11 Crucial Cryonics Conversations that Help You to Exist
Original Article: 11 Crucial Cryonics Conversations that Help You to Exist
Water Bear Declare: Crucial cryonics conversations ain’t easy, but would you rather not exist?Water Bear
11 Cryonics Conversations to Ensure Your Existence
It’s been years since I first signed up for cryonics. Seriously, like almost 10 years, and once I signed up I was like, Sweet! I’m g2g! Immortality secured, right?
Well, it turns out that might not be the case.
Despite all the paperwork and procrastination and despite finally getting to wear my fancy bracelet, there are a lot of ways my cryopreservation could have been blocked. So the purpose of this article is to cover crucial cryonics conversations that every cryonicist needs to consider.
Oh, by the way: I want you to know I haven’t had every conversation on this list. To be fair, I didn’t know I needed to have some of them. Now I’m playing catch up. That doesn’t make them any less important. Chances are you didn’t know you needed to have them either.
So, if you’re like me, maybe you thought the process works like this:
1. Become a cryonics member.
2. Fill out an ass-ton of paperwork.
3. Set up a life insurance policy.
4. Put on bracelet.
5. Enjoy rapid standby service if deanimation occurs.
Unfortunately it’s not so cut and dry which is why you need to prep. When it comes to cryonics that means having cryonics conversations you might not have thought of.
Not Every Death is a “Good” Death.
Is any death a good death? Maybe the answer seems obvious, but in terms of cryonics it’s not. As a cryonicist there are two types of death (AKA deanimation).
The first kind is what’s known as a “good” death. A good death happens when you have plenty of warning that you’re about to deanimate. Your family knows, your cryonics company knows, your standby team knows. With a good death somebody waits by your side to the very last minute so they can take immediate action when you go down for the long nap.
With a good death your body instantly gets an ice bath as soon as legally allowed. Compressions start fast, cooling starts fast, and your brain suffers the least amount of damage possible. There’s no trouble with family or legal issues or autopsy and your standby team has complete control. Within minutes you’re on your way to your cryonics organization to get preserved.
So what’s the opposite of a good death?
The opposite is a bad death. A bad death is pretty much the exactly opposite situation from above. There’s little to no warning about your deanimation. Your cryonics organization has no idea you died. Nobody knows you’re supposed to be preserved. Your standby team isn’t ready and waiting and has to travel hours, if not days to reach you.
With a bad death your family may be against your wishes. They may fight your preservation in court. Maybe you didn’t even have a cryonics contract, so your body has to spend extra time on dry ice before your organization will even accept you. With a bad death your body and brain suffer far more damage and may not even be preservable at all.
And don’t even get me started on autopsy!
Trust me, you want to have a good death if possible (technically you want to have no death). But even if it’s not, that doesn’t mean your death has to be bad. There’s a middle ground and even when the situation isn’t ideal, you can still help ensure you get the best preservation under the circumstances.
The 11 Cryonics Conversations
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! No more blabbering, let’s get to those crucial cryonics conversations before your time runs out!
Number 11: Your Cryonics Organization
One of the first conversations you should have is with a cryonics organization. Research your options. Cryonics Institute and Alcor are both good choices in the U.S. Pick one and give them a call. Ask them any question you can think of to help you get familiar with cryonics and to make sure you feel comfortable with their team.
If you want to set up a cryonics contract you’ll need to communicate with their company. Without getting in touch it won’t be easy to get preserved. Personally I think it’s best to get to know your organization as much as possible because if you deanimate your existence is in their hands. You want to be sure you feel confident in the team you choose because it’s a big responsibility.
Beyond that your cryonics company can help you figure out which options are best for you based on your situation. They can walk you through the paperwork and help make sure everything gets set up right. This is important because you want to know 100% for sure that everything is in order in case something happens.
Number 10. Your Life Insurance Company
A lot of cryonicists cover their contracts with a simple life insurance policy. Mine’s around $34 a month which is insanely reasonable. Also I use Rudi Hoffman who specifically deals in cryonics insurance, but you’re free to use whoever. Just make sure they don’t screw it up cause that could be really bad.
One of the reasons life insurance is among our cryonics conversations is because even if it’s not used to fund your contract it might help you get proper deanimation care. I’ll explain more in just a bit. For now just understand that your life insurance policy isn’t just to pay your family. There are different ways to designate payout that might incentivize others to help you.
One other reason life insurance is a crucial conversation is due to the fact it takes effort. Procrastination is a nasty evil among cryonicists. The longer you wait to get shit done, the higher your chances to not exist. If you choose to fund with life insurance then take action and stop at nothing until it’s completely 100% in place.
Number 9: Your Attorney
You don’t gotta keep an attorney on call, though it’s not a bad idea. But you should definitely chat with one about your final wishes. An attorney can advise you on advance directive documents and help empower your ability to protect yourself legally.
One of the scariest things about deanimation is autopsy. Autopsy is one of the fastest ways to end your existence for good. If you deanimate unexpectedly, especially when it’s not of natural cause, there’s a strong chance you’ll have an autopsy. This is especially true for those under the age of 40. There’s no guarantee you’ll avoid autopsy, but there are ways to guard yourself against it.
That’s where an attorney comes in. An attorney can help you fill out your will in a way that makes it as strong and clear as possible. You need to make it VERY clear that you do not want an autopsy and preferably have a religious objection. It also needs to be VERY clear that you want to be cryopreserved and not burned or buried!
Beyond that an attorney can fight for you in court, or help your cryonics organization fight for you in court. In general the more people who know you want to be cryopreserved the better and that makes this one of our many crucial cryonics conversations.
Number 8: Your Primary Care Physician
Any hospital or doctor’s office you visit should know your wishes. Not only does it help protect you in case the hospital kills you off, but it’s one more place to document your desires. Plus it’s a good idea to have health care providers on your side who can pronounce legal death as soon as possible in the event of your demise. Remember, your standby team can’t take over and start their procedures until legal death is declared, so it’s important this happens as soon as possible.
Also, if the hospital knows your wishes, and if you’re on good terms with your physician, then there’s a much better chance they’ll help out when the time comes. Be sure to chat with your primary care provider and make sure they understand what cryonics is and that you’re a full body donor. I’ve never met a doctor who wasn’t openly interested in cryonics after it came up. Usually my bracelet is the ice breaker.
Number 7: Your Funeral Director
Here’s the one I never considered until recently. It never occurred to me that a funeral director might need to be involved. The simple fact is, a funeral director may have the power to declare legal death on-scene (for instance in an auto accident). Plus they may have power over your autopsy. Third, they can either help or hinder your standby proceedings and fourth, they may have to transport you to your cryonics organization.
As far as I can tell there are two main challenges with funeral directors. First, the funeral director has direct incentive not to help you. If you don’t get buried or burned and if you don’t have a funeral for your death, that means they lose money. You also have to consider the fact they have personal beliefs and biases about how death works and may not agree with your perspective. That makes this a crucial conversation!
It’s incredibly important that you find a funeral director who isn’t just open to your position, but will actually help you if you deanimate. That means you might have to have several cryonics conversations with multiple funeral directors. One of the reasons I haven’t chosen a funeral director yet is simply that I haven’t found one that meets my needs. I’m still shopping, because they have to be willing to not autopsy, and also help out with transportation.
One option that might help incentivize your funeral director to help you is to have a clause in your will or your life insurance policy that allots a fair sum of money for their assistance. Any other financial incentive you can offer might help as well. Beyond that it’s more a matter of interpersonal relations. Build a relationship with your funeral director because the more they like you the more likely they’ll help you.
Number 6: Your Boss
Depending on how comfortable you are talking about cryonics this may be one of the most awkward cryonics conversations you’ll have. Hopefully it’s not too awkward. It’s crucial because you spend most of your time at work and depending on your job you may be at a higher risk for deanimation at any given time.
While some of you may only need worry about flesh eating bacteria eating your body from the inside out after entering through a papercut…others are in the military or law enforcement jobs that put them at great risk every day. So your boss needs to know what’s up with that bracelet on your arm so he can act quickly to get your head on ice and do what needs to be done.
One other reason to have your boss on board is that he can back you up in court. He’s one more person who can raise his right hand and swear to tell the truth about the fact you want to be chilled with liquid nitrogen.
Number 5: Your Co-Workers
Along with your boss it’s a good idea to bring up cryonics with the people you work with. You spend a lot of time working side by side and depending on where you are they may be your only hope. Sure they’ll poke fun at you, but little do they know the more time they spend with you the more likely their own views will shift. By talking openly about cryonics you might actually cause them to sign up and end up saving their existence too!
Some of you spend time with co-workers outside of the office. Maybe you hit the bar for drinks, or go shopping at the mall. Whatever you do, they could be the only one to follow your instructions if something happens. Make sure they know what to do and how to help you if they need to. It doesn’t have to be in their face or anything. You can even joke with them about what to do. Even a joke can stick in their mind. It doesn’t matter how the message gets through, as long as it works.
Number 4: Your Friends
Your friends are the natural follow-on to your co-workers. They might even be one in the same. For the purposes of this article we’ll assume they aren’t. Anyway, talking to your friends is just as important as your co-workers for most of the same reasons. You probably spend time with them and they might be your only hope. And always remember they can stand up for you in court. By the way, if you have a standby kit, it’s a good idea to see if you can show them how to use it. You’ll probably both feel silly at first, but your friendly bond will strengthen afterward because you share something nobody else does.
Number 3: Your Neighbors
This one may seem a little “out there” until you realize your neighbors could be your last hope to exist. If you live alone, or if you’re home alone and you deanimate, then who will help you? For some people chatting up neighbors comes naturally. For others it’s not so easy. In any case if you find the courage to reach out to your neighbors you might be able to mutually plan for emergencies. Help them when they need it so they’ll help you if you need it.
It’s also good to meet your neighbors for general survival purposes too. You can help each other create a strong defense within your neighborhood against crime. In an emergency you can rely on one another for supplies or food or other temporary essentials. Always keep in mind that any of these crucial cryonic conversations has more than one benefit.
Number 2: Your Community
It didn’t occur to me until recently that Suspended Animation might not be able to do a rapid evac of my body in the event of sudden deanimation. Standby support is best used when deanimation is inevitable and when there’s at least a little bit of notice. Last minute emergencies can cause a delay with your standby team’s arrival and that could significantly reduce your chances of a successful cryopreservation.
One of the best ways to combat this problem is to have your own local standby team ready to go. The question is, how do you do that? I’ve put a lot of thought into this and the best solution I came up with was to start some kind of meet up group for survivalists. You could start a local cryonics group, but it’s unlikely you have many cryonicists living around you. But if you start a survivalist group or a Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) you could have your own standby team ready all the time.
Why a survival or C.E.R.T.? It’s kind of like getting to know your neighbors. First of all you bring people together for a good cause (the support of your own community). Second, since you’re the leader of the group, you establish the rules. Set rules in place that make it so each group member has to respect the other group member’s wishes. As a group or even by yourself you can put together a standby kit and teach the group how to use it. The core idea is to have a group of people local to you who are ready to act and know what to do when it counts.
One other benefit of starting your own group is that they can battle for you in court. They can stand up for your wishes, and help launch activist efforts if needed. They can petition the courts to release your body, or protest in the event a medical examiner wants to perform an autopsy. Plus the more people who join your group the more cryonics can spread locally. They’ll inadvertently learn about cryonics and it can spread from there.
Number 1. Your Family
I thought this one seemed obvious and when I first signed up I told my parents of my wishes almost immediately. Make no mistake, it wasn’t easy. My dad is a Free Will Baptist minister, and he totally didn’t get it. That said, he did respect my views, and didn’t challenge me. Some people don’t want to confront their parents and talk about cryonics. Some would rather stay “in the closet.” The thing is, that puts you at wayyyy more risk than if you just opened your mouth and let the world know.
If nobody knows what you want they’ll default to burial if you’re lucky. If not they’ll cremate you. Then you’re just plain done. Also keep in mind that in the event of your deanimation your family will be in distress. They’ll grieve and they won’t think straight. They might interfere with your wishes if they don’t know them, and even if your standby team shows up, they might still cause problems leading to lengthy court processes that could spell your ultimate end.
What about your spouse? Yep, definitely tell him/her. They’re your first line of defense against autopsy and should be designated to handle your affairs once they’re on board with your desires. At first they may not understand cryonics or why you’d want to be part of it, but if you explain it calmly and remain open to talking about it they’ll probably come around. When I first told my wife she told me she’d never want to live forever or even any longer than a standard lifespan. A year later she was a cryonicist.
Lastly, don’t forget the kids! If you have kids they should know about cryonics from an early age. Maybe it’s not a big deal right now, but if you grow old they could be your last hope. Plus your family bond gives them a reason to help you, especially if they’ve been brought up around the idea of cryonics and life extension. Educate your children so they’ll fight for you when your life is on the line. You gave them existence and in most cases they’ll happily return the favor.
Crucial Cryonics Conversations Are Worth It!
You don’t have to talk about cryonics if you don’t want to. But I personally recommend you do it. It’s in your best interest and is virtually the only way you’ll have a chance to survive. The less people know about your wishes the lower your chances to exist. So it’s up to you, but consider it carefully because that one person you skip might be the person who could have saved you.
Oh and before I go, if you have any other suggestions for crucial cryonics conversations I’d love to read them. Shoot me an email or just post them in a comment down below.
Until Next Time!
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