No one can live forever, but some people think that it’s possible to be “reborn” after death. The entire promise is based on future technological advancements that aren’t guaranteed, but that hasn’t stopped a company called Alcor Life Extension Foundation from convincing people to shell out big bucks for their service.
The company offers two different types of services, one which is freezing the brain while the other is freezing the entire body. One may wonder why someone would freeze just their brain if they want to “reawaken” again in the future, but the company website states that surgeons of the future will be able to “grow a new body around a repaired brain,” according to the Sun.
Subscribers can expect that after they die, technicians will pack their body in ice and use a “heart-lung resuscitator” to circulate the blood. The techs then inject 16 types of medications that work to “protect” cells.
There are reportedly 149 “dead patients” at the facility. Baseball player Ted Williams is one of the “patients” along with a two-year-old from Thailand.
There are other businesses touting similar services. For example, Russian company KrioRus offers services to preserve people’s entire body, or just the head. This company drains the blood, and replaces it with something that’s like antifreeze. The bodies are held in a cooling chamber in liquid nitrogen. KrioRus had preserved around 61 people and 31 pets by mid-2018, detailed Wired.
While Alcor charges around $200,000 to freeze the body, KrioRus only charges around $36,000.
The entire process sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. Nobody has ever been revived from a cryogenic freeze before. Even so, Alcor offers a contract with their clients, saying that “When, in Alcor’s best good faith judgement, it is determined that attempting revival is in the best interests of the Member in cryopreservation, Alcor shall attempt to revive and rehabilitate the Member.”
Some people who are moving forward with the process are hoping that whatever ailments they have will be cured in the future. Others can’t think of a better way to spend their money. One man, David, who’s in his 60s, said that “I thought I’d invest a bit of money in this and I may wake up in 200 or 2,000 years’ time and be able to experience a whole new life. I can’t think of anything more exciting.”
Others merely shrug their shoulders at people like David, filled with skepticism of such a feat ever being possible.