Australia is set to open its first cryonics centre, which aims to give humans ‘a second chance at life’ by freezing bodies of the deceased.
More than 250 people around the world, including eight Australians, are already cryonically preserved in American facilities, and almost 2,000 more have signed up.
Cryonics involves preserving a deceased person’s head or full body by freezing and storing it in liquid nitrogen at minus 196 degrees Celsius, to be 'defrosted' in the future in the hope science will, by that stage, be able to 'resurrect' the person in a healthy, fit state.
Melbourne engineer Matt Fisher, 31, had his father’s brain frozen and stored after he died eighteen months ago.
“If it's a choice between being frozen or dying, and then being cremated or buried, then being frozen is the only one that has any possibility of recovering,” Matt said.
Now with nine other donors, Matt has invested $50,000 to fund the nation's first cryonics facility, Stasis Systems Australia, which aims to give humans ‘a second chance at life’.
“We think we'll be able to offer the service for about $70,000 once we're up and running,” Matt said.
Director of Stasis Systems Australia Marta Sandberg had her husband’s body frozen at the American Detroit Cryonic Institute after he died from a brain tumour 20 years ago.
“He refused to goodbye, the last thing he ever said to me was 'Au Revoir, see you later’,” said Marta.
“It's a medical procedure which has absolutely no side effects and only upsides,” she said.
However, Bosch Professor of Histology School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney Chris Murphy says cryonics is ‘an impossible dream’.
"A living tissue is full of cells like this and when they are frozen, being full of water, ice crystals form and they simply blow the cell apart and it becomes mush,” Professor Murphy said.
"The potential of seeing the future, of having a new life, it's great, I'm looking forward to it,” Marta said.
The plan is to have Stasis Systems operating in regional NSW within a year.