Effects of Cryogenic Freezing

Essay by jmac23University, Bachelor'sF, January 2004

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Well sports fans, for those of you who know who Ted Williams is, you know he may have been the most gifted baseball player of the 20th century. However, his recent dance with physical immorality has made him one of the most exciting stories of the 21st century. You may be asking, "Physical immortality? No one is physically immortal, and there is no way anyone will ever be able to become immortal. However, this insane theory may hold more truth than we'd like to believe. How is it, you ask, that one can become immortal? The answer lies in the process of cryogenics. This idea has been featured in movies such as Woody Allen's "Sleeper," Austin Powers, and more recently Vanilla Sky, but does that make it right? Though the chance to live a second life 100 or even 500 years from now is something that only seems to happen in the movies, by the process of cryogenics, this idealism may soon become a reality, therefore sparking a hot ethical debate in the public forum.

Today I am going to briefly discuss the history and process of cryogenics, the physical advantages and disadvantages, as well as the ethical advantages and disadvantages which lead to why this subject is so controversial.

In order to fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of the process of cryogenics, you need to have an idea of what cryogenics is and where it has come from. According to Tim Studt's and Iris Polinski's 2003 research, the word cryogenics is derived from two Greek words: "kryos" meaning "ice cold, " and "genes" which means being born of or generated. It had its origins in the late 1800s when scientists perfected a technique of compressing and storing gases from the atmosphere into liquids. When stored as...