Volume 2, Issue 3
3rd Quarter, 2007

Why Transbemans in Biostasis are Alive

Dr. Martine Rothblatt

Page 3 of 5

Another motivation to get society to accept cyber-life is showing gratitude to those who risk their lives for society: soldiers, police; and people who are on the front lines of violence. If they have an opportunity to transfer a lot of their bemes and their consciousness to an ex-vivo form of storage before they go in fighting on the streets or in other countries, at least if their body died, they would still be alive and there might be some future potential to download their consciousness back into a cellularly regenerated fleshy body or some kind of hybrid bionano [1] technological body.

Here is a very simple and straightforward motivation. We are beginning to come across a very rough edge in society about how we may avoid suffering without euthanasia. Many people in society feel very bad about euthanasia, but I think everybody in society feels very bad about suffering. How do we get across this?

Maybe if we began to accept that death was not necessary and that we could upload a person's thoughts into a cybernetic substrate, then their pain and body could be put to rest and we wouldn't have actually killed that individual because they would continue to live in their cybernetic substrate.

Finally, the point I would like to share with you, certainly my own bias, is that death is really quite unnecessary. We have grown our world population from one billion to six billion in a hundred years, completely debunked Malthusian [2] sort of logic. The lifespan has doubled from 40 to 80.

No horrors have rained down on us from either of these advancements. These are reasons people used to say you had to have people die or we would use up all those resources.

Image 6: Society's Deathism is Unnecessary

Some 25 years ago, Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill [3] showed that just the immense lunar and asteroidal resources of the Earth solar system could support over 500 times earth's population. Therefore, I really think that deathism is quite unnecessary.

Ultimately, what will be necessary is for individuals, such as attorneys like Will Rossellini and Susan Fonseca-Klein, to prepare a legal petition for a biostasis life. I think the main tenant that you need for such a petition is that the bemes of the individual are stored ex-vivo [4] and, therefore, all functions of the brain such as memory have not ceased. They are alive under the National Commission of Laws definition. As a subset to that we will have to get some expert witnesses to show that medical science agrees with that point of view.

Image 7: Outline of Legal Petition for Biostasis Life

The second point, Roman Numeral IIA on my chart, is that consciousness is retrievable; hence, there is no irreversible loss of that brain function. There we will need to have mindware that is merged with the data files of memes to show that consciousness is also reversible.

Roman Number III is that we will have to persuade society that we are not operating contrary to the Act's purposes because if an individual does or does not port their consciousness ex-vivo has absolutely no effect on the harvest-ability of their organs. The purpose of the Uniform Determination of Death Act was to be able to harvest people's organs. If an individual ports their consciousness ex-vivo and they want somebody to take their organs, they could take their organs.

If you said to an individual, I'll guarantee that you continue your legal personhood after you are put in cryonic biostasis, you will have your same social security number, and the government is going to protect your rights as a citizen, but the cost of it is you have to give up your kidney, I bet you almost every single person would sign up because basically cryonic biostasis is premised upon regenerative medicine. Reproducing a kidney would not be a problem.

That is the portion of my article about why transbemans in biostasis are legally alive. To the extent that the legal and medical community does not agree with it, some concrete action items on how we can get that established.

Image 8: How About Real Death?

I would like to conclude with a few words about how about real death as distinguished from legal death. Real death occurs when there is an irreversible loss of consciousness, but consciousness is subjective. What is irreversible is also very subjective.

Irreversible is not bounded in time. Because the key definitions of death, irreversible loss of consciousness, in what those of us non- lawyers who just think everyday someone's dead if they are not conscious anymore, if those two key touchstones are subjective, then ultimately death itself is a subjective state. Real death, I would argue, occurs when there is belief that consciousness is forever gone.

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1. Bionano - Bimolecular Nanotechnology (Bionanotech). Use of biomolecules as replicators, assemblers, or components for molecular nanotechnology; any molecular nanotechnology based on such biomolecules or biotech. Biomolecular Nanotechnology tends to be more reliable and also to have a higher adaptive/evolutionary capacity than inorganic nanotechnology (hylonanotech). It may be used as stand-alone nano or interfaced with living systems.
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg/b/Bi.html#bionano August 9, 2007 10:43AM EST

2. Malthusian - Malthusian catastrophe, sometimes known as a Malthusian check, Malthusian crisis, Malthusian dilemma, Malthusian disaster, Malthusian trap, or Malthusian limit is a return to subsistence-level conditions as a result of agricultural (or, in later formulations, economic) production being eventually outstripped by growth in population. Theories of Malthusian catastrophe are very similar to the subsistence theory of wages. The main difference is that the Malthusian theories predict over several generations or centuries whereas the subsistence theory of wages predicts over years and decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_trap August 9, 2007 10:46AM EST

3. Dr. Gerard Kitchen O'Neill - (February 6, 1927 - April 27, 1992) was a U.S. physicist and space pioneer. Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from Swarthmore College in 1950, and received a doctorate in physics from Cornell University in 1954. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1954, with which he remained associated until his death. Dr. O'Neill's early research focused on high-energy particle physics; notably he invented the particle storage ring.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_K._O%27Neill August 9, 2007 11:03AM EST

4. Ex vivo - (Latin: out of the living) means that which takes place outside an organism. In science, ex vivo refers to experimentation done in or on living tissue in an artificial environment outside the organism. The most common "ex vivo" procedures involve living cells or tissues taken from an organism and cultured in a laboratory apparatus, usually under sterile conditions for a few days or weeks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_vivo August 9, 2007 11:17AM EST

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