A 49-year-old Chinese woman who died from lung cancer has been put in deep freeze in the hope that she will be brought back to life and reunited with her husband once science has found a cure for her fatal illness.
The cryonics procedure was performed at Shandong Yinfeng Life Science Research Institute in Jinan on May 8, several minutes after Zhan Wenlian died at Shandong University’s Qilu Hospital, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Zhan and her husband Gui Junmin had agreed to put her through the procedure, which involves low-temperature preservation of a person whose life can no longer be sustained under current science and medical knowledge, with the hope that he or she can be resuscitated and restored to full health in the future.
While some people suspect that the procedure is just another hoax, Gui expressed in a letter of consent that he knew it was not possible to revive his wife in the near future but he still he would like to give it a try.
He said he and his family believe that future advances in science and medicine will enable experts to revive his wife.
The cryopreservation was the first for a whole human body in China, although a female writer in Chongqing had had her brain frozen and preserved in 2015.
The procedure was done by Aaron Drake, a specialist in cryogenics, in cooperation with doctors from Shandong Yinfeng Life Science Research Institute and specialists from the hospital.
After more than 60 hours of work, Zhan’s body temperature was lowered to below minus 190 degrees Celsius before she was kept in a liquid nitrogen tank that provides a stable temperature of minus 196 degrees.
The procedure is said to cost more than 7 million yuan (US$1.05 million) plus an annual charge of 50,000 yuan for the refilling of liquid nitrogen.
But Gui only needs to pay a small portion of the amount since his wife volunteered.
Jia Chunsheng, who is in charge of Shandong Yinfeng, said cryogenics projects remain as serious scientific studies and the institute has no intention to commercialize the procedure anytime soon, news website hk01.com reported.
Jia also praised Zhan for being willing to contribute her body to scientific research, adding that her consent fuels the hope that dead people can be revived and restored to full health in the future.
In the United States, there have been about 250 people placed in cryopreservation as of 2014.
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