Key Features of the American Cryonics Society Suspension Program


By suspension program, we mean not just the freezing of members at the time of their deaths but maintaining them in a state of suspension and ultimately reviving them (should such revival prove possible). This also includes the management of funds in order to be able to keep people frozen and to pay for their reanimation and subsequent re-education and training.


The American Cryonics Society (ACS) was incorporated in 1969. We have offered a full service suspension program since 1972. Our suspension program has been developed and modified over time to maximize the possibility of successful ultimate revival for 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.


The American Cryonics Society uses both a 1) Last Will and Testament and 2) an Authorization of Anatomical Donation form to establish its authority to perform a cryonics suspension. We also suggest that members complete 3) an Advance 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.



The Suspension


Besides our own personnel, the American Cryonics Society makes use of the services of Suspended Animation, Inc. and the Cryonics Institute.   The responsibility and decisions for the suspension activity are that 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 our recommended funding which allows us to take a more active role in the member’s suspension. Under the best of circumstances, 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 proves 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.


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.  We anticipate that field vitrification will be available in the future which should prove to be of considerable benefit to maintaining biological integrity.


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. 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 suspension the 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.