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Cryonics FAQ 9: Glossary

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Archive-name: cryonics-faq/part9

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		    Frequently Asked Question List
			 Section 9: Glossary
		Last Modified Fri Nov  1 12:36:06 1996

(You can fetch cryomsg "n" by sending mail to with the 
subject line "CRYOMSG n", where "n" is a mesage number.  There is
more about this in the answer to question 8-2.  The index
to this FAQ list is cryomsg "0018.1".  )

Copyright 1993 by Tim Freeman.  See the end of Section 1 for
restrictions on redistribution.

The next three sections have definitions of cryonics vocabulary.  The
list is divided (at the discretion of the editor) into words to use,
words not to use, and words to use in jest.

			     Words to Use

CRFT has a glossary on pp. 57 - 58.

biostasis - Synonym for "suspension".

cardiac arrest - Cessation of heartbeat.

clinical death - A person is clinically dead if they are in cardiac
arrest and their pupils do not contract when light is shined into them.

cryobiology - Biology at low temperatures.  This includes organ preservation.

cryogenics - Science in general at low temperatures.

cryonics - The practice of freezing people at the end of their natural
lifespan, hoping for eventual reanimation.

information-theoretic death - A person has reached
information-theoretic death if a healthy state of that person could
not possibly be deduced from the current state.  The exact timing of
information-theoretic death depends on presently unknown details of
how the brain works.  The current best estimates put it several hours
after clinical death.

ischemia - Damage to tissues due to oxygen deprivation. 

legal death - A person is legally dead if a doctor has signed a death
certificate with his or her name on it.  This tends to happen when the
doctor believes that modern technology will not be able to restore
them to health.  The criteria for legal death change with time.

neurosuspension - The practice of only freezing a person's head or

revival - The process of restoring a clinically dead person to health.

suspension - The process of preserving a person for eventual revival,
usually by freezing in liquid nitrogen.  This happens after legal
death but hopefully before information-theoretic death.

			   Words Not to Use

corpsicle - Pejorative synonym for "suspended person".

cryonicist - An ambiguous term.  1. One who studies or who tries to
improve the process of freezing people for later revival.  Use
"cryonics researcher" instead.  2. One who is interested in cryonics.
Use "cryonics fan" instead, or perhaps "person interested in cryonics".

death - A vague term.  Use "legal death", "clinical death", or 
"information-theoretic death" instead.

deanimation - An ugly-sounding synonym for "clinical death".

reanimation - An ugly-sounding synonym for "revival".

			 Words To Use In Jest

flexionally disabled - frozen stiff

metabolically disadvantaged - clinically dead

(Next five are from Alcor Indiana Newsletter #5 by Steve Bridge,
cryomsgs 1148 and 1149.)

chronologically gifted - old

experientially enhanced - old

achieved an overall metabolic deficiency - died, possibly frozen

thermally challenged - frozen

assumed room temperature - died, not frozen (Attributed to Rush Limbaugh)


The following people contributed to this document.  Some of them
contributed by posting messages to cryonet or sci.cryonics which I
used.  They are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

  Steve Bridge <>
  Kevin Brown <>
  Thomas Donaldson <>
  Tim Freeman <>
  Daniel Green <>
  Steven B. Harris <71450.1773@CompuServe.COM>
  Bryan Michael Kearney <bk1a+@ANDREW.CMU.EDU>
  Simon Levy <>
  Lola McCrary <>
  Perry E. Metzger <>
  Micheal B. O'Neal <>
  Art Quaife <>
  Richard Schroeppel <>
  Garret Smyth <>
  Ralph Whelan <>
  Brian Wowk <wowk@ccu.UManitoba.CA>

and one person on the cryonet mailing list who chose to remain anonymous.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

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