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Cryonics: Death in the Deep Freeze

Ratings: 7.65/10 from 17 users.

Cryonics: Death in the Deep FreezeThe first ever footage of a person being cryonically frozen is to be broadcast in a Channel Five documentary that will follow a woman who is terminally ill with cancer before and after her death.

We're really very proud of what we have achieved with this programme - the human and emotional journey we captured with one contributor in particular, filming prior to her death and the subsequent process of her preservation, in conjunction with the amazing scientific and ethical questions raised by this subject, makes for one of our most challenging and fascinating productions to date.

Filming was earlier this year, according the Alcor newsletter; I'm hoping this turns out to have more of a respectful positioning than the Guardian article suggests.

Cryonics is an essential insurance policy; the best and only option available to all too many people who will die before the onset of meaningful healthy life extension technologies.

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73 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jess

    Obviously, this technology is still undergoing development, testing, research etc, but considering the heated comments in this thread, you can't deny it is riveting.

    Just like deciding on cremation, burial, being shot out of a canon, donating your body to science, or burning at sea like a Viking, what you do after you 'clinically' die is your choice. The religious community shouldn't be picketing your choice to participate in scientific research like this, as I would imagine they wouldn't picked your right to donate your organs to another patient.

    Religious or not, let's please try to keep an open mind. I'm sure if you look at any significant discovery, there were people there protesting it's moral/ethical grounds.

    Science is exhilarating, religion is an opinion, capital letters don't make your arguments any more valid, and your spelling errors further reduce the effectiveness of your argument.

  2. tim

    So, im a christian to start off with but i wanna say a few things first and foremost the human soul is scientifically proven that we all have one, look it up. Second, has any animal or human from the ice age been reanimated......... No becuz its not possible frozen to death means ur soul leaves. And if u believers of science fiction actually think this could happen take a mintue and watch a scifi movie and tell me what happens when u reanimate a human without a soul they crawl out of the ground looking to eat human flesh, REALLY thats not something i wanna see so when im sitting in heaven watching ill be shaking my head saying u should have paid more attention to the movies lol. And to the christian haters i wish yall the best but my retirement plan is better than urs. My spelling not so much but YHWH doesnt care, so its all good.

  3. Greg Zeng

    Gerontocrasy is still not well developed. The limited knowledge of ageing is not widespread. Older surviving cripples like me are being created everyday by the medical sciences.

    Thirty years ago, car accident victims like myself died, or became vegetables in nursing homes. In our physically limited lives, we cripples share with the naturally aged people, the same fantasies of the medically ignorant people. We have dreams of physical exercise. Aged-type living happens to medical cripples of all ages, including dreams & fantasies.

    We get our meaning in life from our MIND, not our BODY. Eventually the medical maintenance of our body, like the maintenance of very used cars, becomes too costly.

    Trying to repair or re-build old bodies reaching the point of crazy costs. So we must plying to an the life of our "minds" to fit the lifespan of our bodies. Society, nor myself can NOT AFFORD the costs to merely keep my greatly depreciated "body" functioning. Eventually I will turn off the switch to my BODY.

    ATM the internet allows my insights, wisdom & experiences to be beneficial to the Planet Earth before I reach termination. Long live the Internet. without the many national agencies trying to silence us. After death of our BODY, perhaps cryonics might enable some of us to continue living with our MINDS.

  4. Philip Finn

    I think about this in the same light as commercial exploration of space - there is no motivation, NONE, to care about anything but the present-day investors. There's no reason to believe anyone going on a decades long exploration of Mars will be continually supplied with provisions, and neither is there any reason to think that even if medical science progresses anyone will be motivated to fund breakthrough technology for reviving a relative handful of corpses.


    "who want to live forever" I' do not want to wake up in 2090 I' would feel so alone and disconected all the peoples I' know would not be around anymore no but no this is just another business who taking your money and you stupid enough to believe just like the Pharaohs who believed they actually will live forever if they been mummyfied and look how pretty they are

  6. Robyn318

    This isnt for me; if given a choice I would rather go back in time where I have an intellectual advantage. Say it takes another 100 years before they are able to thaw you with your consciousness intact; that would be like going to sleep with a grasp of 1912 technology and waking up to 2012 technology…you would be an intellectual Neanderthal.

    1. Shah Abdul Gaboar

      i suppose you can freeze yourself long enough till time machine comes along, then fix whatever disease you might have before travelling back to the past.
      Although, I'm pretty sure they will have something like a cryogenics coping counseling sessions for those who where unfrozen from the past to make sure they adapt to the life in the future. Either way, future solves all your problems

  7. Crystal

    What happen's to the bodies when they lack the funding to contiue?

  8. SheSang

    These people fully realise that this could very well just NOT happen. But it gives them some hope that allows them to face death without fear. The money would have just gone to cremation or a burial. So why not do it this way?

  9. Ramona Erdman

    They way research is going with trans genetics and the DNA and more that they are doing alot of and that is not put on the news or in newspapers it would not be a suprise that one day this is possible.

  10. Oluwafemi Akinwa

    People just don't get it. There's more to humans than just flesh, bones and nerves. Humans are spirits. The body is just a container for that spirit. Freezing the body will only "switch it off". At that point, the spirit leaves the body and there's nothing you can do to bring it back.

    1. Sean Connor

      That's just like... your opinion, man...

    2. Me

      this is ur belief not fact. thats why you refer to the root of your opinion as faith not fact

    3. Kevin Rands


    4. evelyn zygalo

      I completely agree with you.

    5. Trevis Robotie

      Femi,if you never try,you don't stand a chance in finding out....

  11. Brooke Little

    I mean the Dr's are saying this is ridiculous but you have some lady who just owns a business says... SURE COME ON IN IT WORKS!!

  12. Brooke Little

    What kills me is the leader of the Alcove place... She isn't even a FREAKING DR!!!! WHO WOULD TRUST HER!!!

  13. sam

    man... we can't even preserve food without mistakes. I got pork chops with freezer burn.

  14. Landra Smallacombe

    Anyone who wants this is the epitome of selfish. People are STARVING to death this very second yet you spend THOUSANDS to live AGAIN? If you have that much EXTRA cash laying around maybe help someone live through their first life? What happens when no one dies, ever? We live life, enjoy it and pass on to make room for the next person.
    Thank god I won't be around for when the world goes to shit because people want to live forever.

    1. Liza

      How if we stop breeding like rabbits and adopt from poor countries instead of contributing to overpopulation instead?

    2. R L

      There is a reason people in the third world have so many kids. Adopting the ones they do have will (a) not reduce the number of people, nor (b) increase the number of people living in the society (ours) that feeds on poor labor, and will (c) cause the poor to have even more kids, since the reason they have kids is usually to increase output of (usually farm) labor. Of course some of them just don't have physical or cultural access to birth control I think you have good aims, but adopting from poor countries is not a good answer. We need to stop consuming so much that is produced by the poor. You are right that we need to stop breeding like rabbits here, but our numbers are nothing compared to growth rates in poor countries. Maybe I'm wrong.

    3. Liza

      R L, there wasn't a Reply button next to your comment so I've had to reply to myself instead :)!

      (a) Adopting from -anywhere- instead of giving birth reduces the number of people. Instead of adding a new kid to the world, you are taking over care for an existing child.

      (b) I'm not sure how adopting a child would increase the amount of people that feeds on poor labour in our society...a kid you raise is a kid you raise regardless of where he/she came from. If you raise them right, they will not amount to "feeding on poor labour"

      (c) This may be valid if there were not so many kids in homeless/orphan centres in those countries. I am not suggesting ripping kids out of their poor families' arms. Children that are at adoption centres are not contributing to their family's poor labour - you certainly would not be removing a kid that the family would then feel the need to "replace" with a new kid because that kid has no family.

  15. blursandra

    "Believing in Cryonics is like believing you could revive a cow from a hamburger"... haha!

    1. jhall2003

      Well all you need is a strand of DNA so technically you could make a clone.

    2. Yerok Nenovrak

      But you can't clone a spirit so what you'll have is an abomination, a Frankenstein's monster with no emotion. Unless you're only using the clone to part out like an old car.

  16. Vic Stevens

    What I notice from most of the comments below is that everyone is focused on what could go wrong. Why dont you also consider what happens if it goes well? Cryonics is for the optimist and for people who value living. I know it is a gamble but I think it is worth taking if I have a chance to live in this beautiful world again.
    We will have to solve the problems of overpopulation in the future anyway and given that longevity treatments are extremely likely, a few re-aninmated people are not going to tip the population balance. We will need to learn how to live responsibly regardless of Cryonics.
    Seeing death as inevitable is only a useful psychological strategy if it really is inevitable otherwise it becomes a barrier to progress and to happiness. Google Aubrey de Gray's talk on 'TED - ideas worth spreading' for an insight into the death trance.
    I am in the process of arranging my contracts for myself and my family because I love life, I love my family and I want the chance to see them again.
    I found the Cryonics Institute very helpful and their staff very approachable. I would rather pay life Insurance every month than pay for a new car I don't need.

  17. Jake

    You know we should all ask Philip J. Fry from Futurama, he was frozen in the year 2000 and got unfrozen a thousand years later and funny enough he was a loser in the year 2000 and was futuristic ancient loser in the year 3000. Come on people... live and die... every good and bad things have an end. For some life was not that beautiful and they will embrace their last breath. I know I will... I don't want the future government to know that I was frozen and as a result they make me pay an unfreezing tax totalizing all the years I was frozen not contributing to society LOL. See I could rant for days on joke like this... which could be very true if ever human cryogenics was to work. I don't believe that society will get better in a 100 years... they just going to have cool gadgets, a more advance science, but there will be dictator, there will be thieves, and governments (well they're another class of thieves). Die and rest in peace!

  18. nate

    Why bring an obese woman with cancer back from the dead?

    1. Constantin Oprea

      Interesting your post, but maybe we can use her as an experiment and who knows, maybe cancer will have a cure one day

  19. Isihwr

    These peeps should just accept death like their many, many ancestors before em.

    1. Nombre

      "These peeps should just accept death like their many, many ancestors before em."

      Which ancestors did this? Seems to me most of our ancestors clung to religious mysticism to allay their fears of death.

  20. Lola

    can somebody inject some intelligence to these mongoloids instead?

  21. aaangie

    this was great, and I do believe that in a few hundred years we will have the way to bring these people back.
    However, i would not be frozen myself as i don't need to be. I am Buddhist and i believe in reincarnation

  22. Anonymous1

    "It makes great science ficton, but it's NOT science."

  23. Charles B

    This was really quite an interesting documentary. Well done, I think.

    Nonetheless, I think the only way this might work is if you are frozen alive BEFORE you die. But, that's not going to pass congress anytime soon, I don't think.

    I believe that at the moment of your death your soul leaves your body and until it is reunited again with your body by God Himself in the future for judgement, then no such "resurrection" of the body is possible.

    If you don't believe in the soul, then go for it! Dead is dead, whether you're in the round or forzen in a giant tube! As for me, I'll put my trust in God, both body and soul.

    1. S Price

      I agree--one would think the person would have to be frozen alive. I know that you can freeze some bugs and then bring them back by slowly heating them back up, but even they have to be alive when they're frozen. But doing that with humans would be considered assisted suicide.

    2. TheJurg71

      This doc brings up a lot of questions, and I would have to listen to the doc again and make a list of all my questions. But, chiefly, do the "patients" get to see this process and the risks involved before handing over $50,000? Is this a grant or something? Say goodbye to wills and stuff, yikes!

    3. TheJurg71

      Oh, sorry, not $50,000.... as mentioned at 33:15 - 33:36, USD equivalent of $125,000. I know I'm not worth that! Yikes!

  24. Confused Kait


  25. Confused Kait

    ALSO, not to mention how completely nature this whole thing is. I know the man made his spiel about how cpr and all that could also be against nature. The thing is, that is near INSTANT resuscitation. In *nature*, the body would be long gone after a few hundred years so clearly it can not be brought back to life. In *nature*, the body CAN be resuscitated after a few minutes. In a freezer, the body can hang out there for a few hundred years..and possibly (not likely) become living again? It is completely against the normal workings of nature. Obviously. Then there's the issue of religion. And whether these frozen persons could wake up and have no idea how they got there, or all be mentally handicapped. Then we'd have a massive overpopulation of mentally handicapped people roaming around... you'd wish you had left them frozen! Ya wouldn't be able to kill them again of course because that would be against NATURE right? Then how can you go against nature in the first place and freeze them!? AHH

  26. Confused Kait

    First of all, what happens when more and more people think this is a realistic option for them, and freeze themselves too. Then 300 years from now or however long it takes to be "able" to unfreeze them, there will be 34534634 of these unfrozen people now cruising around on earth. Overpopulation ya think!? And what if it backfires and this idea of tiny robots that fix cells go crazy...then we could easily have uncontrollable monsters walking around. I think it gives a false sense of hope to families, preventing the grieving process and delaying it x34534. The chance of them ever living again is sooo slim, and if there was a chance, it wouldn't be for a loong time from now, so the families would be long gone anyway, so why don't think they just get the grieving over with because clearly, they will never see them again regardless of whether this frozen person thing works out or not. None minus 2 of these people that work there have any medical backfround..hmmmmm LOOKS PROMISING FOLKS! naaaaaaaat! Please respond, I'd like a good firey debate because this is ridiculous. Good day

  27. Easternsu

    Then they set the machine to defrost.

  28. A. T. Heist

    What happens if this company goes out of business?

  29. A. T. Heist

    This is 21 century mummification.

    At first I thought this was a sort of dignified suicide labeled "Cryogenics".

    Preparing for the "afterlife" seems more peaceful than worrying whether or not Heaven or Hell will be the result. And it seems to offer some peace of mind to all involved.

    But, is it ethical to sell this procedure in the manner they do is debatable.

    I like what it actually does for peace of mind although the marketing appears fraudulent.

    But, how else do you sell mummification in todays market?

  30. A. T. Heist

    If I underwent this procedure, I would first purchase an acre of land on the moon for $19.95 so I'd have a place to call home once the operation was completed.

    Yep, that's what I'd do.

  31. Podd

    Well sure, apart from the fact that Harvard Law School existed for well over half a century before he was born, I'd say he must have something divine about him, being able to found it.

    Yes, Apologetics are fun, but historical reliability is not the case in the Bible. It is reliable in the sense that the people writing the gospels seem to be telling a single story, but there is nothing which points to the validity of those happenings.Considering the only proof of the existence of Jesus being forged - it is easy for people to assume that he is a fraud.

    My religious believes have nothing to do with this post, but I'd like to add that freezing people doesn't seem like the way to go.

  32. kevin

    why do people think CHristianity is blind faith? amusing to me. Simon Greenleaf who was the founder of Harvard law school...who wrote the laws of legal evidences ...used foremost in courts around the world....used his legal laws with the evidence for the 4 gospels...and the ressurrection of Jesus CHrist. He became a believer . The historical reliability of the Bible is astounding, it can be shown to be Inspired,..but thats all for you to study, but pointless with a closed mind because of an inward bent to not believe which sadly is the case.

  33. mike

    so........... what happens after they are brought back to life and then die again?

  34. mike

    so........... what happens after they are brought back to life

  35. Easternsu

    quantum physicists believe that the universe is eternal and does not end, in size. It is kept from collapsing on itself by gravity due to "Dark Matter". If this is true, that the universe is eternal then there is a 100% chance that the atoms that make up me and my "souL" will come together again with all my knowledge and experience, somewhere in the universe.
    It might be incomprehensible but it is possible nontheless so that is my scientific explanation to life after death. And since in death we dont experience time, ressurection is instantaneous.
    Its LOGICAL!!

    1. Liza

      I'm not sure how the universe being eternal has anything to do with whether your atoms come together again with all your knowledge and experience. Energy may not be created or destroyed, but just as with evaporating water it can certainly be transformed into a different state. I also wonder why you think that in death we don't experience time - we don't really know what happens in death.

  36. psychostudent

    Decent Documentary....oh and it's not just Christians that are suffering from delusions.Do you believe in Santa, the easter bunny or the tooth fairy? Stupid myths right? So how can anyone with the most advanced thinking cap on Earth believe the bible or any other "holy" scripture? It's called fear. The same reason why these people want to be frozen. It makes accepting death easier. It's sad really...blind faith and delusional religions worldwide.

  37. IsaiahNesta

    I love the fact that, christians and non-christians alike, dive head first into a argument regarding whether or not God and Heaven are real and how a "Christian" should act.

    Still the most talked about subject worldwide.

  38. Healer

    About the actual documentary, I'm with high hopes about the whole thing to freeze myself. But it's important to be ready to accept final death with nothing else than a black screen forever after that. If you don't, you always got this big fear of the chance that the cryogenic thing fails on your case for a reason or another. Isn't the everyday threat of an accidental death and death by decaying health, enough? Letting go makes you able to move, keeping things in hand gives you a better grip of the driving wheel of your car of fate. It's a balance.

    But to why I am having a hopeful view about this. It's just for the selfish myself, since I am still on the younger side. Right now they can freeze and awaken basic things like blood, sperm etc. Right now the most they've been able to do, is freeze and unfreeze an animal organ and use it on an animal, and the animal keeps on living after that. And that organ was a kidney, something that at least a human can live without since we got two of those. I doubt it's about luck with science like that, they got so many variations they're still not nearly ready to have perfected with whole human beings with that whole freezing process.

    But with the advance of science and better understanding of how we more accurately work, one might have a real base for that hope. At the very least, if I get children, I hope they can have that thing when they're old.

  39. Podd

    Oddly, people believe that peoples souls accending to heaven are actually mentioned in the Bible. They are not. Actually, the only people ascending to heaven did so in full body (while alive or some time after death,) and were only a few. The only astral entity mentioned in the Bible is the Holy Ghost, and the translations of the word "soul" in the Bible are dodgy. The rest you have from roman interpretation by people who still believed in roman greek mythology and people like the majority of christians reading things "into" the bible.

    In fact noone goes to hell at their death either, and the translations of hell are even dodgier, including words that should be translated to "grave", "soil", a random geographic reference and a contemporary idiom at the time of writing.

    Please stop arguing about the Bible like you know it all because some religious front figure you have had, and probably slept through systematic theology class and just watch the documentary.

  40. BibleThumperThumper

    Jesus Christ is simply the main character in a novel which has defiantly been manipulated through the ages. If Jesus is real then I guess there really was a planet that was invaded, and then the alien souls were put in a volcano on earth, which then erupted and took over humans. ROFL Christians (And any religious nut) are total noobs.

  41. LikeWise

    Death is natural process for each and every living things. There are somethings that we human can never change. Clearly these guys are being manipulated by money makers and business people into believing the impossible. The world is going to end anyway yet they believe mankind going to exist forever in this world? yeah right..

    1. Liza

      So how long have you been a psychic?

  42. Yohann

    I doubt that they will ever make a cure for death. Even if they do it's really unlikely that they will be reawakened by people of the future, the world is overpopulated as it is and will become even more so if everyone started returning from the dead.

  43. Sally

    I dont think these people have any idea about how insane they sound , this form of "science" IS IMPOSSIBLE , NOT REAL , FICTION . loool . but seriously , its impossible to bring someone back to life , think of all the procedures that the person would have to go to to come back to life . As the professor said , the person needs to be cured , their brain needs to go back to the healthy state that is was before , which is not possible because the human brain begins to break down and deterorate right after the person dies . So by the time the body reaches the facility , the brain is usless and there would be no point in bringing the person back to life . I dont know about these people , but if I wanted to come back to life , I would want to come back healthy or even a better person , not come back to be in a much worse condition that it was before . Im a Christian and I believe that this whole thing has a lot to do with Christianity , but at the same time it just depends on who you workship . I highly doubt a true Christian would want to go through this procedure ; reason being , eternal life after life ... # im just saying .

  44. Brian

    @ Christians

    Way to take a story about dead frozen bodies and turn it into a Christ workshop forum. Quit recruiting and just give your opinion on the matter without trolling* and bringing religion* into a premise that has no place for deities.

    Thank you, and God bless.

  45. Macan

    According to the intelligent people, Christians are stupid. Of course, they are absolutely right. Why? because there are many things in christian faith that they don't understand.

    Jesus Christ loves you. Give some time to know Him. You won't regret it.


  46. Buck Frain

    @ Ashley,

    I disagree. Ignoring stupidity would be the Christian thing to do not the adult thing to do. Turning the other cheek, that's a Christian, not an age, thing. Why should I let some goombah get away with talking nonsense just because they're a Christian? Are you suggesting that Christianity is some kind of special needs dispensation that requires tolerance of an inherent idiocy beyond the individual's control?

    I also take exception with the idea that I made this fool look stupid. I may have called them on their stupidity but the stupid was all theirs. Again, use your brain. I'm not insecure that you have faith - good on you - I just don't see why that should give you a free ticket to talk absolute boll**** in a public forum without being called on it. Talk less s*** and I'll try not to trash you for it!

  47. Ashley

    Oh wow, look at this! Someone all too eager to try and "punk out" a christian.....good God, if you don't agree with what they are saying just ignore them...of course, that would be the adult thing to do, so I'm not sure you could handle it....

    WHY do people INSIST on trying to make Christians look like idiots? Because really..all it does is make you look really insecure in your own beliefs....don't be mad because other people are capable of faith and you are not.

  48. Buck Frain

    Bring on the freezing. This is brilliant!

    @ simun p dahl,
    Relevance? Did you watch the film? The point is freezing people's BODIES and hopefully reviving them some time in the future. The whole soul thing is another issue altogether. Secondly, you CAN'T guarantee anything, that's a completely stupid claim to make. "JESUS IS ETERNAL LIFE" What? Did you read that off a redneck bumper sticker? You DON'T have KNOWLEDGE, you have only FAITH - that's the whole deal with religion - and the idea that you could provide some sort of GUARANTEE that could be cashed in on the off chance that your buddy Jesus doesn't come through with the goods is absurd. What do I do? Revive myself from inky black death and return to you as some kind of zombie asking for compensation for being lied to by a twat when I was alive? Genius! Religion doesn't excuse you from using your brain. Try reading a different book once in a while. Learn to think or shut up.

  49. Hunter

    Religion gives more of a false sense of security then cryonics that is for sure. At least this one (method for eternal life) has some continuity from what we know in this life (the body & physics of water/thermodynamics) to the potential for another. People need to become proactive about the important things in their lives rather than just ignoring it or comforting themselves so that they don't have to think about it with 'god' the father who takes care so we don't have to think about anything.

    P.S Simun p dalhl

    How can you guarantee that your invisible phantom 'Jesus' will give you anything.

    Both options remain rather dubious right to me. Both will take your money. Religion asks for continuing payments while cryonics only asks for a one time payment.

    That being said I would do it if I live to 2100.

  50. sandarac

    All I can say is "Yikes"

  51. Josh

    This is awesome. I want to do it. Life, to an individual, is their most precious resource. Although it is really quite abundant. This is the only one we have. There isn't a Palace in the clouds, your conscious does not survive the death of your brain. I want to live as long as I can, as long as I am able to learn.

  52. s

    no one is freezing souls, you are the one crazy believing !

  53. simun p dahl

    ur sick and twisted... believing u can freeze peoples soul?? who is so stupid to believe in that? JESUS IS ETERNAL LIFE I CAN GUARANTEE U THAT..

  54. Karen

    freezer BURN

    1. Lundare

      I think this whole concept is exiting.
      Nothing wrong with wanting to live on,be cured and healthy or simply hoping to experience our future just as much as I often wish I could get on a time machine to experince the dynastic old kingdom or the great ancient Egypt...