I saw this news article a while back and it just came back to me questioning its moral in catholicism.
The article read that since the late 1900s, apparently scientists have already been experimenting with freezing people with diseases (ie. Cancer) and then bringing them back to life when there’s a cure. And apparently people are still signing up for this stuff to this day.
How does this stand in the Catholic faith, what does it mean for us Catholics. I’m sure there’s a good explanation, I just can’t wrap my head around whether I should be afraid of this stuff or not.
I think it is the stuff of science fiction and scams, but if it were possible, it would not be morally wrong in itself to put people into a state of suspended animation in hopes of a future cure. The wrong, or the false hope, would be to cling to life and try to cheat death in this way. There is only one cure that can truly give us eternal life, and that is Jesus.
Now seriously, if soul leaves body, which happens when person dies then noone can put soul back in body except God (only He could sent soul back to body “if body is alive”) and this freezing people in time and turning them back to life conradicts to Church’s teaching. We born and die once.
And maybe someone could put body in some state of life but that would be immoral because when someone dies he deserves funeral with respect not some quasi science games of being dead and alive when anyone wants that.
Cryonics is not viable and the fact that some people with more money than sense sign up for it doesn’t make it viable. As PT Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute.
Seriously, frozen people are dead, permanently. The only place where Church teaching comes into play is that it’s not very respectful to keep a body in the freezer for decades instead of interring it where it belongs.
Slightly off-topic, but the topic title reminded me of an event recorded in the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James: in this narrative, Mary is in labour and Joseph leaves to find a midwife.
As he crosses the field, he notices time and space freeze: the author describes birds stopping mid-air and sheep mid-stride, people being still in the middle of work, and others with food raised to their mouth but not eating.
Later in the narrative Joseph finds Jesus has been born while he away: the momentary freezing of time and space, “all things in a moment were driven from their course” in the words of James, was apparently the moment when Christ was born.
Cryonics isn’t freezing people in time. It’s freezing their bodies in order to preserve them after they’re dead. The idea is that if at some point in the future a way is discovered to resurrect the dead or jumpstart the heart or whatever else, you’d then be able to perform it on those bodies because the freezing process has preserved them, whereas otherwise a corpse would have decayed so much it would be much harder, if not impossible, to revive them.
Basically, in the way that it’s a whole lot more possible to shock someone’s heart back to life after one minute without a heartbeat than it is to do so if they’ve been without a heartbeat for a day, cryonics tries to freeze the body as close as possible to that time of “no heartbeat” so that if a way to restore life at that point is discovered, the body could then be un-frozen and resuscitated.
The idea isn’t impossible. Note what I mentioned about shocking someone’s heart back… that’s something we can do now that we couldn’t do in the past. So if someone went into cardiac arrest centuries ago, and you were able to freeze their body fast enough and perfectly preserve it, you could then un-freeze it in modern day, immediately apply a defibrillator, and save their life. The idea that in the future we would develop further technology that could do something like that and thus allow us to “resurrect” the frozen people is certainly possible.
But possible isn’t probable. For it to work, it requires a number of things. First, a way to “restart” your body must be discovered. Second, it must be able to work on someone who was cryogenically frozen (and you must have been cryogenically frozen fast enough that your body was in a situation where it could be restarted). Third, your body has to have stayed frozen that whole time, meaning that the company you hired didn’t go out of business in the interim, as some have.
So the whole thing is basically a speculation on top of a speculation on top of another speculation. But, hey, I can’t say that it’s necessarily a bigger waste of money than a bunch of other things people will pay exorbitant costs for.
It is not the same. How can keeping someone (dead) in freezer and then “bringing” them into life be the same as some medical procedure which doesn’t kill at all? Just to mention that induced coma isn’t the same as this freezing if you want that argument.
This isn’t actually the same logic you speak about.
Or you are telling me that someone wouldn’t die in freezer but just alive frozen in time? This makes no sense because it wouldn’t then help those people to survive diseases - according to what OP wrote-and freezing in time would be double useless.
I can see no moral in this freezing. Same as embryo freezing.
It depends on how you define death. I think the medical definition, nowadays, is that one is dead when there is no brain activity any longer. Brain activity remains for a little while (6 minutes) after heartbeat has stopped. With CPR, the patient’s heartbeat has stopped but they still have brain activity, or there would be no way back. They’re not clinically dead yet.
Like @Inbonum, I don’t see how this would be possible when you freeze someone who, one hopes, is clinically dead.
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