[extropy-chat] Cryonics is the only option?
benboc at lineone.net
Sun Apr 15 15:34:47 UTC 2007
"Stathis Papaioannou" <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's possible in principle, but I don't see how removing the brain
> from the body would be any advance over what is currently done when
> organ systems start failing, which is to try to fix them medically or
> surgically, and if that doesn't work to replace them with artificial
> alternatives such as renal dialysis. The most extreme examples are
> seen in Intensive Care Units, where multiple organ systems often fail
> together and people are kept alive for moderately long periods with
> external machinery. In the future this may progress to the point
> where a person can be kept alive indefinitely even though little more
> than his brain is functioning, as per your scenario. However, even if
> the machines work perfectly, the brain itself will still be subject
> to aging and the diseases of aging; and if we could find a way to
> stop this for the brain, we probably would have found it for the rest
> of the body as well.
So by the time we are capable of doing this, all the hospitals will be
doing it anyway?
There would doubtless be some kind of cost-benefit calculation involved,
to decide just who would get this treatment. Unless you're in America,
where, i assume, you die if you can't afford whatever life-saving
treatment you need (is this correct?).
A problem i can see here is the usual assumption in the medical
profession that there is a point at which you should be allowed to die.
Once you've had a good innings in conventional terms, there would likely
be little incentive to make great efforts to keep you alive. Perhaps it
would be a good idea to try to promote the creation of
'transhumanist-friendly' medical clinics. Probably a bit too much to
Actually, one good reason for removing the brain from a failing body
would be for ease of access to all the life-support systems, and ease of
swapping them out for others as and when necessary. The 'body' would be
whatever physical infrastructure the life-support modules were plugged
in to, and you could then take advantage of heterostasis, keeping local
conditions optimal for each system separately, without upsetting the
rest of the body.
It would also make cryonic suspension much easier if that was eventually
decided upon. Plus easier other things, too, like neural interfacing and
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