[extropy-chat] Cryonics is the only option?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 04:07:50 UTC 2007

On 4/16/07, ben <benboc at lineone.net> wrote:

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?).

Fortunately, I live in a country where homeless drug addicts are just as
likely to get an ICU bed at thousands of dollars a day as anyone else, based
on medical need. However, there is a problem in that unlike most other
technology, medical care seems to get more expensive rather than cheaper as
it improves.

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
> hope for.

I think it's a matter of economics and efficacy. If your 90 y.o. grandmother
was in good health, started developing angina, andthere was some effective
medical treatment available for it, no doctor would suggest that she just
continue suffering because she's old. On the other hand, if she had multiple
other medical problems, and required a coronary bypass operation which was
risky due to her general condition and would probably result in a long ICU
admission, the recommendation might be against treatment.

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's usually easier to leave even partially functioning organs in place than
replace them. There are some exceptions where the replacement is almost as
good - teeth, thyroid - but in general, natural is better. If this changes
in future, people will look for an excuse to electively replace organs and
become cyborgs.

Stathis Papaioannou
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