Alcor Life Extension Foundation is an American organization that has ‘promised’ a hundred people, nothing more and nothing less, to keep them alive after death.
That is, if his heart stops beating, instead of taking him to a morgue, dressing him in his best clothes and putting him in a coffin for burial or cremation, the clinic puts his body at low temperatures.
The objective: “preserve life by stopping death”, reads the official page of the non-profit organization that has monthly plans of 55 dollars (about 220 thousand Colombian pesos) to enter the project.
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How does cryonics work?
The process consists of freeze the bodies of human beings so that in the future – without a specific date – they can be removed from the capsules and undergo scientific procedures in order to recover their lives.
It is an ‘experiment’, according to Alcor, since it is not guaranteed that they will return to the earthly plane. If the technology of the next decades or centuries allows it, perhaps the heartbeat will resume.
The foundation follows a series of stages to carry out cryonics.
No organization can revive a cryogenic patient, but at Alcor we are confident that reactivation can be possible.
The first consists of visiting the person in his last days of life or when he is dying to verify that he can be part of the program.
Subject must die of cardiac arrest and be declared legally deceased by authorities.
As soon as that happens, Alcor personnel take control of the body: artificially restore blood circulation to protect the brain, transport it to Arizona, U.S, introduces a substance into his blood and cools him during the fifth and sixth days of death to -196 degrees Celsius.
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Therefore, “the patient will be protected from deterioration for theoretically thousands of years and the death process has been effectively stopped,” they say.
The corpse is placed inside a capsule, which does not need electricity to work because with the injection of liquid nitrogen it is kept at cold temperatures.
“Currently, no organization can revive a cryogenic patient, but at Alcor we are confident that reactivation may be possible,” they comment on their website.
Who have dared to be ‘frozen’?
Linda and Fred Chamberlain are the founders of the clinic, formally established in 1972.
We want people to understand that this is still an experimental process.
Their source of inspiration was Robert Ettinger, the so-called father of cryonics -who is also frozen in another US entity.
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The marriage brought together a series of doctors and experts in the field to cryogenize for the first time James Bedford, a psycologist. Then they would do the same thing with Fred’s dad and Linda’s mom.
#OnThisDay in 1967, Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation and remains preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. pic.twitter.com/BuERdzThGT
– Marina Amaral (@marinamaral2) January 12, 2021
“We want people to understand that this is still an experimental process. We don’t want anyone to come into the project, make preparations and think this is like going to the hospital and having open heart surgery.”, Linda stated, in a conversation with the ‘Az Central’ media outlet.
Her husband Fred died in 2012 and, unsurprisingly, is underground in the cellars of Alcor.
Total, 184 people they have no life inside a capsule. For example, there are Du Hong, a Chinese writer; Marvin Minsky, scientist, and Dick Clair Jones, film producer.
There are also more than 90 pets, between dogs and cats, who came to the basements at the request of their owners, Linda revealed to the aforementioned media.
The legal struggle of the living
ted williams, renowned baseball player and primary player of the Boston Red Sox team, died in 2002 at the age of 83 and had the determination to be cryogenicized.
However, his case raised a controversy after the revelations of the magazine ‘Sports Illustrated’ that accused Alcor of decapitating him, keeping his head in a different capsule and taking dozens of DNA tests, which, apparently, would have been recast.
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15 Years Ago Today: Ted Williams dies.
He is flown to Alcor Life Extension Foundation where his head & body are separately frozen. pic.twitter.com/nqL6Ck3zdT
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 5, 2017
The journalistic investigation found that Williams paid 136 thousand dollars (almost 540 million pesos at current exchange rates) to be part of the experiment.
They cut off his head, burned his body, put him in a box and sent him to my house.
However, before he died he would have burned his will to opt for cremation, according to his daughter Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell.
The clinic has not spoken out over the accusations. In fact, it is not the only problem he has faced, since Kurt Pilgerham He sued them seeking compensation of one million dollars for ill-treatment of his father’s body.
“They cut off his head, burned his body, put him in a box and sent him to my house. I want people to know what is happening”, he stated, in a conversation with the media outlet ‘Az Central’, during 2019.
There is no law that prohibits Alcor’s actions. Instead, there are scientists who criticize his ‘experiment’.
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“It is a false science. Those who benefit from this hope deserve our wrath and contempt.”, criticized the neuroscientist michael hendricks, in a writing for the magazine ‘MIT Technology Review’.
For now, about 1,400 people are members of the organization, including the DJ Steve Aoki, and hope to die, ironically, to return to life in a few decades or even centuries when technology and medicine are sufficiently advanced.
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