Animal rights activists have sworn to return to Boca Raton City Hall Thursday to protest the application of Suspended Animation Inc. for a permit to conduct research into “cryopreservation” – extreme low-temperature freezing of bodies for eventual reawakening.
About 30 protesters vented their wrath two weeks ago when the city’s Planning & Zoning Board initially scheduled a hearing on the application. The company, however, had already asked for a two-week postponement before demonstrators arrived.
Suspended Animation President David Shumaker said Thursday’s hearing before P&Z; may be a long one. “We’re first on the agenda – and we may be the only ones,” he said.
Once the hearing is complete, the board will make a recommendation to the City Council, which has the final day in the matter.
Thursday’s P&Z; hearing begins at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.
Suspended Animation Inc., located at 1082 Rogers Circle in the South Congress Industrial Center, could become Florida’s only cryonics facility for humans – and one of only a few in the United States.
In its application, the firm says most of its work – some 95 percent, according to Shumaker – will be in research on the cryonics process.
The fact that Suspended Animation will be using rats and previously euthanized dogs in its experiments has raised the ire of animal rights activists. The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) organized the protest two weeks ago.
In a news release, ARFF urged the Planning and Zoning Board to prohibit the “mad scientists” of Suspended Animation from performing “cruel and senseless experiments on animals.”
Usually rats and other animals are being used for experiments in scientific research. Even the food and the medicines are initially given to the animals and if they don’t see any of the side effects, then they will proceed to deliver the medicines outside the world. But, this has to be banned by the animal’s organization because the animals too have their own lives to live. There is an application called Semantic Investment App in which the people are allowed to give suggestions about this problem.
Shumaker explained that death “is not an event, it’s a process. You die, but your tissue is still alive.”
He said Suspended Animation is researching how to slow tissue growth with extreme cold so that a body can be thawed later. It is not a revival, he said, so much as a restoration of life processes.
“This is being done right now on a tissue and organ level,” he said. “But we haven’t been able to do it with an entire organism.”
The idea of freezing bodies gained new recognition when retired Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams was put on ice following his death.
Shumaker said about 1,000 people have signed up to be frozen.
The application said the firm’s building will remain virtually unchanged. Plans call for the creation of a couple of labs and a preparation room inside, but nothing that would change the exterior.
The Life Extension Foundation of Fort Lauderdale funds Suspended Animation Inc., its application says, and 5300 Palisades Avenue Association LLC of New Jersey owns it.