An essay by an anonymous bioethicist, presented by Thomas Canfield
Illustration by Katie Nyborg

March 11, 2117. Mark that date in your calendar. That was the day the first client in a state of cryostasis was revived. There were only two people present: Dr Maxwell Bessemer, who was head of the program, and myself.

I was a bio-ethicist and had been with the facility for over a year now. Ostensibly I had been hired to be certain that all of the articles of the UN charter concerning cellular modifications and tissue regeneration were observed. But my true purpose was nowhere stated in the contract I had signed. It had not been written down and it had not been conveyed orally. It was understood intuitively and needed no further confirmation. I was there to protect the interests of our corporate parent, Biometric Innovations Consortium. I was to provide them with cover, to vouch for their compliance with the highest ethical standards, should something go wrong. And there was a very real chance that something would go wrong. An excellent chance.

What we were about to attempt had no precedent. The field and theory of cryogenics was still highly experimental. Although it had been around from the tail end of the twentieth century it remained, as it had begun, theoretical and controversial. There was no proven science that the concept could, in fact, be realized. There was speculation, there was conjecture, there was talk and discussion but there was a dearth of cold hard fact and a total absence of results. It was a science founded on hope and wishful thinking. Today, all that was about to change.


And I could not go on. Schuster’s eyes were immense pools of misery. I had never witnessed such pain before, such a bottomless well of hopelessness.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2012 collection.

Dr. Bessemer received his undergraduate degree from Cal Polytechnic and pursued his doctoral studies at UC Berkley and Stanford University. He has worked for both government and private industry. In his spare time, he plays the violin and is a dues paying member of PETA.

Canfield’s phobias run to politicians, lawyers and oil company executives. He likes dogs and beer.

Katie Nyborg’s art, plus information regarding hiring her, can be found at http://katiedoesartthings.tumblr.com/

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