would you want to “wake up” years from now, when all your friends and family are no longer around? (Unless you all do it I guess)
And how would you manage financially? I didn’t see anything, in the documents I read, about special trust accounts but I guess it’s probably available somewhere at an additional cost. How about housing? Would you just show up at your great (or even greater) grandchildren’s house? It sounds insane!
Even more puzzling, you can select to only freeze your head!! Why??
Why Should You Do It?
Here are some of the “selling” points the Cryonics Institute is making:
Life is priceless! Imagine a world free of disease, death and aging. They believe that day is inevitably coming and cryonics is presently the best chance of getting there.
Another chance at life: Your chance to live a renewed life in the future.
Future Cures for Today’s Diseases: Future medicine will eliminate debilitating and fatal diseases to significantly improve quality of life.
Witness the Future: Don’t just imagine the world of the future – personally experience space travel, virtual reality and the other incredible things to come
Renewed Youth and Health: The potential to stop or even reverse the aging process.
- Reunite with loved one! (Not to be negative but your loved ones are gone! And your great-grandchildren may not want you around!)
Want to find out more? Check out those two sites, both companies offer cryonics:
How Much Does It Cost?
Here is an excerpt from their membership page:
“There are two classes of CI Membership. A Lifetime Member pays a one-time fee of $1,250 and can arrange for cryopreservation at CI for $28,000, usually by making CI the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Other close family members can join for an additional $625 (there is no charge for minor children). An Annual (or Yearly) Member pays a $75 initiation fee plus $120 yearly (or $35 quarterly) and can arrange for cryopreservation at CI for $35,000. Every Yearly Membership family member must pay the same price. Neither of these fees include the cost of preparation or shipment by a local funeral director, which must be arranged separately.”
Alcor Life Extension Foundation:
- $200,000 for a whole-body preservation. That’s right, $200,000!!!
- Your head? Only $80,000!
- And you can freeze your pets too! (Maybe they don’t want to be frozen?)
Plus there are surcharges and membership fees, you can read all about it here.
Don’t worry about the cash, you can sign your life insurance over to them!
Two (of many) interesting articles:
- Would you pay $80,000 to freeze your head… , see excerpt below:
“Each body is wrapped in a sleeping bag of sorts, placed in an aluminum pod, and then slid straight down into the canister with three other bodies, along with five heads in the center column. The tubes are “basically gigantic, very expensive thermal flasks,” More explained, turning on the lights. The walls are multiplated, and while a backup power generator supports the room, More assured me that power isn’t necessary to keep the frozen from thawing, at least not for a few weeks.” ( Source: Mary Pilon )
- The false science of cryonics from MIT Technology Review
Honestly, I am probably too simple and also maybe too narrow-minded on this one (sometimes you can’t accept things you don’t understand) but to me it looks like a money grabbing business! It seems insane to consider freezing your body so you can “wake up” in the future. I would be more open to it if it was done in a medical research environment, at no cost. Or maybe it scares me and I am not ready for that type of science to ever work at all.
How About You? Would You Pay To Have Your Dead Body Frozen?
We all have different opinions and I can’t wait to hear from you on this topic. What are your thoughts about Cryonics? Would you consider doing it? Why, why not? Medical and philosophical opinions welcome.
Please pin me:)