With the inevitable end in sight – and with the cancer continuing to spread throughout her brain – Kim made the brave choice to refuse food and fluids. Even so, it took around 11 days before her body stopped functioning. Around 6:00 am on Thursday January 17, 2013, Alcor was alerted that Kim had stopped breathing. Because Kim’s steadfast boyfriend and family had located Kim just a few minutes away from Alcor, Medical Response Director Aaron Drake arrived almost immediately, followed minutes later by Max More, then two well-trained Alcor volunteers. As soon as a hospice nurse had pronounced clinical death, we began our standard procedures. Stabilization, transport, surgery, and perfusion all went smoothly. A full case report will be forthcoming.The hidden horror of this defies imagination. There's suffering, there's anxiety, there's fear, and there's burden of choice - anxiously reading about the procedures, second-guessing yourself - are you deluding yourself, are you grasping at straws, or are you being rational? When is the tipping point where you'll deny life support? This kind of decision hurts. I really hope that she simply believed it to be worth a shot and did not have to suffer from the ambiguity of the evidence, but I don't know, and its scary to imagine facing such choices.
Then if she is awakened - sadly, it seems exceedingly likely that almost everyone she knew will be dead, or aged beyond recognition, it is exceedingly likely that she will largely not be herself. No one ever looked if vitrification solution reaches the whole of the human brain - in the parts it won't reach, will be shredded, the parts it does reach, proteins denature. Tossing a book with pictures into a bucket of solvents is not a good way to preserve it's contents when you don't know what the paint is made of, especially if parts of the book not reached by solvents are then shredded.
If you're an altruist, well, there's a lot of people to save via more reliable, not so mentally painful, vastly cheaper methods, to which the majority of the population lacks access. Altruism doesn't explain cryonics promotion. Selfishness does - you believe in cryonics and you want confirmation, cryonics is your trade so you'll pitch it, or you're signed up and you need volunteers to test methods for your own freezing, or you want to feel exclusive and special... A lot of motives, but altruism is not one of them. Promoting cryonics, like any expensive, unproven, highly dubious medical procedure, is not a good thing to do. As far as beliefs go, "you'll almost certainly die but there's a chance you won't" is not the most comforting one.
Speaking of brains. Currently, among other things, I develop software for viewing serial block-face microscopy data, on a contract. This is my private opinion, of course - and I am not a neurologist, my main specialization is graphics, I look at neurons to tune and test the software, I don't quite know what all the little bits around are - I look at a bit and I'm like, what is it? And then I go to re-read description by one of other people at the project, and I am like, ohh, I think it's a mitochondrion inside a dendrite. And then I wonder - why is it here? What does it matter where it is? What is this thing that connects it to the wall? Is it some weird imaging artifact? I do not claim to speak for everyone. I'm doing my part which, among other things, can help to figure out how to preserve brains or how to digitize them.
And my opinion is, in TL;DR; form: "do not promote cryonics for use by humans now". If you want to promote something, malaria vaccines are a good idea, if you want to defend something controversial, there's DDT to kill mosquitos, if you want to defend something overly fancy, there's the mosquito shooting laser. And that's just malaria. There's a lot of other diseases that have well proven cures which aren't available to everyone.
When we have better understanding of the brain, the preservation will almost certainly be cheap and chemical, rather than cryogenic. Cryogenic preservation requires pumping brain full of vitrification solution which prevents ice from forming even at the slow cooling speed of an object as big as human brain. Those concentrations denature proteins, distort things, likely detach things. It is more rational to find right set of chemical fixatives, than to use solvents at denaturing concentrations. Especially if solvents do not even reach the whole brain. Liquid nitrogen is wrong, too - liquid nitrogen is much too cold, different parts of the brain have different thermal expansion coefficient, the whole thing cracks as it cools from the glass transition temperature down to liquid nitrogen temperature. One could write pages about such issues.