Posted by derek watkinson on 3rd
By Torsten Nahm
When Cryonics UK announced that they would do a
road show and training session in 2015 in mainland Europe,
we got very excited. Cryonics UK organizes sessions in UK
four times a year, and members of our group, Cryonics
Germany, had been going there every once in a while for the
last few years. But logistics are much easier when there is
no air travel involved, so we looked forward to not only
getting hands-on training from the experienced folks from
Cryonics UK, but also brought along the full set of our
equipment. This way, we could show what we had, and get
instructions and feedback on our kit.
The training took place on the weekend of November 14 and 15
in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, and was
graciously hosted by the Dutch Cryonics Organization (DCO).
The Dutch guys did a fantastic job at organizing the
meeting. We had a nice location, a spacious room where we
could set up and train, and a great dinner on Saturday
All in all, 19 cryonicists from four different countries
joined. There were 5 members from Cryonics UK (with Tim
Gibson as always doing a fabulous job with leading the
meeting and the training sessions), 7 members from DCO (with
Jappie Hoekstra as main organizer), and 5 members from
Cryonics Germany. We were especially pleased that 2 members
of CryoSuisse, the newly founded Swiss cryonics
organization, were present as well, including their
president Patrick Burgermeister.
The training sessions covered two full days, and included
setting up the ice bath, the infusion of medications,
operating the thumper and setting up the perfusion, as well
as a summary / walkthrough of a whole case, from preparation
to shipping. Cryonics UK had brought along their fully
equipped ambulance, which is always great to see (have a
look at their website at cryonics-uk.org), and their
training dummies and materials.
It was the first time the ambulance had been across the
channel, and so this was also a good testing case for a
deployment to mainland Europe. If a case arises in Germany,
we will operate in joint fashion: Cryonics UK will handle
the case and come over in their ambulance, and our
volunteers will act as local liaisons to the hospital and
doctors, as well as helping with procedures and equipment.
While we are equipped to handle a case by ourselves on a
minimal basis, the UK team has much more equipment and
experience. For this reason, their cooperation is vital to
us, and we are very grateful for their continued support
(for example, our equipment is to a major part based on
their inventory lists).
Apart from the training sessions, we also had detailed
discussions of the last two cryonics cases in the UK (one in
2014 and one in 2015, which members from Germany had joined
in for both cases), practical experiences and lessons
learned. An important part of any case is securing the
cooperation of hospital staff and doctors. Cryonics UK does
a great job here, which has allowed them to initiate cooling
quickly, often within minutes of cessation of heartbeat.
The training sessions were intense, and some of our newer
members felt their heads spinning from all the information.
But from my experience, with the second and third training
the equipment and steps become more familiar and things
falls into place. And luckily, there was time to relax as
well. When we weren't in session, we had lots of fun getting
to know each other, and discussing cryonics, life and
As a nice bonus, we were also pleased to take into our
possession two LUCAS-1 thumpers. Their story serves as a
neat example for our well-functioning cooperation in Europe:
We had gotten a hint from our friends at KryoFIN (the
Finnish cryonics group) that some used, inexpensive LUCAS
devices were on sale on Ebay. We procured two for a really
good price (less than $300 each), but the supplier could
only ship to the UK. So Cryonics UK was kind enough to have
them delivered to their place, and bring them to Utrecht for
us. They are now at our main hub in Dresden.
Altogether, the weekend in Utrecht was fun and productive,
and I really liked the spirit of openness, enthusiasm and
shared aspirations. It was great to see that cryonics is
growing healthily in Europe. Where a decade ago there was
(almost) only Cryonics UK, we now have strong organizations
in many European countries. There was actually quite a bit
of talk of forming a European Cryonics Organization to
coordinate our efforts. I certainly feel the time for this
is coming, and I am pleased and proud to see cryonics
developing so well here on this side of the Atlantic.
Thanks again to Cryonics UK and the DCO for making this
wonderful meeting happen. This was the first, but certainly
not the last pan-European training weekend. Stay tuned!
Posted by derek watkinson on february
Prepared by Victoria Stevens
If you have
decided that cryonics is for you then there are
a number of things you should definitely do
sooner rather than later. These are things that
may be difficult to organise from a hospital bed
and impossible from the local mortuary.
1. MAKE A DECISION and then act on it.
Choosing the right cryonics service provider is not
as important as simply having one ready for when you
need it. By all means, take a little time to do some
research but beware of prevarication – a recent
patient had six weeks from diagnosis to
cryo-preservation. You can always change your mind
2. MAKE STAND-BY ARRANGEMENTS. Finalising a
contract with Alcor, Cryonics Institute or KrioRus
is only one half of your cryonics arrangements. The
other half should include a plan for cool down and
transportation to the US or Russia- and this where
Cryonics UK come in. Stand-by arrangements can be
paid for by overfunding with your cryonics provider
so that they can pay your standby expenses.
Without standby, a funeral director will pick you up
some hours after your death, cool you down to dry
ice temperature and ship you to your cryonics
organisation. But if you want to avoid the worst
damage to your brain it is better to have a cryonics
standby team ready at your bedside to start cool
down and cardio-pulmonary support immediately.
Cryonics UK volunteers are also trained to
administer meds and perfuse the brain to prevent ice
crystal damage as quickly as possible after legal
3. WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR DOCTOR, stating
your intention to be cryo-preserved and asking
whether he or she will cooperate. You may also like
to include a checklist of cryonics procedures for
hospitals. Follow this with a visit and speak to
your doctor about it. He or she should be impartial
so if you are unhappy with the response you receive
change to another doctor.
4. TELL YOUR RELATIVES. They may get a shock
but it will be more of a shock if they find out
immediately after your death. In such difficult
circumstances they may block your preservation.
Telling them beforehand gives them the chance to get
used to the idea and gives you the chance to explain
how important it is to you. You can reassure them
that you have considered all the arguments and you
still want to do it.
Having a cooperative next of kin is vital for a
successful standby. He or she must be prepared to
brief medical staff BEFORE death and to call CUK
whenever there is a change in your health status.
They must be available to permit release of your
body to CUK and they must arrange for a death
certificate. It may also help them to have Lasting
Power of Attorney over your health and
welfare. If you think your current next of kin
will be unable to cope with these demands or is
unsupportive of cryonics then you should consider
appointing someone else. A solicitor can arrange
this and can act as your next of kin if necessary.
5. WRITE A LIVING WILL. In your living will
you might like to write down your wishes for what
you would like to happen should you become
unconscious or incapable of making your own
decisions. A doctor will usually place importance on
a living will.
6. WRITE A WILL. Dying intestate (without a
will) slows down procedures, which could delay the
life assurance pay-out to the cryonics provider, and
exposes the estate to claims from family members.
Specifying cryonics in your will puts your
arrangements in a strong legal position. You should
also rewrite your will after every significant life
event, such as marriage or childbirth, to reaffirm
your wishes. It is worth noting that the law
protects minors: life insurance funds and other
assets can be allocated to care for minors, against
the wishes of the deceased, where adequate provision
has not been made for their care.
Keep copies with your solicitor and the executor of
7. KEEP YOUR VITAL DOCUMENTS IN ONE PLACE.
Insurance documents and accompanying trust
Cryonics UK membership information and contact
details in case of emergency.
NHS registration number – vital for getting a
Passport – helps avoid delays at customs, for
8. TAKE STEPS TO AVOID AUTOPSY. An
autopsy or post mortem examination is usually
required if a person dies unexpectedly. A doctor
must ask your next of kin for permission to perform
a clinical autopsy but if the coroner orders a
medico-legal autopsy this cannot be refused. It may
be possible to negotiate with the coroner regarding
how it is performed but this will cause lengthy
If you have been seen by a doctor in the fourteen
days before your death and your death is expected
then an autopsy is not usually required. Do not
delay seeking medical assistance. Religious
objection to autopsy forms have no legal weight in
the UK but serve to inform doctors and relatives of
9. DISTRIBUTE EMERGENCY CONTACT DETAILS. Make
sure family and friends know who to phone in an
emergency. Purchase a contact bracelet from your
cryonics provider and make sure you include the
contact details of your local standby team. Numbers
from the Cryonics UK website can be used for this
10. KEEP IN TOUCH! Don't forget to update
your contact details with Cryonics-UK and your
cryonics provider. Tell us of any serious changes to
your health. Having some warning of a member who may
require our services helps us to plan for the
individual circumstances of the case. If we are not
contacted until after death we may not reach you in
time to perform perfusion with a cryo-protectant.
People who plan for their stand-by tend to be the
people who achieve the best preservation.
Pay us a visit as well as your membership fee. You
may have decided that training to attend an
emergency is not for you but there may be other ways
you can contribute a little of your time. Cryonics
UK is a SELF help group and the more our members put
in the more we all gain.
Please contact us for further information on any of
the issues raised in this document.
Posted by derek watkinson on October
Prepared by Victoria Stevens and Tim Gibson
We took our training weekend on
the road this time to give members who may have
difficulty travelling to Sheffield and other
interested people down south a chance to see what we
do. It also gave regulars the opportunity to
familiarise themselves with Rowland Brothers funeral
directors. In an emergency they will have to quickly
locate the premises and use facilities there.
A few members travelled down early to meet with Tony
Rowland to discuss how we will work together in the
future to help our members most efficiently.
On Saturday we had a great turnout with more than 20
people. There were a few who had not been for a
while and quite a few newcomers. Six cryonicists
from the German cryonics group, Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Angewandte Biostase e.V. came to
see how we do things and to also discuss working
together across Europe.
We began Saturday morning with a workshop on standby
procedures until we could build up a flow chart of
everything we do and in the right order. Seeing the
overall picture is important as we usually spend
most of the time focusing in on the details.
Next we took a tour of the ambulance, encouraging
everyone to rummage through the many hidden
cupboards so we can locate the items we need quickly
in an emergency.
We moved on to the mortuary where the ice bath and
Bob (our training dummy) awaited. We practiced
inserting the intraosseous infuser into the chest
and setting up the IV lines (IO lines to be precise)
for administering meds. Next we practiced intubation
which is often easier on a real person than a
training dummy. The combitube airway tends to stick
on the rubber of the dummy making it difficult to
slide it down without lubricant. We reflected that
anyone who can master it on the dummy probably has a
good chance of succeeding with a real person when
the time comes.
Rowland's staff gave us a tour of the premises which
are a lot bigger than they look from the outside.
They showed us the room that will soon be a new
state of the art mortuary to be completed by the end
of the year.
In the evening we all managed to squeeze into three
cars and the ambulance and met up at the Gipsy Moth
for a pub meal and plenty of discussion.
On Sunday morning we were joined by Chris Morgan, an
insurance agent who has in the last year begun to
specialise in arranging insurance for the purposes
of cryonics. Chris did a presentation on the work he
has been doing and the service he provides. He now
has a new website specially for cryonics customers.
He also discussed an upcoming meeting with a
solicitor who will be able to act as a trustee/legal
power of attorney for cryonicists who either have no
next of kin or whose next of kin are not supportive
of cryonics. It was agreed a member of CUK would
also attend to help brief the solicitor on what we
require, for example, on how time sensitive an
emergency situation is likely to be.
After lunch we concluded the weekend with
demonstrations of and practice in setting up and
running the thumper (heart lung resuscitator) and
later the perfusion kit.
A big thank you to Rowland Brothers for hosting this
event and to their very helpful staff.
New Cryonics UK
Posted by derek watkinson on MARCH
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news & events relating to Cryonics UK
The Prospect of Immortality: Photo
Exhibition in Bradford (10 June–17 September 2011)
Photographer Murray Ballard had visited Cryonics UK a few
times. He also visited cryonics storage facilities at Alcor
and Cryonics Institute in the US, and Kriorus in Russia. On
Friday afternoon David and I visited Impressions Gallery in
Bradford, to see Murray's public exhibition.
Many people scanned the QR-codes placed below the
photographs. Some of the URLs led to voice recordings of the
portrayed persons, adding another dimension to the visual
Cryonics UK was pictured showing both our old premises in
the South of England (not here in my photo) and the new one
in Sheffield. You can see the CUK's ambulance, after it was
repainted; and the blue horizontal thing is the Portable Ice
More on the Impressions Gallery website »
More on Murray Ballard's website »
Report from the Cryonics UK European
Exposition with Saul Kent & Catherine Baldwin
The meeting took place on Thursday, September 23, 2010
(12:00pm – 6:00pm), starting at a function room at the
Sheffield Park Hotel, and progressing to our facility where
the guests were shown the premises and ambulance.
The Cryonics UK exposition / European workshop was an
opportunity to get to know some very noteworthy guests from
America who wish to meet as many cryonicists (especially
Europeans) as possible at this event.
(General Manager, Suspended Animation,
) and Saul Kent
; Director, Alcor
Cryonics Society of New York; Co-Founder, Life Extension Foundation
Co-Founder and Director, 21st
; Co-Founder and Director, BioMarker
; Co-Founder, Timeship Project
The day was pleasant and successful.
A presentation was given on the topic of CUK, and also a
presentation on the topic of EUCRIO
A video of CUK training was shown, tours were given of the
CUK clinic, bulky equipment storage space, and ambulance.
There was a CUK equipment show-and-tell.
Many small peripheral meetings were made; some purely
social, and some quite productive.
We were joined by people from England, Scotland, Wales,
France, Poland, Finland, and America.