Cryobiology and the World


As the field of science expands, new technological advancements allow for new areas of science to be studied.   Biotechnology is a field of science that has many applications and benefits greatly from new technological advancements. However, topics in the Biotechnology field can be controversial, such as: embryonic stem cell research, cloning and in-vitro fertilization to name a few. Surrounding the field of Cryobiology are many ethical issues and legal issues.  Especially in the field of Cryopreservation, ethical issues are found, because it deals with assisted reproduction and technology that has not been perfected.  When considering controversial matters it should not be ignored that many of them come from a religious point of view. (14) Cryonics deals with preserving human bodies for future purposes. It is regulated but there are problems with it because it has never been specifically addressed. (12)

Two of the major items preserved are gametes and embryos. These, as well as sperm and oocytes, can now be preserved at various stages in their developments.  One of the major issues concerning this is that it is a form of assisted reproduction. Couples may seek this form of assisted reproduction if they want the woman to save her eggs while she is at a young age.  The couple can use the eggs for later in life when they have established a stable household or are ready to have a family. The same may be said for men. They can have their sperm frozen and put away for later use if they have a problem and can no longer produce healthy sperm. (13) The problem lies in the fact that it is assisted reproduction; many people from a religious point of view have an issue with embryo cryopreservation. In 1956, Pope Pius XII said that artificial reproduction was immoral and illegal. Today this applies to in-vitro fertilization, surrogate mothering, and embryo cryopreservation. Since there are many followers of the Catholic Church and its positions, these followers believe embryo cryopreservation is wrong.  (14) Also, as pointed out in the video, there is not a 100% gaurantee that freezing the eggs for later use will be successful.  The technology is still in a experimental stage with only a few selective cases that have been successful. Women should know this before having the procedure done.

            Cryonics sustains human and animal bodies after modern medicine can no longer do such. Patients will choose to be preserved so that in the future they may be able to be resuscitated. Cryonics is not illegal nor is it unregulated, however there are no laws in any state of the United States that recognizes cryonics. This can cause legal issues. In California in the 1980s the California Department of Health Services tried to see that cryonics was illegal by arguing that human remains could not be given to a cryonics organization because of the Uniform Anatomical Act. However this did work and the legality of cryonics was established in 1992.  In 2004 the Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill to put cryonics and its procedures under the regulation of the state funeral board. However, there was debate on the floor and the bill was withdrawn. Advocates of cryonics say that it is a patient’s desire and he should have the freedom to choose what they want to do because it is constitutionally protected. The courts are in agreement as well or cryonics would be illegal in some states.  (12)




 Is Egg Freezing Giving Women False Hope? Video 1





 Invitro fertilization. Figure 2














Can people be resurrected? Figure 13 


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