Cryonics facility in Scottsdale aims to allow people to live forever, once technology allows for it
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- After you die, would you want to be brought back to life?
If so, there's a company in the Valley that will freeze your body, store it, and bring you back once technology is more advanced to do so. They even have new tools like a CT scanner to see how clients are doing on ice.
"I want to choose how long I live, and as long as I'm enjoying my life, I want to keep going," said Dr. Max More. "It just seems arbitrary that nature decides that for me, so it's really part of the broader idea of life extension. We should choose how long I live."
Once Dr. More is declared legally dead, he's chosen to have his brain cryopreserved or frozen. He's also helping others to do the same. Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, of which Dr. More is the President and CEO, specializes in cryonics.
"To me, it's an extension to emergency medicine," said Dr. More. "So unless you have an objection to open heart surgery or cancer treatment, why would you object to this? It's just a bit more radical in a sense, because you have to wait a lot longer to be fixed."
Cryonics is the practice or technique of deep-freezing the bodies of people who've just died, in the hope that scientific advances may allow them to be revived in the future.
"When you come back, that's going to be at a time when we have the power to control aging," said Dr. More. "You won't age anymore. You'll come back young, and you'll stay young. You choose what age you want to be at."
You may be wondering how all of this works. First, the person must be declared legally dead. Once this happens, the body is obtained as soon as possible. Then the stabilization process begins. The person is then packed in ice and transported to Alcor.
"We wash out the blood, replace it with the transport solution, and then here, we'll replace it with a cyroprotectant to a medical grade antifreeze. Then once we've prevented ice formation, we can plunge the temperature down to -320°F, and that's so cold that's nothing happening," said Dr. More. "Everything is locked in place, and we wait for decades and decades for technology to catch up."
Thanks to a hefty donation, Alcor now has a CT scanner on site to monitor this entire process.
"We can do CT scans before the procedure and during and after, and the main point of doing the afterscan is to see how well we profused the brain," said Dr. More. "How much fluid did we get out of there, and how much have we replaced with the cryoprotectant. We can also see if there's tumors in there. It tells us all kinds of things."
After all of this, the body is wrapped in a sleeping bag before being placed vertically, with the head at the bottom of the dewar, or very large, expensive hydroflask filled with liquid nitrogen. It's your choice to have your entire body cryopreserved, or just your head.
So, how do you come back with no physical body, you might ask.
"If we have the technology to reverse 100 billion damaged neurons and reverse the aging process, I think growing a new body will be easy by comparison," said Dr. More. "We're already starting to grow parts of the body today."
The oldest patient at Alcor is 101 years old, and the youngest is just under three. There's currently a total of 157 patients, and the membership at Alcor continues to grow."
When talking about cryonics, Dr. More says there's a lot of misconceptions, such as what happens if the power goes out.
"There's no electricity used," said Dr. More. "That's one of the common mistakes people say, what happens if the power goes out? We haven't thought of that in 46 years. Well, the answer is nothing."
Also, is it just for the rich?
"Most people use life insurance, which, by the way, it's not true that this is just for rich people. People have that idea, but if you can afford life insurance for $80,000 or $200,000 for whole body, then it's not that much if you're young and healthy," said Dr. More.
If you're like those who've come before and you want to await immortality, Dr. More says it's something you need to decide years, or even decades in advance. It's not something you can decide in your final days.
"We have to do all sorts of contracts," said Dr. More. "There are six core contracts and other ones recommended. You have to make financial arrangements."
More says all of this may sound like science fiction, but landing on the moon once seemed impossible too. He says it's not crazy, it could work, and at some point, it may be possible to live again. Your four-legged friend can even come with you.
The cost to have your body cryopreserved from start to finish is $200,000 for the full body, and $80,000 for just the brain. Alcor has a special trust to help fund the revival of the patients, once the technology is there.