X-Message-Number: 13804
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 16:44:40 -0600
From: Linda Chamberlain <>
Subject: Alcor Pricing 

There have been questions recently about pricing differences among past and
current providers of cryotransport.  The below is from a new FAQ section for
the Alcor website that is being developed.   For more information about the
Alcor cryotransport program, we invite you to visit our website.   And keep
watching for the new FAQ section, which is being designed to make it even
easier to get answers to your commonly asked quesitons.  

20.  Question:  Why does cryotransport cost so much with Alcor than other
organizations?   I am worried about how cryotransport companies will do in
future, with money and etc.  I heard some companies have folded in the past,
and in once case in the 1970's the patients were thawed.   How can Alcor
me that this problem won't happen again? 

The long term stability of Alcor is a very important concern for all who have
cryotransport arrangements.  That is one of the primary reasons the costs are
higher at Alcor.  

First:  No other organization offers any kind of service that is similar to
provided to Alcor members.  Alcor is the only cryotransport organization using
medical personnel and technologies rather than mortuary practices.  Our
procedures are discussed in detail on our website (www.alcor.org).   

Alcor does not take the philosophical attitude that medical technologies
yet to
be developed (such as nanomedicine or general nanotechnology) will be able to
repair all types of damage, nor that memory and identity will be preserved no
matter how much damage was allowed to progress.  For nanotechnological repair,
there must be sufficient structure (molecular structure) for repairs to be
inferred from.  

What we know about biological damage such as ischemia (which happens when the
heart stops) is that it is more like melting than chopping, which means that
structure is lost.  If allowed to progress too far, this results in the
kind of
damage that cannot easily be repaired by nanotechnology.  Therefore, Alcor's
specially trained teams go to great lengths to rescue our patients as soon as
possible and to apply every technology possible (both chemical and mechanical)
to slow down and minimize the biological damage to insure that the greatest
amount of memory and identity are preserved.  This does cost more.  

Second:  The actual operations involved in getting the patient into cryostasis
are about $33,000.   Whole body patients provide $120,000 in funding (about
$70,000 goes into the Patient Care Trust).  Neuro patients provide $50,000 in
funding (about $17,000 goes into the Patient Care Trust).  

The Patient Care Trust is discussed in detail on our website also.  To
summarize, it has three primary purposes:  (1) to keep Alcor patient's safely
in cryostasis, no matter how long, (2) to fund research into repair and
resuscitation technologies, and (3) to pay for resuscitation.  These are
ambitious goals.  They also cannot be guaranteed, because we do not know today
how much these will cost.   However, we do know that the long term safety of
both Alcor and the patients depends on the success of the Patient Care Trust. 
To diminish the potential of this fund to save money would be like asking the
ambulance company to save money on your transport bill by removing all the
safety gear from the ambulance.

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