Dead body of man in his 80s frozen to revive in future; ₹94 lakh spent for ’Star Trek in play’

  • Southern Cryonics announces successful cryonics suspension of first client in Australia. Costing $170,000 i.e. 94 lakh, the procedure aims for future revival using advanced medical technologies.

Written By Karishma Pranav Bhavsar
Updated29 May 2024
Dead body of man in his 80s frozen to revive in future;  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>94 lakh spent for 'Star Trek in play'
Dead body of man in his 80s frozen to revive in future; ₹94 lakh spent for ’Star Trek in play’

The cryonics company named Southern Cryonics has said that it has successfully frozen its first client in the company's Holbrook facility in regional New South Wales in Australia, in its hope of bringing him back to life in the future.

Taking to X, Southern Cryonics announced, “We’re thrilled to announce our first successful cryonics suspension with Patient 1! Thanks to our incredible team and partners for their swift and dedicated efforts. A major milestone for Southern Cryonics and CryoPath.”

What is Cryonics?

According to the company's website, cryonics involves keeping the human body at cryogenic temperatures (-196°C) in the hopes that one day, medical science will be able to repair the molecular damage caused by ageing and disease and bring the patient back to full health.

Coming back to the company's first client, a report by ABC News Australia stated that the first patient was an 80-year-old Sydney man, who died on May 12 at a hospital in inner Sydney.

Citing the company, the report explained the process that unfolded. It said that the man's body was initially transferred to the hospital's cold room and then cooled to approximately 6 degrees Celsius by packing it in ice. Subsequently, the client was then transported to A O'Hare Funeral Directors in Leichhardt where doctors and perfusionists used a heart-lung bypass machine to circulate a cryoprotective solution through his body to preserve cells and further lower the temperature. Finally, he was wrapped in a specialized sleeping bag and packed in dry ice, reducing his body temperature to about -80 degrees Celsius.

After this, the company said that the client was moved to Southern Cryonics' Holbrook facility, where he stayed on dry ice until liquid nitrogen arrived. The company in the report added that the man's temperature was gradually lowered to around -200 degrees Celsius in a computer-controlled cooling chamber. He was then placed in a pod and lowered upside down in a dewar tank. This specialized vacuum storage vessel is capable of holding up to four individuals, as reported by ABC News Australia report.

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The report further added that the entire process cost the client $170,000 i.e. 94 lakh, with additional fees charged for the medical teams involved in the preservation process. The company states first cryonics suspension with Patient 1 was completed from May 12-17.

Speaking on the first client, the 72-year-old Philip Rhoades who spent 14 years waiting to give dead people a second chance at life said, “There were a couple of other people who were existing members who we thought might be likely candidates for being the first but, as it turned out, it was someone who wasn't an existing member." Rhoades is a biologist in Sydney and a cryonics enthusiast, as described by the report.

Also Read: Viral video: Indian chef Padam Vyas seen with an empty stall in Australia; netizens react, ‘What a shame’

"We went through using crash test dummies and other things to make it as real as possible for all the testings that we went through, so all of that groundwork paid off," he added.

However, this process is not something that Professor Bruce Thompson, head of the Melbourne School of Health Sciences believes in. He described this process as "Star Trek in play" and also expressed concerns about the scientific and ethical aspects of the field. "Doing that for a whole human body — and it died for a reason at the end of the day — and then reversing that and then reviving that is a very, very long time away," Thompson told ABC News Australia.

Further alleging, he added, “The people who are actually doing this business are taking money off people at a time when [the client] is very, very vulnerable and, at this stage, there is no prospect of being able to revive that person and reverse this process,” as quoted by the daily.

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