Nov 14

Some questions on Standby/Transportation

Some good questions were raised about what we are doing with standby and transportation.  I try to answer them below.  This is the summary I posted on the CAA site.  I will expand and update over time.

1. When do you expect to be up and running?

I am hoping for about mid 2017, but some of the items still to purchase will cost serious money, so it may depend on that.   Also there is some training etc.   Let’s say into 2017.

2. How would things work for those wishing to avail themselves of the services of this non-profit wing? A subscription model? Would this include both access to the thumper and use of perfusion chemicals?

Yes something like a subscription model, then a cost covering payment when the person actually needs to use the service.

3. How quickly could you get the unit to locations outside of Sydney in an emergency? Obviously in my case I’m most interested in Melbourne, but I’m guessing others may be interested in other locations… such as Perth.

We have a funeral director in Sydney who has some expertise and resources in many of the things that are useful to cryonics.

  • He is sympathetic to what we are doing.
  • He has strong links with specific other funeral directors in the major cities around Australia.
  • He has expertise in sending many deceased people interstate/overseas so he can handle paperwork/regulations/logistics etc. with minimal disruptions.
  • He has done at least one cryonics patient in the past that I know of but there could be more.
  • He has the Ziegler type containers for air transport of deceased.
The process will go something like this.  Let’s assume the patient is in a hospital in say Melbourne (it could be Perth).    We would need at least 3 days notice.  The funeral director says that we would usually have this.   Shorter times may work, but it gets increasingly difficult for a good final suspension.    Please also note that the below is really simplified and covers what we may consider a typical case.  We have looked at other scenarios, but let’s keep it simple so as to not make this email book length.   The below should give a patient a good final suspension.
  • Patient’s representative notifies cryonics contact or central funeral director (in Sydney) giving about 3 or more days notice
  • Perfusion chemicals (as medical supplies) immediately ordered from US and express freighted to central funeral director.
  • Central funeral director immediately works with his satellite funeral director in other capital city.   Ziegler, thumper, other equipment and stabilisation chemicals sent to satellite funeral director by express flight.
  • Satellite funeral director with equipment (and perhaps a private nurse, cryonics representatives and volunteers) is on hand at hospital when patient dies.  Obtains death certification and commences to apply various stabilisation measures.
  • Patient taken to satellite funeral director premises and brought to just above ice temperature (not frozen).
  • Patient air shipped to central funeral director in Sydney at just above ice temperature.
  • Central funeral director does perfusion and brings patient to dry ice temperature.
  • Patient sent to US at dry ice temperature.  If SSA is operational and patient has arrangements with them, patient sent to SSA at dry ice temperature.


Jul 18

Visit to UK Cryonics

On May 10, 2016,  I visited with Tim Gibson of UK Cryonics in Sheffield UK.  It was a very wet day and Tim very kindly invited me to his home to see the workhorse of their operation, their ambulance.  The elegance of UK Cryonics’s set up is that it is simple and it works very well.  UK Cryonics does not have a facility.  While the large storage units of a cryonics facility always generate a “wow!”, the really critical step of any cryonics operation is the standby and transportation.  I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but it can be a case of garbage in, garbage out.   Don’t get me wrong!  The storage facilities and the people operating them are vitally important, but you need to get the first parts of the whole process (i.e. the standby and transportation) right otherwise your chances of a good suspension drop off rapidly.   My strong impression is that UK Cryonics has got it right.  Their focus is on the standby and transportation.  There is relatively little investment and costs because there is no facility to be built, manned, and maintained.  Because there is no facility you do not have anywhere near the same level of  problems running the facility itself, cumbersome governmental authorization and permitting requirements, or face complex legislative issues.  Obviously a few prerequisites need to be met, but these are not anywhere near as onerous as building and operating a facility.

Of course, UK Cryonics has some significant logistical advantages versus what we have in Australia.  Tim is situated in Sheffield, which is almost in the very center of the UK.  Because of the relatively small size of the UK (about the size and vaguely the shape of the state of Victoria in Australia) they can reach most locations within 3 hours with their vehicle.  A little longer and they can be in the western part of Europe.   Additionally, they can get to the two main cryonics facilities in the US 10 to 12 hours after they vitrify and bring the patient to dry ice temperature.

UK Cryonics members are typically also members of Alcor or the Cryonics Institute.  Remember that UK cryonics has no facility of its own. The cost of UK Cryonics membership is about $500 a year.  For a member standby, preparation and transportation to the US currently costs about $30,000 for the UK and $50,000 for the reachable parts of Europe.  Non members pay about $10,000 more.

So what does UK cryonics have?

Firstly, an extremely well fitted out ambulance. Unfortunately it was raining very heavily and I did not get a chance to take a photo of the outside of the ambulance.  If you are interested it is on their web site.  I did take some video of the inside.  The video I took shows how well fitted out it is, but my non-professional camera work may not do it full justice.  Take my word for it, it is impressive.  Additionally,  working with a strong network of local funeral directors, UK Cryonics have the expertise, equipment and chemicals to do a full vitrification perfusion to dry ice temperatures.   As I mentioned, the trip to the US is then about 10 to 12 hours. Using their special transportation container, combined with these relatively short travel times, the patient remains very close to dry ice temperature throughout the journey so the latest techniques in vitrification can be used.  They also have excellent links with Alcor and the Cryonics Institute allowing a very smooth transfer of the patient to the US facilities.  It is speedy, efficient and very effective.  Above all UK Cryonics has dedicated people like Tim who go out of their way to make sure you get a good suspension.

I would like to thank Tim for the time he spent with me. Tim has in-depth knowledge of what he is doing and approaches his cryonics activities in a very professional manner.  UK cryonics is in excellent hands.

Peter T

Mar 02

Recent Cryonics Queries

With the recent announcement that Stasis Systems Australia (SSA- our sister organization) is in the process of buying land to build a facility, there have been many questions, many of a similar nature. I will try to summarize here and keep the answers very simple. In some areas I am generalizing a bit to keep things short. If you want more details or how things apply to yourself, please let me know.

When will the SSA facility be operational?

SSA have recently exchanged contracts for a land purchase and will proceed with the land purchase subject to being granted Development Approval (DA).  A professionally prepared DA submission was made recently, at about the time of the contract exchange, but not yet approved.  If all does go well the land will be purchased in about April this year.  Purchase of the land is a major milestone as there were very many legal/development issue to sort out prior to this.  If all then goes well the SSA site will be operational in 1 to 2 years.  I know that this still sounds a long way off, but the people working this have put in a lot of hard work and there is a lot more still to do.

How much will it cost?

There are 2 answers to this question.  All the amounts are in Australian dollars.

Firstly, if you come in now as an “investor” the cost is a commitment of $50,000, $13,000 to be paid now and the rest to be called up by SSA as the project progresses, so that all the $50,000 is called before the facility is operational.    As an “investor” you get:

  • a free suspension with SSA for any person of your choosing when SSA is operational
  • coverage for a suspension for yourself with Cryonics Institute (if you meet certain straightforward conditions) in the US in the time period before the facility is operational.  So essentially you are covered from the time you become an “investor”.  With CI until the facility is operational and then SSA after that.
  • Say in the management of SSA
  • Access to CSA’s (Cryonics Services Australia) coordination capability and knowledge base essentially for free

Secondly, you can come in as a client after SSA is operational.  The cost has not been decided yet but it will be in the order of $80,000 which will increase with inflation.   For example, if you need suspension in say 30 years, the cost may be about $200,000.  Usually you take out a life insurance policy to cover this.  Have a look at other areas of this web site to see what that is all about.

On top of these costs you need to add something for standby and transportation, which would be of the order of $5,000 to $20,000 assuming you are in Australia.

I hope this gives you a short summary of things.  Again please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

Best wishes,

Peter T


Jul 15

Template Plan for Client in Mid 30s

The following is a template plan for someone interested in cryonics and is in their mid 30s.   Please note that it is in some ways generalized so if you wish a more specific plan tailored to your situation, please let me know.  Preparing the plan is for free.



Dear ABC,

Re: Plan for Cryonics services

Thank you for your interest in the services Cryonics Services Australia Pty Ltd provides. I am pleased to construct a plan for your cryonics needs. I need to provide the caveat that neither I nor Cryonics Services Australia, who I represent, are providing financial, insurance, legal or any other similar services advice or specific products. All these will be provided by licensed qualified specialists. I am coordinating these services for your cryonics needs. Also, the numbers/amounts shown in this letter and its attachments for these services are approximate numbers based on my experience. The actual quotes will be provided by the qualified specialists. Unless otherwise stated the dollars are Australian dollars as applicable in 2015.

In the process Cryonics Services Australia uses, this plan is step 1. Our review of this plan is step 2 and the actual implementation is step 3. There is no fee from Cryonics Services Australia for steps 1 and 2. For step 3 there will be fees from Cryonics Services Australia and some of the service providers. For Cryonics Services Australia, the fee will depend on what services you desire Cryonics Services Australia to coordinate and I can give you an approximate idea of these fees in this document. Also, I can provide approximately what the fee will be for the professional service providers, but the actual will depend on their fee structures. Please feel free to contact me if this is not clear.

The details you have provided me are:

Name: ABC

Address: XYZ

Gender: Male/Female

DOB: Age mid thirties


Other information: Good health

Your Objective:

To be cryonically suspended by a professional cryonics organization upon your legal death and to have the funds available to do this.  To have adequate standby/transportation coverage to enable transportation to the cryonics facility. To put aside an amount of the order of $50,000 (in 2015 $) upon death for a long term trust to provided funds at the time the possible reanimation. You fully understand that there are no guarantees in cryonics and, in particular, eventual revival after suspension is not guaranteed.

Quick Summary:

You will see in this plan that you can be fully covered for all aspects of a professional cryonics suspension for a cost of about $560 a year ($46 per month or about $1.53 a day), mainly for life insurance.   If you do not wish to set it all this up yourself because of all the complications it may involve, and want to use Cryonics Services Australia to professionally set it all up for you, there is an up front fee of $600 plus the same $560 per year.

Your Plan:

Cryonics Organization

At your age it is unlikely you will need a suspension for many years so you have several options. I will summarize a few here with my recommendation for the best at this stage of your life.

At this relatively young age the costs are relatively low to enter cryonics.   Assuming your health is good, you are readily insurable for a low cost; of the order of a few hundred dollars a year to get a few hundred thousand dollars coverage. I will cover more about this later in the section discussing life insurance.

Currently Alcor and the Cryonics Institute, both in the US, are the only reasonable options for a cryonics organization. Assuming a neuro (head only) for Alcor and a full body suspension for Cryonics Institute, the costs are about $130,000 and $45,000, respectively, payable at the time of your suspension.  Both these charges are for suspension and storage only. You basically have to get to the facility door in the US, so you need to add standby (professional preparations at your hospital bed) and transportation (the preparations before and the actual transportation to the cryonics facility). This is covered later in the plan.

At a later stage, when Stasis Systems Australia (the soon to be built Australian cryonics facility, which will be operating under the name Southern Cryonics) is operational, you will have an added option of a suspension in Australia at a cost of about $80,000 (payable at the time of your suspension), again based on the patient getting to the facility door, i.e. you still need standby and transportation, but obviously cheaper because the suspension is in Australia.

All these costs are usually paid for by life insurance which is discussed later in this plan.

Before expanding on these possibilities further, there is a another option with Stasis Systems Australia you may wish to consider. That is to become a Stasis Systems Australia Founding Member now. A Founding Member invests funds of $50,000 before the facility is operational to help with the development of the facility. Yes, this is a large sum of money, which needs to be paid before the facility is running so it is obviously not for everyone. But there are benefits. For the $50,000 you get one free suspension for yourself or anyone of your choice, at any time after the Stasis Systems Australia facility is operating. If the suspension is for someone else, this cost of $50,000 compares very favourably with the full client cost of about $80,000, which will apply after Stasis Systems Australia is operational.   If the suspension is for yourself and you need a suspension in say 50 years time, an Alcor suspension (neuro), a Cryonics Institute suspension, and an Stasis Systems Australia normal client suspension will very approximately cost about $570,000, $200,000, and $340,000 respectively at that time, whereas the Founding member’s offer is locked at the original $50,000 you had already contributed.   This $50,000 again compares favourably with these other options, especially when you adjust for time-value of money and take into account life insurance premiums you would have had to pay over 50 years to cover these much higher costs of suspension at that time.

Once more, this is not for everyone, but if you are interested in this exciting development please let me know and we can discuss further. For the rest of this plan I will assume you do not take up the option of being a Founding Member of Stasis Systems Australia, although you may still wish to be a normal client of Stasis Systems Australia after they are operating.

As of now, I would recommend going with the Cryonics Institute option at about $45,000, as mentioned previously. It is the lowest cost option currently available even though you still need to be transported to the US.   Cryonics Institute also charges fees of about $160 a year for membership.

When Stasis Systems Australia is up and running you may wish to review their capabilities and become a client of theirs thereby being suspended in Australia. As I mentioned before, their fees to you as a client, would be of the order of $80,000, payable at the time of your suspension, excluding the cost of standby and transportation. It is a viable future option and we can discuss the possibility of you shifting to Stasis Systems Australia when they are operational.

This overall recommendation should be revisited every ten years or when your situation materially changes. At a later stage in your life, you may wish to make further decisions about other cryonics needs and which organization to use.

Standby and Transportation

Standby/Transportation is a very important consideration, particularly if you are to be suspended overseas, but even standby/transportation to the Stasis Systems Australia facility (when it is operational) has costs.   For Cryonics Institute and Stasis Systems Australia, the actual standby, stabilization, preliminary perfusion and transportation will be conducted by a recognized Australian funeral home with the training, experience and capability to handle this professionally.  Alcor has their own standby/transportation processes. As the recommendation focuses on using Cryonics Institute, then at a later stage, possibly Stasis Systems Australia, I will not discuss Alcor, but if you wish more information please let me know.

For a Cryonics Institute suspension, the standby/transportation fees will range from about $28,000 to $50,000 depending on a number of factors including whether you seek simple perfusion or full pre-vitrification perfusion (not available yet in Australia) and your location.   Cryonics Services Australia coordination, should you wish it, will be about $4,000.   When Stasis Systems Australia becomes operational this standby/transportation fee will be about $10,000 to $25,000 for the funeral home plus about $2,000 for Cryonics Services Australia coordination, should you wish it.


I would recommend you obtain Cryonics Institute membership. The documentation is quite onerous so Cryonics Services Australia can process this for you at a fee which is included in its costs for handling other initial arrangements, or you can simply do yourself.   The other document I would recommend is to have your next of kin sign a document confirming agreement with your intention to be suspended.   Even though you become a member of Cryonics Institute, you can always change your mind at a later stage and shift to another cryonics organization.

Long Term Trust

These may not be applicable to you now, but I am including the below for completeness.

Long term Trusts are to put money aside for the time of your potential revival in the future. The trust will be established with a recognized independent trust organization. This may mean directing the funds through your Will or life insurance to the trust organization or it may mean directing your funds to a non profit organization or a trusted relative to set up the trust for you. Also Cryonics Services Australia may, with professional legal assistance, help you arrange your Will to reflect this.

Having said the above to provide you with some perspective of what is available, with your current relatively young age, I would recommend it is too early to consider these Trusts for yourself. At some future point in time we could discuss long term Trust arrangements for yourself.

Life Insurance

There are many financial vehicles that may be used to finance your future suspension. Because you are at an age and assumed health that can be readily insured, we would recommend, as previously mentioned, life insurance. I won’t go into all the complications of life insurance with you as these really start arising when you reach your fifties.   Suffice it to say, you should probably be insured for about a $300,000 payout. This will require a premium of less than $400 a year, depending on the structure. We can investigate this with life insurance professionals to get the best rate applicable to you and determine “sweet spots” for later changes of policy structures.   All this may not mean much now. We can discuss it, but it not so critical now and becomes a lot more critical for you as you become older; certainly past about 45 years of age, when insurance premiums start to escalate.   We will, of course, discuss all this with a life insurance professional and receive accurate quotes, if you decide to go ahead.

The $300,000 payout should be adequate to cover you over the next 10 years for a Cryonics Institute suspension, Standby/transportation, some inflation effects and some funds for a Trust set up at a later stage.   We can review again in 10 years. Also, if you change to the Stasis Systems Australia facility in that time, the $300,000 payout is still applicable.   Please note that at your age, policies of less than about $300,000 pay out are usually not available because the yearly premiums are so low that life insurance organizations do not think they are worthwhile.

Recommendation Summary

So that you have a framework of what is available I have provided a wide range of options in each of the areas, with some recommendations.

In summary, I would like to recommend that for now you obtain a Cryonics Institute cryonics suspension arrangement.   In addition, to have arrangements available through Cryonics Services Australia or separate arrangements, if you do not wish to use Cryonics Services Australia, for adequate standby and transportation. To finance this I would recommend taking out life insurance with a payout of $300,000, which will both cover your immediate and your foreseeable future cryonics needs. At some point, when Stasis Systems Australia is up and running, to evaluate if you wish to shift your arrangements to Stasis Systems Australia. I would also recommend to not consider long term trusts at this time.

At the very minimum to again review this whole plan every 10 years.

Summary of Costs

Although it may not be your ultimate intent to be suspended with Cryonics Institute, by following this plan, you have arrangements in place immediately with flexibility on future options at a minimal cost.   You will have a relatively low cost life insurance policy with the financial capability to use Cryonics Institute or whoever you wish, including transportation to the US. This satisfies your current needs. Additionally, the amount of your life insurance provides you with ample scope to shift to other options in the future, including shifting to Stasis Systems Australia when they are operational.

Estimated Upfront Costs
Cryonics Services Australia fees $600 If desired for Cryonics Services Australia to set up life insurance, documentation/administration with Cryonics Institute, and other administration requirements. You may of course do this yourself and save these fees.
TOTAL $600 One time.
Estimated Ongoing Costs per year
Life Insurance $400 For payout of $300,000
Cryonics Institute membership $160
TOTAL $560 Per annum
Estimated Costs at Time of Suspension   This is likely far in the future, but this gives an indicative amount in 2015 dollars
Cryonics Institute Suspension costs $45,000 Covered from $300,000 life insurance.   Will be $80,000 if later switch to Stasis Systems Australia
Standby/transportation costs to Cryonics Institute $40,000 Handled by Australian funeral home with professional experience in cryonics. They would quote actual rates. May vary depending on location of your demise within Australia. Must be prearranged. Covered from $300,000 life insurance. Cost will be $15,000 if later switch to Stasis Systems Australia.
Cryonics Services Australia coordination $4,000 Cryonics Services Australia coordination if desired. Depends on location and type of coordination required. Must be prearranged. Covered from $300,000 life insurance.
Balance to provide flexibility in arrangements and possible cost increase buffer because your likely suspension is far in the future. Also, may be used for long term trusts at some future time. $211,000 See comment below for “TOTAL”. Covered from $300,000 life insurance.
TOTAL $300,000 As you see from the large balance amount, there is some flexibility in this amount, but at your age, life insurance organizations do not typically insure for less than about $300,000





Oct 18

Status of Standby Project

If you do not see the YouTube videos either in the side bar or at the bottom of this blog, please click here.

I have not written very much recently as I have been very busy progressing a number of cryonics projects.   In addition to the standby project I am describing the status of here, I have taken over the leadership role in our sister organization Stasis Systems Australia (SSA).  I am working to accelerate SSA’s project to become operational soon.

As I have discussed in previous blogs, I have been working on developing a cryonics standby network for Australia since about May this year, after my visit to the US. In this I have had the very kind assistance of Aaron Drake (Alcor’s Medical Response Director) and Dennis Kowalski (President of the Cryonics Institute).

There is quite a great deal of material around, but not all of it is ideally suited for Australia. The major challenge for Australia is that we have large distances and a relatively small population. Most of the population is centered in a few larger coastal cities. This means that standby needs to have the capability of being at the patient’s bedside, at the very least in each major city.  From there, have the capability of transferring the patient to a central location (nominally Sydney) for further transport either to a local facility or to a US facility.  Additionally, due to the smaller population, standby requirements are significantly less frequent than more populated countries so the process must be readily applicable even after long periods of inactivity. The network being developed has three stages of standby groups all coordinated by a central group/person. The plan is that each of these groups will have the tools, training and equipment to handle a successful standby.

The first step is notification.  CSA will handle the standby coordination of activities for cryonics clients.

The various resources and activities at each stage are:

Stage 1

These are non professionals. I would hope that some of the laypersons attending the Aaron Drake training may volunteer. This group would have very fundamental training. Essentially, they may be the closest and the first on the scene at a patient’s hospital bed.   In many cases, they may even personally know the patient.

Without getting into the details their key role would be:

  • Talking with hospital staff to explain the situation and seek cooperation, assuming this has not been done beforehand.
  • If time is of the essence, trying to obtain official death notification.
  • After legal death, perhaps setting up a heart thumper for circulation or, at the very least, applying preliminary ice cooling, particularly to the head.
  • They may even provide some very basic assistance to the stage 2 personnel.

The degree of involvement of this group will depend upon the urgency of the patient’s condition and how much time there has been for preparation.

Stage 2

Under more normal circumstances, this will be the primary group to attend to the patient, even though a stage 1 person may be there. This group will likely be the professional funeral home contacts located in each state, which will be coordinated by the central funeral home in Sydney or Melbourne. We have good relationships with funeral homes in both cities and they have the capability to reach out to all the main capitals. These contacts can be on the scene very shortly after notification.  Their main task is to prepare the patient for transport to Sydney.  Some of their activities may be possible in the hospital and some at their local funeral home, depending upon the relationship with the hospital.

The key activities are:

  • Hospital staff coordination
  • Death certification
  • Cooling patient (ice bath temperature)
  • Post mortum circulation renewal
  • Medication/stabilization
  • Transport to local funeral home for more preparation depending on what can be done at death location (usually hospital)
  • Transport the patient to central funeral home in Sydney for stage 3 activities
  • This group has a maximum of about 1-2 days to complete this stage.

Stage 3

This will be handled either by medical or funeral professionals at the central funeral home.

  • Preparation and perfusion to dry ice pre-vitrification temperature; allows patient to be in this condition for up to 2 weeks and still obtain a good suspension
  • Documentation
  • Transportation in appropriate container to SSA or an overseas facility

As you would expect, this blog is only a very brief summary of the requirements. The detailed procedures for each of the stages, using an easy to follow structured approach which, includes photos and videos, is now being completed by adapting the material from Alcor, CI and the UK cryonics group and adapting for Australia. When completed, it will be made available on line and updated as necessary. The primary aim is to have a functioning network in Australia to handle standbys and to have available straightforward procedures that can be carried out on a simple step by step basis. Cryonics suspensions do not occur frequently, especially in Australia, so the procedures need to be easily understood and readily accessible to be applied at short notice.


What now needs to be done for the Standby Project includes:

  • Check availability of medications in Australia
  • Check equipment needs, availability and costing for Australia (some already done)
  • Discuss with central funeral home in Sydney how to handle each state
  • Discuss with local (in each state) potential non professionals
  • Determine feasibility and costing of purchasing and/or creating dedicated standby kits
  • Conduct additional training as appropriate
  • Recycle the processes based on updated information
  • Set up a register of cryonics clients in Australia together with their health condition and update over time.  This may be useful for early warning of standby requirements.

There is still a lot of work to progress. I am expecting completion of most of this (i.e. to have a functioning network available in Australia) within the next year or so.  In the meantime I will keep you updated on this blog.

Regards, Peter T

Jul 12

Reasons why cryonics will not work

I was recently reading some reasons why cryonics would not work and decided to put them, and others I have seen, down in their simplest form.  I know there are subtleties and complexities to these arguments, but very often they are presented as a one liner, even by people whose background you would expect more logic from.  I decided to also present as a simple statement and draw a “logical” conclusion from the statement.

  1. If you freeze something, it comes out as mush when thawed.  Just put a steak in your freezer, leave it for 2 days then thaw it.  You see, mush when it is defrosted.
  2. Have you ever seen or heard of a person suspended and brought back to life.  If something has not been done yet, it must be impossible.
  3. It goes against what is natural.  People were only meant to live about 70 years (substitute with what you think is natural). Any extension to this through medical progress is unnatural and should not be pursued.
  4. The few thousand who may be suspended will cause over population if ever resurrected.  Therefore cryonics should not be pursued. Those billions with their life expectancy now extended many years by current medicine will have no effect on the population so this is a worthwhile endeavor.
  5. The human brain and body is too complex to be restored. It can’t ever be done.  Nothing as complex as the human brain and body can exist.
  6. The human brain contains more than just the physical.  I just feel that it contains something more.  That something more that seems to me to be there cannot be brought back when dead.  Just ask those who were dead and brought back by current medicine.
  7. The scientists who say cryonics will not work are right. The equally qualified scientists who say it may work are wrong.
  8. There is nothing known now that even has the slightest hint that cryonics may be possible. The freezing of human sperm cells and embryos has nothing to do with humans.

I am up to number 8.  If anyone can think of more please let me know.

Regards, Peter T

Jul 04

May 2014 visit to Alcor and Cryonics Institute

If the YouTube videos do not show please click here.    Please pardon my poor video skills.  The idea was to capture as much as possible, while carrying on a conversation.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I spent time in the US in early May visiting Alcor and the Cryonics Institute (CI).   I spent two days at each facility and was fortunate enough to be there when a lot was happening.

I want to say straight from the onset that the people at both facilities imbue professionalism and dedication.  Everyone I met was hard working, knowledgeable and, most importantly, very friendly.  I am sure you will see this displayed as I describe what I saw there.  Yes, I would put my long term life at either of these facilities.  Those who know me, know how critical I can be and am not easily impressed.

Alcor:  May 6, 2014

I arrived at Alcor on the day when there was a delivery of a “big foot” Dewar (large cryonics storage vacuum flask used by Alcor).  The people I met were Max Moore, Hugh Hixon, Aaron Drake, Diane Cremeens, Steve Graber and others, who were all very friendly and welcoming.  Also, things were hectic because they had received word that a patient had very recently died in another State.  I talked with Max and Hugh and was taken for a tour of the facility by both of them.  Meanwhile, Aaron Drake worked the phones organizing his trip to claim the patient and to try to get the patient released from the officials.  The patient was a “neuro” and the death was under somewhat suspicious circumstances.  Aaron had to negotiate with the local authorities in a rural town in Alabama to both obtain release of the patient (neuro) and to make sure they did not conduct an autopsy on the brain.  It was touch and go, but Aaron’s skills won through in the end.  Aaron and Steve then left on a hired private jet to recover the patient.  The neuro perfusion was scheduled for 2am the next morning, immediately after the anticipated arrival of the patient.  Yes 2 am.  I was very graciously invited to attend.

IMG_0911Alcor Dewar delivery with Max MooreSmaller1

Max Moore and Peter discussing the “big foot” dewar delivery.

In the meantime there was a delivery of a “big foot” Dewar about to take place.  It was “all hands on deck” to take the deliver.  As I now know, it is not an easy operation.  I took video of the arrival.  This segment shown here was only a short part of a long activity, which needed utmost care in order to not damage the Dewar.  Max and Hugh worked the forklift trucks.  Steve, who needed to fly out with Aaron, assisted until it was time to leave.  The work was successfully competed after many long hours in the very hot sun.  Time for me to leave to let the others get ready for the patient arrival at 2am in the morning.



Alcor:  May 7, 2014

I arrived back at the facility at 2am the next day.  Everyone was already there.  Aaron and Steve had brought the patient.  Max, Hugh and Steve were then all there manning the equipment and the team included a surgeon and others to assist. I will not go into the details of the procedure.  I did take copious notes, but understandably I was not allowed to film what was happening.  Alcor is very careful about patient confidentiality and rightly so.  The profusion I witnessed was an intensive process, which followed established protocols.  I was very impressed that near enough was not good enough.  All the conditions and tests had to meet their predetermined requirements.  For example, a neuro profusion typically may take about 1 hour or so.  Because of some clotting in the brain and other complications, this profusion lasted for over three hours.  Certain specific criteria in the written protocols had to be met before the perfusion would be stopped and the patient could move to the next stage.  No one gave up until this criteria was met.  Many of those there had not slept for over 24 hours, but did not stop until everything was done as specified.

The video shows the perfusion area for a neuro, but, of course, this is before the patient was there.  Again the privacy of the patient was considered paramount.

Cryonics Institute:  May 13, 2014

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Dennis explaining the cryonics processes to students

I could not have timed my visits any better at both facilities.  On the first day I arrived at the Cryonics Institute I was greeted by Dennis Kowalski,  Andy Zawacki, Joe Kowalsky and Doug Golner.  Cryonics must just breed friendly people.  Like at Alcor all were extremely personable and friendly.  On that day there was a visit of about 40 biology students from a local high school as part of CI’s outreach program to the community.   Although their teacher was not into cryonics, she organized these visits with her classes each year to ensure her students kept an open and inquiring mind about all new developments.  I was very impressed by the depth of the questions asked by the students, ranging from science to economic and philosophic issues.  I did not take video of this segment because, very understandably, the taking of pictures of students without their parents permission is not allowed.  During this session Joe also showed a video of his Cryoprize program.   The whole visit, which lasted a couple of hours, ended with a fun exercise where ice cream was made using the liquid nitrogen.

Cryonics Institute:  May 14, 2014

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Dennis showing Peter how the heart thumper works

Dennis, Andy and Steve took me for an in depth tour of the facility.  Because of my interest in standby Dennis went through all the equipment they would recommend obtaining.  We discussed putting together simplified standby/transportation procedures that could be used by laypersons, then a more complex set of procedures for professionals.  I volunteered to try to put something together, working with the material I had from CI, Alcor and the Aaron Drake visit.  We talked about releasing it to all interested.


There is a lot more material I have from both organizations, but I promised this would only be a summary of my visit.

I would like to thank the people at both Alcor and the Cryonics Institute for making me feel so welcome and for generously providing me of their time.  I have a lot of material now for the work I am doing for both CSA and SSA.  This includes:

  • Strong understanding of client documentation, life insurance and other administrative requirements
  • Better understanding of facility, equipments needs, skills and training needs
  • Clear understanding of standby/transportation requirements

More about all this in forthcoming blogs. Regarding standby/transportation, the next steps are to start putting together the preliminary procedures and developing a workable network that may apply in Australia, but may also be used in the cryonics world.  Of course these will evolve over time as we update/improve the methods and develop new training material.

Regards,  Peter T.

Jun 04

How does CSA develop and implement your plan?

I would like to outline how Cryonics Services Australia Pty Ltd (CSA) develops a plan for coordinating your cryonics needs.  Please keep in mind that CSA is not providing financial, insurance, legal or any other similar services, advice or products.  All these will be provided by licensed qualified specialists.  CSA is coordinating these services specifically for your cryonics needs.

Here is what happens:

Step 1 (free of charge)
CSA prepares a written plan for your specific situation.  This will include, among other things, selection of a cryonics storage organization, very long term trust arrangements and suggestions of methods of financing these, usually through life insurance.  For this CSA will need only your date of birth and permanent address, primarily so some estimates may be made for the cost of life insurance.  In this plan all the numbers will be estimates based on generic information CSA has. The actual amounts, specifically tailored to you, will be determined when the plan is implemented with the professional service providers (e.g. life insurance brokers) in step 3 below.  I do not think you will get big surprises between the actual and CSA’s numbers and also remember that no commitments on your part are made yet.

Step 2 (free of charge)
CSA discusses the plan with you and it is modified as necessary, based on the discussions.

Step 3 (should you proceed with the plan, costs shown below)
If you are happy with the plan, you and CSA sign an agreement covering what will be done.  This will include CSA’s fees, as well as indications of other 3rd party costs.  CSA then implements the plan for you and coordinates your requirements with all the service providers. e.g. life insurance, long term trust, cryonics organization of your choice etc.  CSA will need more information from you to do this.  CSA will organize all this, where possible, using standard templates and complete all the documentation for you (based on the information you provide).  One of CSA’s services is to handle this coordination so it is as hassle free as possible for you.  You, of course, will be able to read all the documentation, comment, query, adjust, fill out what you want yourself, before you personally sign off with these service providers.  CSA will not be entering into any agreements/commitments on your behalf.  You will be the sole decider of what you do and sign off on.  Also, if there is private information you do not wish CSA to know that can be handled appropriately.

Here is an idea of the estimated up front fees you may have to pay.  They only come into play in step 3.
• CSA’s fee is about $2,500 to $4,500 and depends on the range of services you need coordinated.  The usual fee will be about $3,000.
• If you have special requirements, which are outside the templates CSA offers, then the extra CSA fees/costs will need to be determined.  Usually the extra costs relate to lawyers or accountants fees.  Typically CSA would recommend not deviating from the established templates.  The final decision is however yours.
• “Trust set up fees” paid to the Trust organization: about $3,000
• Initial fee to cryonics organization: $200
• Any banking/other set up fees : probably less than $200.
• If you need your lawyers/accountants to look at something, then, understandably, you will need to pay for that.
• If you need to travel for say US life insurance then you would incur additional travel expenses.

After your plan is implemented, the ongoing fees will be primarily for life insurance premiums and memberships/subscriptions.

I look forward to your questions.

Regards, Peter T

Apr 23

Aaron Drake, Alcor’s Medical Response Director, Training Visit

Judging from the feedback, the training visit by Aaron Drake, Alcor’s Medical Response Director, went exceedingly well.  The aim was primarily to provide training for professionals and laypersons on the newer techniques for partial vitrification prior to transportation to the cryonics facility.  These new methods allow patients to be brought down to dry ice temperatures (about -78 degrees C) and be partially vitrified.  Vitrification is a low temperature glass-like state which retains cell and organ structure with minimal damaging ice formation. This dry ice temperature state allows up to two weeks of traveling time enabling the patient to be transported overseas or the vast distances within Australia with virtually no deterioration.  Full vitrification may then be conducted at the destination point facility.

Phil and myself introducing Aaron

Phil and myself introducing Aaron


The event was a very successful collaboration between Cryonics Association of Australia (CAA) and Stasis Systems Australia (SSA) and, of course, all the others who had donated to make it possible.  I coordinated the event wearing my SSA Director’s hat for SSA, and Philip Rhoades, the Executive Officer of CAA and a Director of Neural Archive Foundation (NAF), coordinated for CAA.



Aaron Drake at the laypersons session

Aaron Drake at the laypersons session

The main sessions were over two days with additional feedback periods over the next couple of days, together with some very enjoyable social occasions.  The first of the main sessions was for professionals attended by 7 people from the medical and funeral industry.  The second was for interested laypersons and was attended by about 17 people.  While the events provided valuable training, it also allowed cryonists from around Australia to meet and share their enthusiasm and views regarding cryonics, as well as quite a few other topics.

Attendees interacting during a break in the layperson session

Attendees interacting during a break in the layperson session

We were also fortunate enough to have a team from Melbourne making a documentary on a cryonics topic who agreed to film the two main sessions using their professional equipment.  Philip and I also filmed most on it on our more modest cameras.  We therefore have a valuable record of the training.  For the professional session this will need to be combined with the more detailed professional processes Aaron has and will be sharing with us at a later date.

Although our primary purpose was to provide training we achieved so much more, which will be useful for cryonics in Australia.

  • We now have close contacts and a personal relationship with a network of professionals with training who we believe can cover most of Australia for preparation and transportation to a cryonics facility.  Again we will still need the more detailed processes from Aaron to complete this training.
  • We have a solid network of laypeople who can be involved in the less professional work associated with an early response to a cryonics patient’s needs.
  • We have the initial training material that can be used to train others both professional and non professional.
  • We had close cooperation between SSA and CAA and showed that if there are enough interested in these events we may plan more.
  • We developed a good personal relationship with Aaron and as a result strong links to Alcor for future joint cooperation activities.
  • One of the embalmers present is the Chair of the British Institute of Embalmers, Australasian Division, and has invited Aaron to present to a training session at their 2015 conference.

My next steps are to follow up on all these and, in particular, to develop suitable procedures and a network, which will be workable in Australia to cover standby, stabilization, partial vitrification and then transportation.  To this end I will also be traveling to the US in early May 2014 to talk further with those at Alcor and at the Cryonics Institute.  I will also be covering a wide range of other cryonics topics with them, which I will discuss in a subsequent blog entry.

Regards,   Peter T