Cryonics Institute, prospect of immortality


The Cryonics Institute was founded in 1976 by Robert Ettinger, “The Father of Cryonics.” CI‘s goal from the beginning has been to offer the best available cryonics services to the public at an affordable cost. Since our founding, CI has been a leading force in the cryonics movement, advancing research, education and public awareness. CI hosts an active and engaged community of more than 1,100 members world-wide.

“Prospect of Immortality”

Are governed by a Board of Directors, elected from our membership for three-year terms in groups of four every September. The Board is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s governance, thus CI is wholly owned and operated by our membership.

Our goal is to continuously advance the theory and refine the practice of cryonics, operating in the best interests of our members and the worldwide cryonics movement. Please note, memberships do not require cryopreservation contracts or funding. However ONLY funded members can take advantage of CI’s cryopreservation services, and only funded members may vote and serve on CI’s Board. The Cryonics Institute owns and operates a fully-operational Cryonics facility located in Clinton Township, MI.

The facility is housed in the 7,000 square foot Erfurt Runkel Building, named after John Erfurt and Walter Runkel, two of our long-time officers who are now patients in cryostasis at the facility. CI currently maintains over 100 patients in cryostasis at this facility, which has been operating successfully since our first patient, Rhea Ettinger was preserved in 1977.

The Cryonics Institute is a non-profit membership organization made up of people seeking to pursue cryonics’ “Prospect of Immortality” for themselves and their families. Our objective is not profit, but to help our members who choose cryopreservation to have an opportunity live again to see a brighter future. With over 150 patients currently in cryostasis, we recognize the responsibility we have to not only maintain, but to eventually revive our patients when and if that becomes scientifically possible. This is the driving force that guides every decision we make. We want cryonics to work and we are dedicated to achieving that singular goal.

The concept of Cryonics

Cryonics is a visionary concept that holds out the promise of a second chance at life – with renewed health, vitality and youth. The concept of cryonics was introduced in 1962 by the Founder of the Cryonics Institute, Robert Ettinger, in his landmark book “The Prospect of Immortality.”

Cryonics involves cooling a recently deceased person to liquid nitrogen temperatures in order to keep the body preserved indefinitely.

Our goal is to keep the patient preserved until future science is able to repair or replace vital tissues and ultimately revive the patient. It might seem like an impossible goal to “revive” a “dead” person. However, “dying” is a process rather than an event. A majority of the body’s tissues remain intact at a cellular level even after the heart stops beating.

The goal of cryonics is to halt that process as quickly as possible after legal death, giving future physicians the best possible chance of reviving the patient. This may include repairing or replacing damaged tissues and even entire organs using advanced computer systems, nanotechnology and medical equipment and procedures. We believe that this will happen in a future where our lifespans can be significantly, even radically, extended.

“second chance at life”

Since 1962, the average lifespan has increased dramatically. Nanotechnology (which holds the promise of future biological repair) has become a major industry. Prominent companies, including Google, have begun focused efforts to retard and reverse aging. The promise of cryonics is becoming more apparent and more exciting.

The fundamental goal of cryonics is to give people a “second chance at life.” Our aim is to greatly extend human lifespans and improve quality of life through applied technology – both present day and especially emerging future technology.

The process of cryopreservation involves cooling a legally-dead person to liquid nitrogen temperature where all physical decay essentially stops – with the goal of preserving tissues, organs and especially the brain with its associated memories and personality as perfectly as possible. A person held in this state is termed a “cryopreserved patient,” because we do not consider the legal definition of “death” as a permanently irreversible state. We believe that the incredible advances being made today in biology, medicine, computers, nanotechnology and much more inevitably point to a future where advanced science will be able to revive these patients and restore them to health and even renewed youth.

Essentially, the concept is to “buy time” until technology catches up and is able to fully repair and restore the human body. Cryonicists are people who believe this future is not only possible, but highly probable and who have decided to take action in the present for the chance at a renewed life in the future. Cryonics Insitute patients currently cryopreserved at CI include people from all walks of life and all ages – chefs, students, secretaries, professors and many others.

Human Cryostatis

CI’s premier service is human cryopreservation, using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment to ensure optimal suspensions. CI only performs full-body suspensions, and at a fraction of the cost of other companies’ “Neuro” (head only) suspensions.

DNA/Tissue Freezing

CI also offers DNA Preservation as a simpler and more economical cryopreservation option for members.

Pet Cryopreservation

Life-extension possibilities for beloved pets.

Memorabilia Storage

Secure perpetual storage for essential personal documents and keepsakes.

Optional Standby Service through Suspended Animation, Inc.

Third-Party Standby, Stabilization and Transport services are available to CI Members through an arrangement with SA inc.

Emergency Jewelry and Wallet Cards

Cryonics emergency necklaces and/or bracelets are available for Cryonics Institute (CI) Members who have made all the necessary arrangements to be cryopreserved by CI. These items include important information to help expedite local help in a cryonics emergency.

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. 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.


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