Re: ethical problem? Some kind of problem, anyway...

Scott Badger (
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 13:11:57 -0500

Mike Lorrey wrote:

> This being said, I am 31 and I have not signed up for cryonic suspension.
My rationalization for this act of pure laziness and/or stinginess is that according to the stats, if I die in the next two decades it is most likely to be something which leaves my brain in a useless state, and anything else that happens is likely to give me plenty of a heads up that I will have time to sign up for suspension before it kills me. Cryonics is a last ditch option, which IMHO is most likely to be used by the oldsters on the list than the youngsters. Caveat: I will probably sign up sometime in the next ten years anyways if I wind up having a wife and kids that will make it much more worthwhile to come back to.
> Now, if anyone can disabuse me of my current rationalizations...I would
appreciate it...
> Mike Lorrey

I would only suggest that you maintain a life insurance policy that would be sufficient to pay for cryopreservation, keeping in mind that prices may increase as different and more effective protocols are developed (one reason to sign up now). But if something happens that prevents you from increasing your coverage (e.g. heart attack) then you may be stuck. It's true that the average cryonicist is older than most, but the young are poor planners in general when it comes to life-long goals (e.g. insurance, retirement, etc). It's just difficult for them to appreciate the need to plan on the next 60 years when they only have twenty under their belt. Since you mention a possible future spouse/partner and your possible desire to return to them, that brings up some potentially thorny issues, doesn't it?

How long do you all think marriages will last in a world where everyone is ageless. I know I'm not going to let the preacher include, "Till death do us part." in the vows. I suspect that the average marriage in the future would last for a shorter period of time than it does today. To be blunt and insensitive, I think that many people stay in a relatively loveless relationship as they get older because they feel there are no other options. Well, there'll be plenty of options if you're not aging. Plus, time changes everyone, so the more time...the more change...the further apart you are likely to grow. I don't see anything wrong with this. When it comes to *shoulds*, I only believe that couples *should* try to maintain respectful, commited, and hopefully loving relationships until their children are grown. Even though lots of very psychologically healthy kids have grown up in a single-parent houselhold, my experience suggests that two parents provide greater levels of support and stability (getting off topic, now).

Another thorny cryonics issue is the benficiary issue. Spouses can easily become upset with the idea that you've established a cryonics firm as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy instead of the family. Ideally, you could maintain two policies, but what if you only had the resources to maintain one policy? Who would the beneficiary be? OK, now consider this analogy: You've been told by your doctors that your only chance to live requires an experimental medical procedure costing over $100,000 and with a 10% chance of success. Would your spouse insist that you *not* have the operation so that the family could have the money? Would you agree or would you fight for your life?