SCOTTSDALE, AZ — It may sound unorthodox, but the practice of cryogenicallypreserving, or freezing a body after legal death is slowly gaining tractionaround the world. The Scottsdale based Alcor Life Extension Foundation now has186 humans and 86 animals cryo-preserved inside it’s facility.

The practice of preserving a pet is open to Alcor members only, and Alcor CEODr. Max More said they had seen a big increase in the number of pets beingpreserved in their facility.

“If you love an animal, why not have it come back with you in the future,assuming that this will work,” said Moore.

While unconventional, More said many people chose to dedicate their bodies forscientific research instead of being buried in a casket or cremated with theirashes preserved in an urn.

More said if you considered all the science and medical technologyadvancements that have been made so far, it is not entirely unreasonable tothink that someday, it could be possible to bring back a cryogenicallypreserved person.

“The idea of Cryonics is if you can protect the cells take the body down tosuper cold temperatures of minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit, that will stopeverything and it buys us decades or even centuries for science to catch up tothe point where we can fix whatever it was that stopped you functioning, andeven reverse the aging process,” said More.

He added that the definition of what is considered “legally dead” today hasalready changed.

“If you go back to 1960, if your heart stopped beating and you stoppedbreathing then we just said you’re dead and that was it. Today we say thisperson will die if we don’t do something quickly. So we’ve got to resuscitatequickly, or do CPR and defibrillation. So what’s interesting is in 1960 whatwas dead then, we don’t consider dead today. What we’re saying is when we saysomeone is dead today, all that means is the doctor is throwing up his handsand saying there’s nothing more I can do based on the skills and technologytoday, but that will change in the future,” said More.

More also pointed out scientists were now cryopreserving all kinds of tissuesin labs, such as skin, corneas, eggs, and sperm and they were able to revivethose.

“It’s no longer science fiction to say maybe within a decade we’ll actuallygrow whole human organs for transplant,” said More.

The facility and ideas have received some criticism and skepticism by medicalprofessionals who have gone as far as to call the ideas “baloney.” ABC15reached out to several neurologists and doctors but were unable to find onewilling to go on camera to comment about the practice of Cryology.

ABC15 asked Dr. More what he would say to those who considered their ideas“hogwash”.

“Well, I would say they need to look into it more. We expect technology tokeep advancing just as life spans have now gone from average of 40 somethingto mid 70’s or 80’s, we think that’s going to keep extending as we keepgetting better and better biological repair methods,” said More.

Preserving a whole body cost about $200,000. Dr. More said about half theirmembers had chosen just to preserve their brains. They called them “neuro”patients.

ABC15 asked More if Alcor members had encountered criticism from those whofound the practice to be unethical.

“Well what do you think is the ethical problem? People spend vast amounts ofmoney trying to stay alive at the end of their lives. For even a few more daysweeks or months in absolute misery, and that can cost a lot more than what wecharge for this,” said More.

He explained that most of their members used life insurance policies to payfor the cryopreservation.

“You just make Alcor the legal beneficiary, that pays out soon after legaldeath,” said More.

During a tour of the facility, More pointed out pictures of cryopreservedmembers and animals lining their walls. He explained that most of theirmembers were scientists, researchers, mathematicians, and computerprogrammers. He pointed out a science fiction writer from China and a 3-yearold girl from Thailand who suffered from brain cancer.

Most of the Alcor members cryopreserved in Scottsdale are from the UnitedStates and Europe.

More said they did not consider their patient’s dead, they considered them inan in-between state or “de-animated”.

The majority of the 86 animals cryopreserved in the facility were dogs andcats, but they also included a turtle, a chinchilla and a Rhesus monkey.

More himself had his beloved Goldendoodle Oscar preserved in the facility. Hecalled Oscar the first dog he had ever loved.

“He was just a fantastic dog, he was the most friendly loving dog you canimagine,” said More.

ABC15 asked More what he would say to critics who felt you could save a lot ofanimals in shelters with $200,000.

“They are free to do that with their money. If they can stop buying expensiveshoes and handbags, and going on flights to vacations, I’m assuming they dothat. Are they also going to hospitals and telling people not to have cancertreatment and heart surgery?” said More.

ABC15 asked More if the company was simply selling those afraid of death, aform of hope.

“This is not supernatural hope. This is not something that has no foundation.This is the same thing we’re doing to Cryopreserve organs and tissues,” saidMore, but he stressed they did tell all members this was not guaranteed.

“We make it very clear that we’re not guaranteeing anything. We don’t know ifthis is going to work for sure, we don’t know if the organization willsurvive, there is all kinds of ifs and buts,” said More.

“I really do believe at some point in the future this will be the normalthing. We’ll look back on the present and scratch our heads and why did wethrow our loved ones in the ground or in gigantic ovens when we could havegiven them a chance to come back?” he added.

The Scottsdale facility has 12 paid staff members, dozens of volunteers, and 7members on a board of directors who are not paid. They contract withcryopreservation friendly surgeons in the community to help them with theactual process of preservation.

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