It’s Alive! It’s Alive… Again!
You’ve seen it in romantic novels from the early 1800s or in cheesy futuristic movies from the 1950s, and the results were always the same. Now, thanks to official approval, scientists could be working on it for real.
Of course, we’re talking about reanimation: bringing organs–or entire beings–back from the dead. And while it sounds like pure sci-fi, it only makes sense that as science progresses ever further, experts are intent on making this B-feature dream a reality.
Does the future of mankind lie in invincibility, or at least in drastically prolonged lifespans? What other medical miracles could derive from perfecting the once mystical art of reanimation? And are we crossing too many moral and ethical boundaries?
These two companies don’t think so…
Humans have always been obsessed with death, and, conversely, trying to prevent it. From our fascination with youth and beauty to simply trying to comprehend the truth that one day we will no longer exist, death–death of the body, death of the mind, and death of the ego–is the antithesis of all the things we work for in life. And yet, it is the only constant.
While many of us would gladly pass on the opportunity to live beyond our given time, there are, without a doubt, those who would go to great lengths to live forever. In the past 65 years, we’ve already seen the average global life expectancy increase by some 25 years, and as science, medicine, and technology continue to improve and become more widespread, the human lifetime can only grow longer.
If we can elongate the human lifespan simply through better technology and better healthcare, just imagine what legally sanctioned experiments dedicated to bringing organs back to life could lead to.
Brain Dead but Still Kicking
Technically, to be legally declared dead, a few simple criteria must be met: no breathing, no heartbeat and brain death. But according to two biotech companies, this doesn’t mean it’s the end.
For years, we’ve already been able to solve half the problem: ventilators allow people to artificially breath–thus maintaining breath and a heartbeat–even when the brain has stopped operating. While brain death, the permanent loss of brain functions, is widely considered just as permanent as cardiac arrest, American company Bioquark Inc. and India-based Revita Life Sciences don’t think that it’s irreversible.
According to Bioquark CEO Ira Pastor, “We are repeatedly told through the medical establishment that brain death is ‘irreversible’ and should be considered the end of the line. Or is it? Have we come to a technological point where we are able to ‘push the envelope’ to see if this is truly the case?”
Here’s their plan: