Nowadays, many of those who have been introduced to cryonics, sometimes also experienced cryonicists, are trapped in the myths surrounding home cryonics – that home cryopreservation does not seem very reliable and is actually short-lived. This article will consider the most popular myths surrounding home cryonics and demonstrate that they have nothing to do with reality, and that home cryonics is available to everyone who wants to cryopreserve themselves and their loved ones.
Myth 1. There is no chance of being cryopreserved if you live alone
“There is no guarantee that you will be cryopreserved if you live alone, especially if you live alone in a small town far from a cryopreservation company.”
Communication via the internet or using Whatsapp or Telegram app would not be the best way to prepare effectively for home cryopreservation. It would be better to meet with cryonicists living nearby in person, discuss home cryonics with them, and prepare for a cryopreservation together. In the event that you live alone you should also discuss long-term body or head storage options in advance. There is also another option – online cryocommunities, such as WE ARE CRYONISTS and Young cryonicists, that help cryonicists all over the world to cooperate with each other. You could arrange something like this for yourself.
Myth 2. Home cryonics is expensive and does not suit every budget
“Cryopreservation requires very expensive medications and equipment, for example a dewar, which is not cheap. Consumables (syringes, catheters, etc.) are also needed.”
Home cryonics is a much more available and affordable option than a cryopreservation contract in most cryo companies. To use the services of any cryo company, you need to spend large sums in advance before the service is provided. For example, in Alcor, full body cryopreservation will cost you the amount of 250 thousand dollars. Alternatively, if you have this amount of money, you could invest it in assets such as real estate that could earn you revenue, and then reinvest this in your cryopreservation.
Myth 3. You have to be a medical specialist in order to organize the home cryonics procedure yourself
“DIY cryonics requires particular medical knowledge and training before you can cryopreserve someone or understand what cryospecialists are doing.”
You don’t need to have any special medical knowledge. You would only need to arrange for an embalmer (or a physician) to conduct an initial cooling and perfusion of the body with cryoprotectants. You could also arrange for a cryo company specialist to provide instructions to the embalmer and check his work. You could also personally ask specialists in the nearest cryonics organization to brief the embalmer. Such specialists could also provide remote support (via web cameras) during a cryopreservation. Cryonics organizations do not officially provide such a service, but individual experts in these companies are happy to offer assistance in exchange for direct payment. One of the authors of this article personally made an agreement with two different specialists regarding such services. Nevertheless it is helpful to understand the basics of home cryonics, which will be outlined in subsequent articles.
Myth 4. You don’t have to prepare anything if you sign a contract with a cryonics organization
“If you sign a contract with a cryo company, they will do everything for you. From the moment of official registration of death to placement in a cryostat (as is the case with the Cryonics Institute (CI)) or in a dewar (as is the case with Alcor), you will be under the tireless supervision of the cryo company specialists.”
Unfortunately, most cryonics organizations usually pay insufficient attention to clients’ health monitoring, legal support and initial cooling. For example, not all cryo companies offer an insurance agent service like Alcor. If you don’t use the Cryonics Institute’s special mobile app to alert staff of an emergency, then they won’t be able to detect you immediately after death. The contract with any cryo company doesn’t cover every step of cryopreservation, so you would still have to sort out your finances, consider body transportation, and check your health status in advance. If you want to get the best quality cryopreservation, you should check these boxes yourself.
Myth 5. You can forget to service your dewar regularly
“You could forget to check dewar liquid nitrogen levels regularly which would lead to a violation of the storage conditions of a body, defrosting of a patient and subsequent death. You may have come across previous failure cryonics cases, such as Robert Nelson and Nicholas DeBlasio.”
Modern cryo technologies are more advanced than they were 60 or 70 years ago. Nowadays, there are several ways to monitor the level of liquid nitrogen in a dewar. For example, there are special sensors that are connected to the microcontroller that keeps track of the liquid nitrogen level and sends an SMS directly to your phone if the level is low. If the liquid nitrogen level in the dewar is below acceptable, the microcontroller makes a call. If it’s critically low, the microcontroller makes a call to all associated numbers in the area in order to locate you.
Another way to prevent this kind of situation would be to hang a camera above the dewar to observe any visible liquid nitrogen vapor. But this option seems to be less informative and reliable.
Myth 6. You may run out of money for servicing a dewar
“A history of suspension failures all demonstrate that this scenario is quite real.”
Today, scientists have come up with neuropreservation, which is 7-10 times cheaper, depending on the size of the head and how it is packed. Thus you could always choose the neurosaving option and only preserve the head. Moreover, some cryonics organizations, such as Cryonics Germany, provide this option to their members free of charge. There is also the option of raising money for this purpose through crowdfunding on the Internet.
Myth 7. There will be no one to look after your dewar if something happens to you
“You could decide to move, your life could change dramatically, you could even fall ill or die, and there would be no one to look after your dewar.”
If you find at least a couple of people who share your plans for organizing home cryopreservation, you could, if necessary, contact them and ask them to temporarily look after your dewar. Or you could write a will stating you wish to be cryopreserved and the dewar with your body to be transferred to a person you trust for preservation. Also, in your will you could specify that after your death you will bequeath your dewar to a particular cryo company and come to an agreement with the cryo company in advance. In this case, the cryopreservation service would cost you less than a contract with a cryo company.
Myth 8. If you cryopreserve somebody, you are responsible for their cryopreservation until the end of your life
“Dewar storage is a lifelong responsibility and there are no other options.”
If you organize a cryopreservation, it doesn’t mean that you are solely responsible for its storage. You could still use the unlimited body storage services of a cryo company. If you don’t have enough funds, you could keep the body at home first and then collect enough money to pay for such a service in a cryonics organization. You could also ask someone from the cryo community to keep an eye on your dewar for a while.
In conclusion, most of the myths about cryonics either appeared in the early years of cryonics when technologies were weak, or they were created by salesmen to assure potential clients paid for services instead of organizing procedures on their own.
My next articles will teach you step by step how to prepare for a cryopreservation.