Participation in the American Cryonics Society Suspension Program

for Cryonicists in the UK and Europe


Although the membership base of the American Cryonics Society is primarily in the USA, we welcome members and suspension program participants from all over the world.  The American Cryonics Society works closely with the Cryonics Institute (CI) and members of CI in either the UK or continental Europe. Cryonicists in UK and Europe will find many advantages in being ACS members concurrently with being members of CI. Alcor members residing outside the US can establish a dedicated fund or trust to be managed by ACS as a “new life fund” for the member.


The American Cryonics Society (ACS) was incorporated in 1969. We have offered a full service suspension program since in 1972. Our suspension program has been developed and modified over time to maximize the possibility of successful revival for the patients. To achieve this goal, the member should have a prompt suspension with the best technology available, be kept safely in suspension, have assets devoted to long term maintenance, have their ultimate revival kept safe from any possible mismanagement or fraud, and have such assets invested wisely so that they can grow faster than inflation. Funds should be available for ultimate revival and for a “new life fund”. The member should have access to his funds upon revival. ACS works cooperatively with Suspended Animation, Inc. (SA), the Cryonics Institute (CI), and other organizations to achieve these ends.


The American Cryonics Society is a full service cryonics organization. By this, we mean ACS takes responsibility for our patients during every phase of their trip through time. The American Cryonics Society makes use of the services of the Cryonics Institute and Suspended Animation, Inc. and has hired other suspension providers at various times. This is somewhat akin to building a house. The homeowner hires a general contractor to build his house. The general contractor may use various sub-contractors to construct the dwelling but the general contractor is always the person responsible for completing the project. The general contractor can hire and fire sub-contractors as he sees fit.


A step-by-step guide on how we hope to achieve these goals is detailed in the paper entitled “A Time Travel Guide for the Cryonaut.”  Here is a brief summary of these steps:


Suspension Planning


The American Cryonics Society is a member-run organization that emphasizes individual initiative. We don’t patronize our members. We don’t assume that we have special knowledge about future technological advances that is unknown to them.  Thus we give members individual choices whenever possible on such matters as fund management and method of suspension.


Cryonicists outside the US should employ local legal counsel to advise them on steps to take to establish the legal authority to have their bodies placed in cryonic suspension and sent to the US for long term cryogenic storage. Once the patient has arrived on US soil, the American Cryonics Society relies upon the anatomical donation laws for its authority.


Non-US cryonicists should complete 1) a  Last Will and Testament and an International Will form as well as 2) an Authorization of Anatomical donation form. We also recommend completion of 3) an Advanced Health Care Directive, appointing a health care agent friendly to cryonics to act on behalf of the member when his state of health is such that he cannot act for himself. If it does prove possible for a non-US member to move to the United States prior to deanimation, we want to have the proper legal authority already in place.


The Suspension


When it is possible to do so, we recommend that people living outside the US who wish suspension services come to the United States to spend their final days at a location where a suspension team can initiate the procedures most efficiently just after the subject’s (or patient’s) “death.” The American Cryonics Society has contracts with both the Cryonics Institute and Suspended Animation, Inc. Currently, Suspended Animation, Inc. does not offer services outside the US. The American Cryonics Society has equipment supplies and personnel to be able to perform a field washout complete with 15% glycerin for cryoprotection. We do not have the capacity for field vitrification. Field vitrification technology for at least the head and/or brain appears to be an achievable goal in the near future. The transportation of personnel, equipment, and supplies to most countries outside the North America continent is not practical without many weeks preparation.


Although the American Cryonics Society makes use of the services of Suspended Animation, Inc, the Cryonics Institute, and often other contractors, the responsibility and decisions for the suspension activity are those of the American Cryonics Society.  Some of our members just provide minimum funding which essentially means that they receive a suspension through the Cryonics Institute in accordance with CI’s standards and practices. In those cases, we make ourselves available for assistance when called upon by the Cryonics Institute.


Most ACS members provide at least our minimum recommended funding which allows us to take a more active role in the member’s suspension. Under the best of circumstances in the US, we can have a team at the bedside of the ailing member to start the process just as soon as the member is officially pronounced as deceased.   The team provides cardiopulmonary support, use of ice to cool the patient, and application of heparin and/or other pharmacological agents.  Depending on the circumstances of death, the team may also initiate field washout of blood, replacing it with a balanced salt solution.  Besides getting rid of blood, which tends to clot and block the circulatory system, this latter procedure also oxygenates and quickly cools the body.


In the US, after any on-site procedures, the patient is sent to a central suspension facility (currently the CI facility near Detroit) for final preparation that may include vitrification of the head and brain.  Outside the US, following a field washout depending upon the circumstances, we may perfuse with a 15% glycerin preparation then cool the patient to dry ice temperature. The patient would then be sent to the US at about -79oC.


In many circumstances, both in the USA and elsewhere in the world, it is not possible or practical to wash out or to perfuse the patient.   In those cases a “straight freeze” is usually in order.  This is where the patient is frozen without benefit of intravenous preparations.  The straight freeze has the advantage of simplicity and promptness of application.  The straight freeze is not necessarily inferior to more advance preparation.   It is hoped that advanced nanotechnology will provide the means to restore or reanimate such patients. 


Suspension Fund Management


The American Cryonics Society is a 501(C)(3) corporation and may receive donations, gifts, and bequests tax-free to US tax payers. Perhaps of greater significance to non-US members is the fact that any research funds managed by the American Cryonics Society may grow tax free. We have funds to be used on behalf of individual members in suspension, known as “dedicated funds.”  We also have individual trusts that are managed by ACS or by cryonics friendly family members. Copies of model trusts documents are available upon request.


The American Cryonics Society makes use of investment advisors to guide us in investment decisions. We have followed a conservative approach to handling members’ money with a substantial portion in CDs and bonds. In managing members’ funds for over 30 years, the American Cryonics Society has never lost any member’s funds through fraud, mismanagement, or embezzlement. ACS members in long term cryogenic storage at the Cryonics Institute have all met the CI funding requirement. Such members are entitled to all of the rights and privileges of CI membership as well as those of the American Cryonics Society.


A number of ACS members have provisions in their funding documents, allowing some of their funds to be used on behalf of other members. Additionally, American Cryonics Society general funds might be used under a board directive to supplement the suspension funds that have been dedicated to the individual member.


Long Term Storage


The American Cryonics Society retains inspection authority for any facility that houses ACS patients. We retain the right to remove those patients and place them elsewhere should we believe such removal is in the patient’s best interest. For American Cryonics Society patients at the Cryonics Institute facility, we do a yearly inspection and then make that inspection report available to members.


Suspension members may appoint a sponsor. A sponsor is an American Cryonics Society member authorized to act in the interest of a member after he has been suspended. The sponsor has the right to review inspection reports and to accompany the ACS inspector on his yearly visit to the CI facility. The sponsor also receives copies of any financial reports involving the funds for the sponsored member. The American Cryonics Society may itself appoint a sponsor for a suspended member. Our goal is to have a sponsor for each member in suspension.


American Cryonics Society assets may be used to fund various projects at the CI facility such as our recent co-sponsorship of the installation of a fire suppressant sprinkler system. The American Cryonics Society or the patient’s sponsors may also disseminate public information or initiate discussion on any topic they feel appropriate to the long term survival of the sponsored patient.


Ultimate Revival


We do not know the cost of ultimate revival for American Cryonics Society patients. It is difficult to come up with meaningful cost estimates since we do not know the technology that will be applied for such reanimation. Please keep in mind that there are no guarantees that anyone frozen with today’s technology will ever be revived. Having said that, should revival prove possible, it is reasonable to assume that there will be some costs for the ultimate revival, re-education and re-training, and to provide a “new life fund.” Funds for individual members’ dedicated funds could be used for such endeavors as well as American Cryonics Society general purpose funds.


Factors of Special Concern for Cryonicists Living Outside the USA


The American Cryonics Society, as well as other US based cryonics companies, has severe limitations on suspension technology for suspensions performed outside the USA. We have neither personnel nor equipment stationed in the UK or continental Europe. When it is possible to do so, we recommend that non-US cryonicists travel to the USA in anticipation of deanimation and suspension.


We expect to work closely with the Cryonics Institute for any suspensions in the UK or continental Europe. Individuals who live far away from suspension facilities are well advised to take appropriate steps to attain suspension capabilities themselves in conjunction with other nearby cryonicists. The advantages of ACS membership for citizens of the UK or those residing on the continent lie mostly in funds management, independent (third party) inspection of the CI facility, and providing a safety net against the unlikely failure of the Cryonics Institute. ACS can supply the suspenders for belt-and-suspenders safety.


Funds managed by the American Cryonics Society on behalf of the patient can grow tax free. ACS also has some funds that are non-patient specific as well as patient specific funds with provision for assisting fellow cryonicists.