[ExI] FW: [tt] [New_Cryonet] Should Cryonics, Cryothanasia, and Transhumanism Be Part of the Euthanasia Debate?

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Wed Jun 25 20:21:46 UTC 2014

BillK <pharos at gmail.com> , 25/6/2014 6:27 PM:

>From an outsiders (and government) POV, cryonics does equal death, so 
the same laws would apply to cryonics and to euthanasia. i.e. citizens 
won't legally be allowed an early death by any method unless they are 
in a state where euthanasia is allowed. (Though it does happen 
If euthanasia is allowed, then I don't see any reason for the 
authorities to object to a cryonics team standing by and taking over 
after death is declared. 
The problem is getting euthanasia allowed. Cryonics is not a relevant factor in getting societies to decide this, since it is a minor fringe activity. The main factor getting euthanasia accepted is the spread of modern values, where individual autonomy and welfare trumps various do-no-harm principles. So if you want cryothanasia approved, you likely need to work more on the "right to die" side of things than the "cryonics is sensible" side of things.
I might write a paper soonish with a colleague on the ethics of cryo-euthanasia; our basic claim is that many of the standard anti-euthanasia arguments break when applied to cryonics (e.g. the claim that life is a gift that is not ours to throw away becomes an argument for cryonics). At best, this will likely convince some readers of bioethics journals that many anti-euthanasia arguments are no good - in this case cryonics might act as an intuition pump for those who think it is equivalent to euthanasia for why the anti-arguments are inconsistent (finding arguments that bit an anti-euthanasia cryonicist might be trickier for us). 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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