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Cryonics offers human beings a chance to return from death
By Dominic Opaka | Updated Nov 26, 2016 at 10:03 EAT

A dying 14 year old teenage girl was recently guaranteed her wish by the high court in London to have her body cryogenically frozen in the hope that she can be brought back to life at a later time. Cryonics, if you didn’t know, is the process of preserving the body — or parts of the body — at extremely cold temperatures (think -196°C) with the hopes of reviving it at a later date. Those who submit to the process are essentially hoping to cheat death, and essentially experience a sort of immortality.

According to the Cryonics Institute, as soon as possible after a legal death, a member patient is infused with a substance to prevent ice from forming. They are then cooled to a chilling temperature where physical decay essentially stops. From there the member patient is maintained indefinitely in cryostasis or otherwise stored in liquid nitrogen. There are only three major facilities across the globe - two in the US and KrioRus, a Russian centre on the outskirts of Moscow. While the concept has never become mainstream, the number of people choosing to sign up is steadily increasing every year. There are now nearly 300 cryogenically frozen individuals in the US, another 50 in Russia.

Wanting to be buried in a fridge rather than a grave is absurd. Rising from the dead is one of the oldest human wishes whose tenets of Christian faith, whether resurrection is to take place in heaven, hell, a churchyard or the second coming of Christ. Cryonics is selling false hope to those who are frightened of dying, taking advantage of vulnerable people.

The central idea is simple: preserve the body in a pristine condition until such times as medicine has developed a cure for whatever brought about death in the first place – at which point the corpse is thawed and reanimated. The real question, though, is not whether medicine will advance clearly it will but whether the frozen bodies will be in a fit state to bring back to life.Those who pay for this service don’t realise that they may be paying for something that has already been damaged by the time it’s being frozen.

To have your whole body frozen you have to pay Ksh 3.4 million or 1.8 million for just the head, for the facility in Moscow. By contrast, Alcor in the US charges Ksh 19.4 for the full body and Ksh7.8Million (£65,000) for head-only preservation.

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