El Dorado and the Promise of Cryonic Suspension

  • George P. SmithII


In the autumn of 1983, at Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland, a group of doctors, by lowering the body temperature of a cancer patient 32 degrees from the usual 98.6 degrees for 40 minutes, stopping his heartbeat, and inducing a state of hypothermia approximating suspended animation, while performing surgery to remove a kidney growth which had spread through the vena cava into his heart, unwittingly advanced the possibility for medical science, at some time in the future, to achieve a total body suspension in order to combat physical degeneration caused by such occurrences as cancer, heart disease, and a plethora of other debilitating or fatal diseases.1 The implications of this process have not only intrigued the medical-scientific community, but have also touched the popular imagination with the distinct possibility of making the dream of immortality by holding illness at bay more tangible, if perhaps not a reality.


Criminal Liability Normal Body Temperature English Scientist Popular Imagination Irreversible Cessation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • George P. SmithII
    • 1
  1. 1.The Catholic University of America School of LawUSA

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