* A Guide to Cryopreservation Contracts
OVERVIEW OF HUMAN CRYOPRESERVATION CONTRACTS
- CRYONIC SUSPENSION AGREEMENT
- LOCAL HELP RIDER (to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement)
- YEARLY MEMBERSHIP RIDER (to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement)
- NON-SUSPENSION RIDER (to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement)
- FOREIGN FUNDS RIDER (to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement)
- UNIFORM DONOR FORM
- NEXT OF KIN AGREEMENT
- CONSENT/RELEASE FOR CRYOPRESERVATION
- STORAGE AGREEMENTS
- ANCILLARY DOCUMENTS
The sections below explain the individual contracts used by Cryonics Institute Members wishing to be cryopreserved at the Cryonics Institute. The final section describes methods of funding the contracts. Both funding and contracts are required for human cryopreservation. The required contracts are the Cryonic Suspension Agreement and the Uniform Donor Form. The Next of Kin and/or Consent/Release contracts are highly recommended when completing contracts for yourself, as is the Non-Suspension Rider.
The law on disposal of a body varies from state to state and between juristictions in countries outside the United States. The Cryonic Suspension Agreement and Uniform Donor Form are contracts to attempt to give the Cryonics Institute has all rights to the patient's body. In the absence of other information, police and medical personnel who are in possession of a "dead body" may contact the next-of-kin for disposition of the "human remains", assumed to be burial or cremation. Next-of-kin should be informed of cryonics arrangements even if they refuse to sign any documents. If a CI Member dies without CI being informed, and the next-of-kin have not been informed of the cryonics contracts, the Member may be buried or cremated. If next-of-kin are so opposed to cryonics arrangements as to refuse to contact CI in the event of death, then the Member better ensure that a supportive friend who would call CI will be aware if death occurs.
A Local Help Rider is advised for most people who do not live in southeastern Michigan, and a Foreign Funds Rider will usually be required for those whose funding is not in US Dollars.
Please use the forms sent on request rather than print forms off of the website, which would need to have information entered manually.
The word suspension is a somewhat obsolete term word that describes what we now call cryopreservation. (The cryopreserved patient cannot appropriately be described as "suspended" in liquid nitrogen nor in a state of "suspended animation".) The word "suspension" still appears in many of the contracts, but is being phased-out.
Many of the contracts are a rider to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement. We are using the word "rider" as a legal term to refer to language that is an addition — or amendment — to another contract.
To be executed (ie, to "be put in force" or made valid), the contracts must be signed by the Member (or Next-of-Kin, in some cases) and either notarized or witnessed by two people who provide their address. (Adult family members, who need not be CI Members, can witness.) To be valid, the contracts must be signed by the Contracts Officer of the Cryonics Institute, or by the CI President.
CRYONIC SUSPENSION AGREEMENT
The fundamental contract for cryopreservation at the Cryonics Institute is the Cryonic Suspension Agreement, to be signed by the Member while mentally competent. It sets forth the basic legal provisions applicable to CI's services.
Much of the agreement is devoted to disclaimers, limitations of liability, and statements that the Member's estate and relatives will have or no recourse if CI or its employees make mistakes, even through negligence. If we leave our organization open to a lawsuit on any basis whatsoever, it would not merely put our assets at risk, but also the lives of every patient and Member. We simply can't take that risk. The disclaimers and limitations of liability in the contract are meant primarily to protect both CI and its Member patients against relatives or heirs.
The people most likely to consider lawsuits are those relatives or heirs who are not interested in the possible revival of the patient, but only in his or her money. Therefore it is essential to phrase the contract so as to eliminate any possibility of recourse in the clearest and strongest possible way.
CI Members making arrangements to be cryopreserved must acknowledge in the Cryonic Suspension Agreement that they understand that the success of cryopreservation depends on future advances in science and technology, and that the probability of success is completely unknown. Members must acknowledge that CI strongly opposes anyone hastening death based on reliance that cryonics may work.
CI has no intention of allowing negligence of any sort to take place, and have other ways of making sure that negligence never occurs. Our facilities, for instance, are open to inspections by Members at their request.
It is up to you to satisfy yourself that CI is worthy of your trust. We think it is: we're an open, non-profit organization, any one of whose Members can examine our financial statements and practices and facilities, elect Directors in free and open elections, and run for Director themselves.
We've been in business for nearly a quarter of a century, and we currently have the largest number of patients in cryostasis. It's true that our contract is weighted towards protecting the Institute from the possibility of frivolous or destructive lawsuits — but in the long run that protects you.
• Cryonic Suspension Agreement Local Help Rider (for Lifetime Members)
• Cryonic Suspension Agreement Local Help Rider (for Yearly Members)
The minimum fees for cryopreservation at the Cryonics Institute are $28,000 for Lifetime Members and $35,000 for Yearly Members. A patient living in Michigan near the Cryonics Institute may not have any other costs. For someone living outside of southeastern Michigan, there will be extra costs associated with the services of a local (local to the Member) funeral director and shipment of the patient to the Cryonics Institute in Michigan. For someone living on the West Coast of the United States these costs might be as much as $3,000 and for someone living overseas the costs would be even higher.
The Local Help Rider is an agreement whereby the Member funds above the minimum $28,000 (Lifetime Member) or $35,000 (Yearly Member) through insurance or pre-payment. The Rider acknowledges the extra funding that has been provided and asserts that as long as the extra funding is available, the Cryonics Institute will use that funding to pay for the costs of the Member's funeral director and shipping. There are two versions of the Local Help Rider, one for Lifetime Members and one for Yearly Members. The only difference between the two versions is that the Lifetime Member Local Help Rider refers to funding above $28,000 and the Yearly Member Local Help Rider refers to funding above $35,000
YEARLY MEMBERSHIP RIDER (to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement)
• Cryonic Suspension Agreement Yearly Membership Rider
The Lifetime Membership in the Cryonics Institute is obtained by a one-time payment of $1,250. The Yearly Member is not a Member for life, but is only a Member so long as the periodic dues are paid ($120 per year or $35 per quarter).
The Yearly Membership Rider states that the Cryonic Suspension Agreement can only remain in force while Yearly Membership dues are paid in full in a timely manner. Only Yearly Membership Members who have executed a Cryonic Suspension Agreement require an Yearly Member Rider. No equivalent agreement is required for Lifetime Members.
• Cryonic Suspension Agreement Non-Suspension Rider
The Non-Suspension Rider allows the Member to specify what will be done with the funds allotted for cryopreservation if no cryopreservation occurs (for example, if the Member is lost at sea, is killed in an airplane crash and no remains are found, etc.) The choices provided are (1) give the money to CI, (2) arrange for the money to fund the cryopreservation of a specific person (3) give the money to a specific person or (4) give the money to the Member's estate to be distributed according to the provisions of the Member's Last Will and Testament. If the money is to be given to the Cryonics Institute, the Member can specify whether the money should go to research, to pay for cryopreservation of needy CI Members or to be used for CI operations where it can do the most good for the operation of the organization.
Some Members wish to donate their money to the Cryonics Institute if cryonic preservation does not occur because of their belief in the cause of cryonics, even if they had failed to personally benefit. Some Members believe that there is a danger in returning their cryopreservation funding money to family members or surrogates if those people stand to gain monetarily from the failure of the cryopreservation. Recently, the cousin of a CI Member who stood to obtain the funds if the cryopreservation failed caused the Member to be autopsied and cremated.
The Non-Suspension Rider replaced what was formerly called "Rider A ", in an effort to be more clear, reduce confusion and provide more choices. "Version 1" of Rider A distributed the unused money to the estate, whereas "Version 2" of Rider A donated the money to the Cryonics Institute.
FOREIGN FUNDS RIDER (to the Cryonic Suspension Agreement)
• Foreign Funding Rider for non-U.S. resident Lifetime Members
• Foreign Funding Rider for non-U.S. resident Yearly Members
The Foreign Funds Rider is an attempt to ensure that funding for cryopreservation that is not denominated in US Dollars does not fall below the allotted minimums because of fluctuations in exchange rates. A $2,000 buffer is required to address additional expenses and undertainties from the use of foreign funding.
Thus, the US Dollar denominated Lifetime Member minimum is $28,000 and the US Dollar denominated Yearly Member minimum is $35,000. The Lifetime Member version of the Foreign Funds Rider specifies that the Cryonic Suspension Agreement remains in force so long as the value of the foreign funding in US dollars is above US$30,000 and that the Cryonics Institute can require funding of US$35,000 if the value of the foreign funding drops below US$30,000 for the Cryonic Suspension Agreement to remain in force. The Yearly Member version of the Foreign Funds Rider specifies that the Cryonic Suspension Agreement remains in force so long as the value in US dollars of the foreign funding is above US$37,000 and that the Cryonics Institute can require funding of US$42,000 if the value of the foreign funding drops below US$35,000 for the Cryonic Suspension Agreement to remain in force.
UNIFORM DONOR FORM
• Uniform Donor Form
The Uniform Donor Form is a contract by which the Patient donates his or her body upon legal death to the Cryonics Institute in accordance with the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA). Instead of donating any particular organ, the cryonics patient donates the entire body to the Cryonics Institute. Donating individual organs to any individual need may seem charitable, but this is not appropriate for cryonics because in a hospital situation physicians will greatly compromise the brain in their efforts to harvest a heart, kidney, liver and other organs.
The Uniform Donor Form specifies that the donation should take place as soon as possible and without embalming or autopsy. We have often FAXed this document to hospitals where a Member was pronounced (or soon to be pronounced) legally dead as proof that the Patient desired to be cryopreserved. Execution of a Uniform Donor Form can supplement the patient's Advance Directives and may help perseuade health crae providers to cooperate.
NEXT OF KIN AGREEMENT
• Next of Kin Agreement
The Next of Kin Agreement is a contract between the Member (Patient) and the next of kin (spouse, parent, child, or sibling). In the Next of Kin Agreement the Next of Kin assigns authority over the body of the Member to the Cryonics Institute and agrees to take actions necessary to permit cryopreservation and forego all actions which might interfere with the cryopreservation of the Member. The Cryonics Institute is also a party to the contract. (Please read the discussion in the introductory comments above concerning legal authority over the body.)
CONSENT/RELEASE FOR CRYOPRESERVATION
• Consent/Release for Cryopreservation
The Consent/Release for Cryopreservation acknowledges the desire of the Member to be cryopreserved and the fact of the contract between the Member and the Cryonics Institute. The signer of the Consent/Release for Cryopreservation "accedes" to the wishes of the Member concerning the disposition of the Member's body as well as authorizing and directing that the body be delivered to the Cryonics Institute for cryopreservation immediately after the clinical death of the Member. This document requires less of the Next of Kin and the Next of Kin may be more willing to sign it.
• Cryonic Storage Agreement for Member
The "Cryonic Storage Agreement for Member" is used for Cryonics Institute Members who have died without having executed a Cryonic Suspension Agreement. This agreement is signed by the Next of Kin for the legally deceased Member and the cryopreservation fee is at the Member rate of $28,000. Notarized signature of the Next of Kin is required.
• Cryonic Storage Agreement for NonMember
The "Cryonic Storage Agreement for NonMember" is used for persons who have died who are not Members of the Cryonics Institute and without having executed a Cryonic Suspension Agreement. This agreement is signed by the Next of Kin for the legally deceased Member and the cryopreservation fee is at the Non-Member rate of $35,000 — plus the $1,250 Lifetime Membership Fee. Notarized signature of the Next of Kin is required.
• Authorization by Children for Cryonic Preservation of a Parent
The "Authorization by Children for Cryonic Preservation of a Parent" is required for a cryonic storage agreement of a deceased parent. This document is an affirmation by the children of a deceased parent that (1) they are all the children of the deceased parent, (2) there was no living spouse, (3) there are no living children of the parent other than those signing the document and (4) that permission is given for the parent to be cryonically preserved. Normally, ALL adult children must consent to cryopreservation of the parent for the Cryonics Institute to accept the parent as a patient. This document must be witnessed by a lawyer or notary who attests to the identity of the signatories.
• Memorabilia Storage Agreement
The "Memorabilia Storage Agreement" is ONLY available to Cryonics Institute Members who have already executed contracts for cryopreservation at CI and who have full funding in place. The US$1,000 Memorabilia Storage Fee is non-refundable, even if the Member dies without being cryopreserved and the contents must be returned to agents of the deceased Member. This agreement must be paid in cash, not through insurance. CI cannot allocate immediate real space in exchange for money that may not materialize for decades, if ever.
Standby, Stabilization, and Transport Services (Suspended Animation, Inc.)
Cryonics Institute Members have the option of arranging for Standby, Stabilization, and Transport (SST) Services with volunteers, funeral directors, or the Florida company Suspended Animation, Inc., which specializes in providing those services. CI Members wishing SST from Suspended Animation must provide extra funding ($60,000 more in insurance coverage, policy owned by CI or jointly owned by CI and the Member), and must complete two additional contracts: the Suspended Animation Local Help Rider between CI and the Member, and the Individual Agreement Regarding Standby for a Cryonics Institute Member by Suspended Animation between the Member and Suspended Animation, Inc. To see the contracts pertaining the agreements between CI and SA, see All the documents associated with the CI/SA agreements.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care:
Most states have statutory forms. This allows the patient, among other things, to give a specified person authority to make health care decisions (such as permission for surgery) if the patient is unable to do so. This authority may include disposal after death. It also allows the patient to specify when or under what circumstances medical staff should stop trying to resuscitate the patient. For a detailed description of the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will, see Advance Directives for Cryonics Institute Members.
Most CI Members pay for their cryopreservation arrangements by buying a life insurance policy that names the Cryonics Institute (and Suspended Animation, Inc., if relevant) as the beneficiary (beneficiaries) of the life insurance policy. Life insurance avoids probate and offers protection until other means of funding can be arranged. For life insurance agents familiar with selling insurance for cryonics purposes, see the Insurance/Investments page. Note that there are special riders for CI Members wishing to fund their human cryopreservation arrangements with a portfolio: PORTFOLIO FUNDING RIDER — Lifetime Membership and PORTFOLIO FUNDING RIDER — Yearly Membership . See the comments in the funding webpage for details. For information about all forms of funding human cryopreservation, see Funding Human Cryopreservation with the Cryonics Institute.