X-Message-Number: 14827
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 09:57:50 EST
Subject: foreign members

Dave Pizer has suggested that people abroad might have better chances by 
forming their own local cryonics organizations rather than joining a U.S. 
organization. Some comments:

First, new organizations abroad are just not likely to be successful or 
viable any time soon, as history makes pretty clear. The numbers of 
prospective members are still too small. There are only three active cryonics 
organizations in the U.S., and only two with storage facilities. (I don't 
count CryoSpan as a storage facility, since I understand it is not accepting 
new patients and will probably close down soon altogether.) Several attempted 
start-ups have failed over the years, here and abroad.There has also been 
little success with local chapters or branches of existing organizations.

Second, most of the problems abroad that Dave mentions do not occur with 
Cryonics Institute. Both here and abroad, if the patient is at a considerable 
distance from the CI facility, we recommend as second choice that a local 
funeral director ship the patient to CI, packed in ice, as promptly as 
possible. As first choice, we recommend that the local funeral director, 
after prior instruction, supply, equipment, and training, do the washout and 
perfusion locally, and then ship the patient to us for storage. The total 
cost at present, including transportation, for full body, is still less than 
anybody else's cost for head-only. (Albin's funeral home in London is already 
prepared to do washout and perfusion just about anywhere in Europe, although 
in most cases time could be saved by having a local funeral director instead, 
or in addition.)

If there are administrative delays abroad, very little is lost, so long as 
the local funeral director does washout and perfusion. If necessary, the 
patient can then be kept in dry ice for days or weeks until shipment to us is 

I won't now get into comparisons between the effectiveness of CI's procedures 
and others. That is spelled out on our web site; please read it very 
carefully. But I do want to emphasize once more that new procedures, now 
being researched at CI and at 21CM, are likely to be instituted in the 
relatively near future, with ongoing change, at all organizations. As far as 
we can now ascertain, the improved CI procedures will not add to our minimum 
suspension fee, although they might add modestly to the cost of local 
emergency help for members at a distance--and still be less for whole body 
than anybody else's cost for neuros.

Third, on the question of being stuck with unpaid fees, if an insurance 
company refuses to pay off. We have not yet encountered this problem. The 
"insurable interest" problem that Dave mentioned is, I believe, far in the 
past. We have never failed to collect from insurance companies. The 
relationship between the member and CI is contractual. You can get life 
insurance to pay off a debt, such as a mortgage balance, in event of death, 
and the principle here is no different.

What happens if, nevertheless, an insurance company fails to pay? According 
to contract, CI can then, after consultation with the family, dispose of the 
body by burial or cremation, with a relatively small loss for expenses 
already incurred. To be sure, we would be extremely reluctant to allow a 
patient to be destroyed for any reason, even if permitted by contract, and it 
has never happened yet; but we have that option.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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