So, you’ve signed up for cryopreservation. You did your research, found a cryonics company with a plan that works best for you, and now you're set to be cryopreserved at a later date. That doesn’t mean you should take a back seat now. There are things you can do now to ensure that you have the highest quality cryopreservation.
When a standby team (SST) gets the notification that a cryonics member is nearing the end, they get to the patient as quickly as possible. Once a patient’s been declared legally dead, the SST team can carry out the cryopreservation procedure.
Speed is essential to ensuring a high quality cryopreservation. When the heart stops pumping blood, the cells within our body are starved of oxygen which causes them to self recycle and eventually die. This will incur brain damage that worsens the longer a person is without oxygen. For human cryopreservation, lowering the body temperature slows this process down till the patient is vitrified and can be brought to the long-term storage facility.
This means that, when medical technology has advanced, bodies of cryopreserved patients require fewer repairs to make it healthy again for revival.
Does this mean that there’s nothing you can do to stack the odds in your favor for better cryopreservation? Actually, there is.
One of the most important ways you can ensure that you have a high quality cryopreservation is to have written legal documents and mechanisms in place. They should clearly state that you want to be cryopreserved. This increases the difficulty of interference from outside parties claiming you didn’t want this procedure.
There are different documents that can help reduce this possibility.
A PAD, or living will, is a document that states what actions you want taken regarding your health if you are no longer able to communicate your wishes. When drafting a PAD, you should include the name of the cryonics organization and their contact information. Should your health take a turn, doctors will be able to notify the SST team in an emergency.
For Tomorrow Bio members, in your Welcome Box you will receive a PAD template. We recommend that you use this to create your own so that our SST teams can be notified quickly in the event of sudden death. We also recommend that you provide a copy to your doctor, as well as keep a copy somewhere easily accessible by loved ones in the event you are incapacitated.
An additional document that can help is a last will. By stating that you wish to be cryopreserved, this will help ensure that cryopreservation can take place even if there are legal challenges by objectors. As well as the PAD document, the Tomorrow Bio Welcome Box also contains a template for which you can use to write your last will. If you are unsure about how to draft this, the Welcome Box also contains detailed instructions for creating a last will and PAD.
For both documents, it is important that you have them in writing. This provides extra legal security to ensure that you are cryopreserved, and removes potential obstructions that could decrease the quality of your preservation.
Another legal mechanism you can use to ensure high quality cryopreservation is through power of attorney. This allows you to assign some or all of your human rights to another person acting on your behalf. This includes issues regarding life and death. However, it is important that you have this in writing as decisions regarding healthcare require written confirmation. It is also important to check how power of attorney works in your home country, as it might be different from country to country.
One additional obstacle that can affect the quality of cryopreservation is if the SST team isn’t allowed to be present prior to your legal death. If you are conscious when you are at the hospital, you can verbally state that you wish for the SST to be present. However, it is beneficial to have this expressed in a written document stating this in case you are incapacitated. That way, the SST team can start the procedure immediately after your death.
There are also non-legal means of ensuring a higher quality cryopreservation. Keeping loved ones and physicians in the loop can be beneficial in the long run.
It is important that your family, loved ones, and doctor know that you want to be cryopreserved after legal death. Before or after signing up for cryopreservation, you should discuss this with your loved ones. Inform them about the process so that they understand how they can help ensure your cryopreservation is smooth and high quality. It will also help to inform your doctor about this decision to reduce resistance by medical staff.
You can also provide them with an emergency card that explains your desire to be cryopreserved. This card contains specific instructions in the case of an emergency. When you sign up with Tomorrow Bio, we provide 4 emergency cards in our Welcome Box that also contain our contact information so that we can reach you quickly.
Another way you can ensure a high quality cryopreservation is to keep your cryonics provider’s contact information on you in the event of your death. When you sign up with Tomorrow Bio, you will be provided with a member wristband. Printed on it you can find information regarding your body donor conditions, as well as Tomorrow Bio’s contact number in the event of an emergency. In addition it will provide instructions as to what they should do in the event of an unexpected death.
Above all else, the best way to ensure you receive a high quality cryopreservation is to be proactive. Organizing your legal documentation will remove potential obstacles that could impact the quality of your cryopreservation. If you have further questions about what you can do to ensure a high quality service, schedule a call with us. We want you to have the best cryopreservation possible. Let’s work together to make sure that happens.
We also have new articles every week about cryonics that you can share with your loved ones so they can learn more about cryopreservation, and Tomorrow Bio.
See you Tomorrow!