Dennis James Kowalski, the head of the Cryonics Institute, has signed himself, his wife, and three children up to have their bodies cryogenically preserved.
Cryonics is preserving human and animal bodies at cryogenic temperatures, hoping that future technology can restore them to healthy living conditions. The procedure can only be performed after legal death is pronounced. Kowalski’s decision is not rooted in fear of death but rather in his fascination with waking up in the future.
Kowalski was inspired by a TV segment about cryonics when he was a child in the 1970s, and his gut instinct believes that in 100 years, technology will exist to revive the dead.
“But nobody knows the future, and it’s impossible to know for sure,” he admits. “You’ve got nothing to lose by preserving your body after death but potentially everything to gain.”
Kowalski believes that the chance of waking up, however slim, is worth it, and his family agrees with him.
The cryonics procedure costs $28,000 per person, and while some may view it as a waste of money, Kowalski believes it’s worth it.
“Real science is even more magical if you give it a chance,” he says. “I’m a dreamer, but I’m also a realist. I understand it may not work, but it’s worth a try, isn’t it?”
The idea of cryonics has been around for decades, but it remains a controversial subject. Some people believe it’s just an expensive and impractical way to cheat death, while others see it as a way to extend their lives indefinitely. Kowalski acknowledges that the technology may not work but is willing to take the risk.
As the National Library of Medicine notes, cryonics can only be performed after legal death is pronounced. So it’s unclear if the procedure will ever successfully restore life to the dead, but Kowalski remains optimistic about the future.
“I’m just hoping that someday they’ll have the technology to fix whatever killed me,” he says. “I want to see the future and all the amazing things yet to come.”