X-Message-Number: 9818
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 16:32:27 -0400
From: Saul Kent <>
Subject: Cryonics Funding

        Bob Ettinger says (9803) that: "If more
complicated and more expensive preparation
methods are adopted in the future, the use of
THOSE methods will not be included in the
guarantee (of no price increases for CI
members who pre-pay their suspension
fees), but we will still (if necessary) prepare
the patient by the older methods at the
guaranteed price. (In fact, eventually we
may have a range of options, some of
them even cheaper than current 

        I agree that a range of options
for cryonics patients offered by cryonics
organizations is likely, and that it is desirable.  
Much of the research now being conducted at 
21st Century Medicine (21CM) is aimed at (and 
moving towards) improved methods of cryo-
preservation of cells, tissues, organs and 

        Once these methods are developed,
they will have to be adapted for use in cryonics.
A further problem will be to develop a trained
team capable of delivering cryonics services
based upon these methods.

        There will almost certainly be added
costs for the delivery of such cryonics services,
although it is too early to estimate them.  

        When advanced cryonics methods,
which have been demonstrated scientifically, are
available at higher prices, it will be desirable to
continue to offer lower tech, less costly methods
for those who cannot afford the more expensive

        Hank Hirsch (9805) raises the issue
of the cost of reanimation. As Hirsch points out, 
if more funding than anticipated is needed for
reanimation, cryopreserved patients will no
longer be in a position to "come up with any
more money."

        The problem is that, although it is
certain that there will be costs associated with
reanimation, no one today has any idea of what
these costs will be, although it is likely that the
better a patient is preserved, the lower the costs
of reanimation will be.  

        Given these uncertainties, what is a
person with limited financial means to do.  If the
person is young and healthy, with strong earning
potential in the future, term insurance is a low-cost
option until the person has more assets in the future.
If the person is older and less healthy, with little
earning potential in the future, an asset such as a
house might be used to secure cryonics funding.

        In general, given the uncertainties of
future costs, the more money you set aside for
cryonics, the better your chances are likely to
        In this light, it is a good idea to examine
the terminology we use for funding.  Every cryonics
organization uses the term "minimum" funding,
although there is considerable variation among
these minimums.  

        I think every cryonicist should aspire
to greater funding than the "minimum", which is
lowest level of funding an organization has
determined is compatible with long-term pre-
servation and reanimation.  It's quite possible,
that the cryonics organization has under-
estimated the true costs of long-term
preservation and reanimation.  Certainly, the
fact that we have no idea what reanimation
costs will be should undermine one's
confidence about the adequacy of having
minimum funding.

        Cryonics organizations have been
able to ascertain their costs of cryopreservation
and estimate the costs of long-term preservation,
taking into account such uncertain factors as
inflation, investment strategies, and potential
legal and political problems.  I think it would be
desirable for these organizations to include the
costs of reanimation in their estimations, even
though the estimation of these costs would be
crude at best.

        The reason I think estimated reanima-
tion costs should be included in determining
minimum funding is because I believe it is vital
that we face reality as much as possible in offering
cryonics services to the public.  If we want people
to take cryonics seriously, I think we need to be
serious about trying to estimate *all* the costs
of cryonics.  There *will* be reanimation costs,
including the possibility that more than one
attempt may be needed before a person can 
be revived, and ignoring these costs does 
not build confidence in the movement.

        I also think we need to take more
seriously the issue of providing assets for persons
*after* they are reanimated.  Cryonicists are fond
of saying they'd be thrilled to be revived, even if they
don't have a dime to their name.  That's a fine
sentiment, but no one *wants* to be revived
without any assets (especially if they have them
now), and anyone who thinks there is a realistic
chance of revival will want to consider their options
regarding this matter.  A number of years ago, Bill
Faloon and I set up The Reanimation Foundation
in Lichtenstein in order to provide cryonicists with 
a way of putting away assets for use after they are 
revived. I think all cryonics organizations should 
offer their members the option of starting a 
Reanimation Foundation account (or at least inform 
them about it), and come up with a plan of their own 
to offer their members a way to preserve their assets 
for the post-revival period.

        Getting back to the issue of funding
in general, I think it would be desirable for 
cryonics organizations to offer two (or more) 
levels of funding.  In addition to the "minimum"
funding level, I think they should offer a higher 
"recommended" level of funding.  By doing 
so, the cryonics organization would make it 
clear that their "minimum" level might not be 
enough to cover all future costs, and that their
"minimum" level of funding is far from optimal.

---Saul Kent 

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