CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich., July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Ettinger, the founder of the cryonics movement and of the Cryonics Institute, died on Saturday, July 23, at home in Clinton Township, Michigan, and has been frozen at the Institute. The cryonics movement advocates storage at very low temperatures after death in the hope that future technology will permit revival and the cure of aging and disease.
Mr. Ettinger wrote The Prospect of Immortality in 1962, a book advocating and explaining the cryonics thesis. From The Prospect of Immortality:
The fact: At very low temperatures it is possible, right now, to preserve dead people with essentially no deterioration, indefinitely...
The assumption: If civilization endures, medical science should eventually be able to repair almost any damage to the human body, including freezing damage and senile debility or other cause of death. . .
Hence we need only arrange to have our bodies, after we die, stored in suitable freezers against the time when science may be able to help us. No matter what kills us, whether old age or disease, and even if freezing techniques are still crude when we die, sooner or later our friends of the future should be equal to the task of reviving and curing us.
The Prospect of Immortality has been published around the world, with new editions currently in print or planned in South Korea, Taiwan and China.
Mr. Ettinger popularized the cryonics movement in the 1960s and 1970s through appearances on a wide variety of talk shows, including The Tonight Show and the David Frost, Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin programs.
Other books by Mr. Ettinger further discussed the cryonics thesis and the promise of future technology. They include Man Into Superman (1970) and Youniverse (2009). New Asian editions of Man into Superman are also currently planned. The Philosophy of Robert Ettinger (2002) is a collection of academic essays discussing Mr. Ettinger's ideas.
Mr. Ettinger was born in 1918, and served in the U.S. Army in Belgium during World War II, where he was seriously wounded. Mr. Ettinger spent several years in hospitals after the war, and his legs were saved as a result of then innovative bone graft surgery. That sparked Mr. Ettinger's interest in the promise of future medical technology.
Mr. Ettinger founded the Cryonics Institute in 1976 in order to create a non-profit organization that could freeze and store patients at death. CI (www.cryonics.org) has over 900 members worldwide in addition to 106 patients in storage. As advances in research have further confirmed the likelihood of dramatic improvements in future medicine, the cryonics movement has grown to include thousands of supporters worldwide, including organizations in Russia, Australia, Germany and other locations.
Mr. Ettinger also founded the Immortalist Society, an organization devoted to education and research relating to cryonics and life extension.
SOURCE Cryonics Institute