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The CI Advantage

The cryonics organization founded by the "Father of Cryonics," Robert C.W. Ettinger

Why choose CI?

The Cryonics Institute offers the public cryonic suspensions of the highest quality at the lowest reasonable cost. This has been our mission since 1976, when CI was founded by Robert C.W. Ettinger, the scientist who founded the cryonics movement. Our goal is to preserve life at liquid nitrogen temperatures until the day when medical technologies mature to the point where our patients can be successfully revived to new life, health and even renewed youth.

Cryonics offers a second chance at life. Not surprisingly, the Cryonics Institute is not the sole organization advancing this revolutionary concept.

However, as the stewards of Robert Ettinger’s legacy, we believe the Cryonics Institute is the organization most vested in advancing cryonics, and as such, offers significant advantages over other cryonic suspension providers.

 

Affordable for All

Our prices are lower than any other organization — in fact, the most affordable prices anywhere in the world. We set our prices low because we exist only to benefit our members - we don’t want to overcharge ourselves.

Our minimum whole-body suspension fee is $28,000. (For members at a distance, transportation costs and local help will be additional.) Our $28,000 fee is a one-time only payment, with no subsequent charges. It's easily funded by life insurance or other investments subject to CI verification. One competitor’s cost is $200,000 for similar cryopreservation procedures and perpetual storage services. (* See more below on mandatory remote standby and how it can increase costs.)


Does our lower cost mean lower quality patient care or services? Absolutely not. Specific methods and research differ only slightly, and we believe our procedures and policies offer the best possible chance for patient survival.

While we certainly encourage our members to overfund and donate to help offset operational costs, we do not force people to pay beyond what we have determined is an adequate sum to fund our process.

 

Quality

The Cryonics Institute’s state-of-the-art cryonic suspensions are performed by our team of experienced and trained cryonics professionals, using what we consider to be the best scientifically tested and proven procedures, equipment and vitrification formula available.

Vitrification is a key element in ensuring an optimal suspension. Our vitrification formula has been specifically formulated to minimize ice crystal formation and structural tissue damage associated with the freezing process, resulting in superior suspensions. CI made a significant research investment to arrive at this scientifically tested formula and we share the results openly. Our open source formula is freely available so that anyone who needs it can replicate it for local standby procedures, or to conduct their own independent quality tests.

 

History and Experience

Since 1976, we have successfully cryopreserved over 100 patients, all of whom are still in perfect cryostasis today. Our long proven track record of successful suspensions makes us one of the most reliable and respected cryonics organization around.

Robert C.W. Ettinger himself was cryopreserved by CI in 2011. A close examination of the late Mr. Ettinger’s own cryonics case report proves that a superior suspension need not involve expensive remote standby services. Solid planning utilizing local resources is a lower cost, and often superior, solution.

One might ask if the founder of cryonics chose CI (the very organization he founded) for his own cryopreservation, then why would anyone choose a different, more expensive provider? We agree CI is the best choice and hope you will too.

 

Financial Stability, Safety and Security

We have a unique, proven track record of financial security and stability, as well as price stability. CI is the only cryonics organization with no debt, no stockholders, and no landlords. We own our patient care facilities outright, and all of our member officers and directors donate their services voluntarily. We're one of the oldest cryonics organizations in existence -- and the only such organization that has never raised its prices, even in high-inflation times like the late 70s and early 80s. Adjusting for inflation, our prices have actually steadily declined.

This is a critical distinction, because as members ourselves, each and every one of us has a vested interest in the long-term viability of our organization - our facilities, cryostats and finances are built to last into the future we're striving toward.

Importantly, CI has kept its paid staff to a minimum to avoid high labor costs of excess labor.  CI has never had a case of embezzlement, employee corruption or, of course, any patients lost. Through due diligence and careful examination of our personnel and procedures, CI has avoided the negative PR and lawsuits that have plagued other organizations.

Our volunteer leadership is an importan asset. It includes very talented people with successful careers in key areas - law, acounting, investment, emergency medical technology and company CEOs - all factors critical to running a successful cryonics organization. These leaders provide their high-priced talent to CI at no cost - because they believe in the promise of cryonics for themselves and their families.

We anticipate greater growth and stability through increased membership and by helping people from all socioeconomic groups. All of CI’s directors and officers are directly elected by and from our membership, giving our members institutional oversight and ownership. Many CI members volunteer time and resources, receiving no pay other than the pride and satisfaction of helping one another. All decisions are made by our members, for the benefit of our members. We have no bureacracy, and no decision-maker has any financial interest except to benefit the organization.

 

Standby Philosophy

While some organizations make centralized remote standby mandatory, CI offers this as an option available through Suspended Animation, Inc., the same organization that serves other providers. CI does not believe in a one size fits all standby solution. Instead, we encourage members to plan and set up their own decentralized local resources. We think that the ultimate responsibility for standby relies to a certain degree with the individual member, since each member can assess his or her own individual circumstances.

Spending large sums of money for remote standby services, unfortunately does not guarantee a successful suspension. Members must take an active role in planning and not be lulled into a false sense of security. By such arrangements, Robert Ettinger himself illustrated this point through the common sense cooperation between his family and friends. He didn’t need to spend an extra $170,000 to receive an optimum suspension.

For those who do choose a remote standby option, CI offers its members the identical SA remote standby option as other cryonics providers, but at a much lower cost.  For some people, especially those who live close enough to remote standby resources, this option can make sense based on proximity and experience.

However, when evaluating remote standby it is wise to consider the question of time and distance from the remote standby team and the cryonics service provider. Indeed, this is recognized in many life-saving situations. While it would benefit a cardiac arrest patient to have a team of medical professionals “on call” to perform CPR when needed, it wouldn’t help this patient if that team was two hours away and arrived too late. In contrast, a simple network of laypeople five minutes away with the capability to perform CPR would have a much better chance of saving the patient. Similarly, a vast network of volunteers is the gold standard for most of the world’s rural fire and emergency medical services.  In the case of cryonics, almost every city has funeral directors willing to provide quick cool down and transport to CI.

 

Ethical and Principled

We believe that human life comes before profit. We follow fair business practices and hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards.

We welcome you to shop around and ask questions. When you consider the alternatives, we’re confident that you will agree we are the best, most affordable and most trustworthy cryonics organization available.

 

Comparison Chart

  Price Experience Optional Standby Pet Suspension & Tissue Storage Patients Members Advanced Vitrification
Cryonics Institute $28,000 1976 Yes Yes 151 1384 Yes
Alcor4 $200,000 1974 No1 Yes2 150 1128 Yes
American Cryonics Society3 $155,000 1969 Yes No 193 ? Yes
KrioRus $36,000 2005 No1 Yes 51 200 Yes
Suspended Animation5 $60,000 2002 Yes N/A N/A ? No
Trans Time $150,000 1972 No1 ? 3 ? Yes

*Data as of April 2017

  1. Alcor,Trans time, And Krios Russia do not offer standby as an option but instead mandate their members to pay for centralized remote standby. CI offers it as an option through SA. We give our members the freedom to chose between centralized remote standby or saving thousands of dollars with local decentralized standby.
  2. While CI offers tissue & pet suspensions to all of its members, Alcor only offers this option to members with fully funded suspension contracts in place.
  3. ACS contracts with CI to store their patients. ACS does not store patients of their own.
  4. Our philosophy is to always preserve the entire body and perform only full-body cryopreservations.  The cost of a CI whole body suspension is still $52,000 less expensive than the current neuro (head only) options elsewhere.  Although we do not disagree with the neuro option on technical grounds, we think that most people agree a full body suspension is best, even if we expect that nanomedicine will eventually be able to replace and repair biological tissues.
  5. (Suspended Animation) does remote standby for CI, Alcor and any other cryonics storage organizations within the continental United States. SA does not store cryonics patients.
  6. Not all CI members have fully funded suspension contracts. See membership details for more information. It is our hope to eventually have all our members signed up for full suspension but do not push this. We know cryonics is a big decision and recommend members fully explore and understand what they are signing up for before they rush in. Similarly, Alcor has associate members who pay reduced dues but are not signed up for suspension.
  7. CI is not affiliated with, and does not end provide an evaluation of, any of these organizations. This information is based on what we understand these organizations to be stating regarding their services. You should independently investigate any cryonics organization (including CI) which you are considering. 

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