From the outside you’d think it’s just a normal facility like any other, but when you look inside the Alcor Life Extension Foundation contains frozen dead bodies of hundreds of patients with the hope that one day science will bring them back to life.
For ‘just’ $200k people can freeze their bodies in a high-tech freezer, but there’s a downsell option to freeze your brain for just $80k.
Alcor’s Headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona (pictured below) looks like any other warehouse, but inside it contains hundreds of frozen people in hopes that one day science will advance to revive those bodies back to life.
Currently this facility has 199 bodies stored in liquid nitrogen keeping the bodies at -135 degrees C – a temperature so cold it stops all cellular function and preserves their state until defrost.
People who have invested in their services hope that one day they’ll reunite with their loved ones.
A two year old Thai girl (left) who died of brain cancer is one of the youngest in the facility. Her family already made the decision to be stored with her in hopes to rejoin her in the future. On the right, computer scientist and early bitcoin investor Hal Finney was stored in 2014 after he died from complications with ALS.
However, people are also concerned about the serious moral and ethical concerns of this practice.
Max More, the CEO, admitted that the firm doesn’t know when technology will advance enough to revive the patients.
The price of the service can often drain a person’s bank account, and often consume massive portion of their life-insurance payout, but hope is the one thing that drains last.
To become a member in this facility, a person over 18 years must pay 200$ annual fee – with dues growing with the age a person chooses to sign up at.
A non-member whose loved ones wish to have them frozen must rack-up an additional $20,000. If a person ends up dying outside of the US or Canada pays an additional $10,000 cost to have their remains retrieved.
People who take the option to be frozen, and rack-up $200k, after death are placed in large metallic cylinders. Four bodies can fit in each cylinder and around five brains can fit in the slot of one body. The computers do not run on electricity and are filled with liquid nitrogen once a week.
Mr. Moore, the CEO of Alcor, is hopeful that this technology will advance in the near future for people to reunite with their loved ones, but some experts highly disagree.
Dr. Michael Hendricks, a biologist at Canada’s McGill University, wrote in 2015 that even with a person’s nervous system mapped out before they go into freezing, it is impossible to fully replicate a person.
‘A map of connections is not sufficient to simulate, let alone replicate, a nervous system, and that there are enormous barriers to achieving immortality in silico.
‘First, what information is required to replicate a human mind? Second, do current or foreseeable freezing methods preserve the necessary information, and how will this information be recovered?
‘Third, and most confounding to our intuition, would a simulation really be “you”?’
‘While it might be theoretically possible to preserve these features in dead tissue, that certainly is not happening now,’ he continued.
‘The technology to do so, let alone the ability to read this information back out of such a specimen, does not yet exist even in principle.’
‘No one who has experienced the disbelief of losing a loved one can help but sympathize with someone who pays $80,000 to freeze their brain,’ he states.
‘But reanimation or simulation is an abjectly false hope that is beyond the promise of technology and is certainly impossible with the frozen, dead tissue offered by the “cryonics” industry.
‘Those who profit from this hope deserve our anger and contempt.’
Do you agree with Dr. Michael Hendricks, or you still believe people should rack-up an enormous amount of money in hopes that one day they’ll reunite?
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