Cryopreservation

What is the Catholic Church’s stand on cryopreservation either after death or in the future at any moment when the technology for keeping a person in suspended animation is there. Is it a sin?

Isn’t “suspended animation” more correctly called “preserved non-animation”?

Be safe, friend.

At present, there is no scientific evidence that cryopreservation will work. It may be possible to freeze individual organs for later transplant but it has yet to be fully tested. The point here is that these people are dead. According to Catholic teaching, once you’re dead, you’re dead. This type of body or head preservation (with some type of robotic body being assumed), is a belief. These test subjects may never be revived. Where the money is coming from to do this is unclear. Will the money be there in 50 or 100 years? I would think not.

Ed

Keep in mind that at death, the soul actually leaves the body, and goes on to be in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. Even a body which is perfectly whole and undamaged is not a living person without its soul. Therefore, the only way a person could be revived after cryopreservation would be if either the person had not died in the first place, but was somehow frozen in place, soul remaining in the body, or if God somehow allowed the soul to return to its body after it had already reached its final spiritual destination.

I find it very unlikely. My best guess is that if this technology is developed and eventually used, they will be able to revive the cells in the body, and mechanistic properties of it might work, but the person will not “wake up” and be conscious, because they are dead.

I don’t know the answer to your question exactly, but I do know that Catholic teaching is that the body or ashes should not be separated after death, in belief of the bodily resurrection.

Freezing just the head and disposing of the body would seem to violate that teaching.

There isn’t a “stand” on this.

Correct. Someone cannot be cryonised, by law, until they are legally dead. There is as such no “animation” to suspend.

ICXC NIKA

It is possible to preserve the whole body, but at greater cost.

As the mind resides in the head, customers often prefer to trust in cloning a new body rather than clinging to a worn-out skin and set of limbs.

ICXC NIKA

As Ted Williams, sadly, could tell you.

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