International Alcor Membership
Alcor is based in the United States. Residents of other countries can make cryonics arrangements with Alcor, but the response that Alcor can provide outside the United States is significantly more limited in most cases. And because of substantial extra costs involved, surcharges also apply to cryopreservation funding minimums for residents of other countries, except Canada. These surcharges are $10,000 in other countries.
Within the continental United States, it is usually possible to arrange transportation of cryonics patients packed in ice to Alcor within 24 to 36 hours after legal death. Cryoprotective perfusion (administration of chemicals to reduce freezing injury) can usually be performed on patients who arrive at Alcor within this time frame. Also, within the U.S. and Canada, Alcor will attempt to send personnel to perform local stabilization procedures at the time of legal death according to the terms of the Comprehensive Member Standby program.
The situation outside the United States and Canada is more difficult. Comprehensive Member Standby is NOT available outside the U.S. and Canada. Alcor will do its best to provide standby services prior to legal death in other countries, especially in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. In some international cases, a multi-day transport period may mean that cryoprotectant perfusion is impossible. In those cases, the best that can be done is packing in dry ice by a local mortician followed by shipment to Alcor at dry ice temperature. This results in “straight freezing” (freezing without cryoprotectant), which is very damaging. In some cases, especially in the United Kingdom and Western Europe, Alcor will attempt to perform a local field cryoprotection using a simplified protocol compared to that used in Alcor’s operating room. This allows patients to then be packed in dry ice, with the brain protected against ice formation, and transported to Alcor for the remaining cool down and long-term storage.
To better respond to cases in other countries, members of Alcor and other cryonics organizations sometimes form local groups. Alcor encourages this. Activities of local groups can include making contact with cooperative morticians, investigation of local regulations and shipping requirements for remains, and development of local cryonics stabilization capability. If sufficient resources and expertise are available, development of local cryoprotectant perfusion capability is a possibility.