A-2705 became Alcor’s 181st patient in August 2020

A-2705 was a 67-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements who used the death with dignity laws in his state to legally terminate his life. His cause of death was kidney failure. He was pronounced legally deceased in August in the state of Washington at 17:17 hrs on T-0 days.

A field cryoprotection (FCP) was performed before the patient was transported to Alcor. Dry ice cooldown was initiated in the field at 23:49 hrs on T-0 days. Cryogenic cooldown was initiated at Alcor at 15.05 on T+1 days and terminated on T+5 at 18.33.  The patient underwent a CT scan while remaining under liquid nitrogen. At the time of writing, A-2705 is still in a small dewar with the transfer to long-term storage yet to take place.

November 20, 2020 update on COVID-19 in Arizona

It has been about five months since I last wrote an update on the COVID-19 situation in Arizona. For those living here or considering moving here to be closer to Alcor, it’s time for a current look at the situation.

Between my June 10 and June 16 posts, COVID cases in Arizona went up from 29,852 to 39,097 to a total of 40,924 – what seemed like a rapid pace. At that time, Arizona was one of the top 5 states for new cases and new deaths, and the peak was still several weeks away. The 7-day moving average (7-DMA) had run up from 339 on May 27 to 1,356 on June 17. Daily cases reached its peak (so far) on June 29 at 5450. At that time, Arizona ranked #20 in cases per capita and #23 in deaths per capita. Our worst day so far saw 103 deaths on July 17. How does that compare to today and to the rest of the country? (NOTE: By “cases” I mean reported positive diagnostic tests. That someone has tested positive does not mean they are sick or feel sick.)

Just one month ago, the situation looked relatively encouraging. In that month, the number of new cases has accelerated hard, as it has in many states, and the number of new deaths has also been moving up, although more slowly. Today, Arizona has 291,696 cases with today’s increase of 4,471 being the largest in months. The 7-DMA is 3166. We are now well into the red zone with 43.5 daily new cases per 100,000 (25 is considered critical). After doing badly, Arizona has been falling in the ranks of cases per capita and is currently at #25 and is closing in on the average (mean) for the USA as a whole.

The 7-DMA for new deaths has risen from 10 one month ago to 24.3 today.

The positivity rate on diagnostic tests has risen from 5.4% (or 7%, depending on the source) to 12% (or 10.5%). The infection rate has been rising since it reached a low in August.

In the last month, the number of people hospitalized has risen from 947 to 2266. ICU headroom use has risen from 19% to 46% and is close to reaching the “medium” level according to Covidactnow.

But is Arizona doing better or worse than other states? Is it a place to come to or to stay away from? The states with the most Alcor members are California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. In recent months, Arizona has been doing better than Texas and Florida, although both of those states have been doing better than average. California, so far, despite having the second-largest number of identified cases has been suffering from lower population-adjusted cases and deaths. Like many other states, however, the curves are rising quickly. Among these states, currently none looks likely to be much better or worse than the others.

These four states all look relatively good if you compare them to the country as whole and many specific states. COVID-19 growth appears to not only be resurgent but disproportionately affecting more rural areas. Maine and Vermont, so far, have fared quite well, whereas states such as North and South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Kansas are seeing high growth in daily cases and high infection rates.

How will COVID-19 play out in Arizona? I’m not going to guess. We have seen trends reverse themselves abruptly and dramatically. Cases in Arizona have been accelerating despite far more people wearing masks (compared to the spring and summer). The influx of “snowbirds” from states with much faster growth in cases could kick up our own numbers drastically. The coming vaccines – and better treatments than we had in the last peak – could hold down the growth in deaths.

At Alcor, we continue to take precautions. Some staff are working entirely from home; others in part. We are still not giving in-person tours, having replaced them with filmed “virtual tours”. Fortunately, we haven’t had a cryopreservation in months, so haven’t had to worry about airplane travel.

Stay safe. And contact Alcor’s Medical Response Director if you have any serious medical issue, COVID-related or otherwise.

A-2037 became Alcor’s 180th patient in July 2020

A-2037 was a 78-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements. He was found deceased in his home in Arizona. The cause of death per the death certificate was environmental heat exposure complicated by hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The length of time between cardiac arrest and pronouncement of legal death is an unknown number of days.

The member had no information such as an ID bracelet or wallet ID to let responders know that he was an Alcor member. He was sent to the state funeral home while the medical examiner searched for any family or someone to take possession of his remains. Through this process, they contacted his financial advisor, who was aware of the member’s cryopreservation arrangement and contacted Alcor’s emergency answering service to notify us at 11:07 hrs on T-0 days.

The patient was picked up from the state funeral home at approximately 14:00 hrs. The cephalic isolation took place at Alcor at approximately 15:00 hrs after the patient arrived at Alcor. Cryogenic cooldown was initiated at 15:27 hrs and terminated at 11:20 hrs on T+10 days. The patient was later transferred to long-term maintenance.

Introducing Cryobios

A Cryobio is a recently coined term referring to text provided by public members for publication before they are cryopreserved. These differ from the biographies of still-living members although they may be constructed from the text of a regular biography if the member or their family has not provided text.

We encourage members to provide Cryobio text in advance since they may wish to include different information than they would in a living biography. For instance, members may want to include more genealogical information in a Cryobio, or publicly express wishes for revival. Once we have the long-planned Member Portal set up, members will be able to easily supply Alcor with text both for Cryobios and regular Member Bios. The Cryobio will be linked to the List of Patients.

Introducing the Reintegration Working Group

Alcor will not be able to revive any patients for many decades to come. Although that time is a long way off, we should be thinking about it and planning for it now. For one thing, that’s part of Alcor’s mission: “Future restoration of good health and reintegration into society for all patients.”

Cryonics will be less scary to some if we have a clearer picture of the challenges revived patients will face and the ways we can prepare for them. The Reintegration Working Group (RWG) aims to develop ideas and plans relating to:

  • Asset trusts and future-income trusts
  • “Memory books” and ways to fill in any missing memories
  • Legal structures to allow patients to claim their identities and their status as persons
  • An organizational culture that fosters interest in and desire to help those who return from biostasis.
  • Supporting and protecting newly revived patients as they gradually reintegrate into the new world
  • Facilitating contact with other revived cryonauts, if this is desired.

Are you interested in this work? If so, what can you contribute? If you want to inquire about participating, email me.

–Max More

 

What questions would you ask during a tour of Alcor?

During the coronavirus pandemic, Alcor has had to curtail in-person tours. We are currently arranging to offer virtual tours. When you book a tour, you will receive a link to view a video of a tour conducted by Dr. Max More, Alcor’s Ambassador & President Emeritus. During this video tour, many of your questions will be answered. However, you will have an opportunity to ask additional questions during or following the virtual tour.

We will likely revise the virtual tour, including creating a more technical version for those with more scientific and technically oriented questions. To help us provide you and other future virtual visitors with a maximally informative and useful tour, please send us your questions. Some of the questions that will be answered include:

Introduction:

  • What kind of organization is Alcor?
  • How long has it been in operation and what are the highlights of Alcor’s history?
  • How many members and patients does Alcor have?
  • Is cryonics unique or does it have anything in common with low-temperature surgery or freezing sperm or eggs?
  • When was the first person frozen?

Standby, Stabilization, and Transport section:

  • How does Alcor know when a member needs to be cryopreserved and how quickly can that happen?
  • What procedures do you use to keep human tissues viable until you can cryogenically preserve them? Is it anything like CPR? Or like transporting organs for transplant?
  • How soon must Alcor’s team get to the member after legal death? Is there a limit?
  • Can you start the procedure before legal death?

Operating Room/Perfusion section:

  • Doesn’t ice badly damage human cells? Or do you have a way of preventing that?
  • Why do you have a CT scanner in the operating room?
  • How does a brain-only or “neuro” case differ from a whole-body cryopreservation?
  • Why do many members choose the neuro option?

Patient Care section:

  • Are cryonics patients alive? Dead? Something else?
  • How long can patients stay cryopreserved?
  • Is it true that baseball great, Ted Williams, is one of your patients? Who else do you have who is famous? (Or why can’t you tell me?)
  • Would you revive anyone before a solution to the problem of aging has been found?

Post-tour section:

  • How much does all this cost, and can I pay for it with life insurance?
  • Who will take care of me if I am revived?
  • Will I have any money or be able to make an income? Is there any way to take my money with me and my loved ones?
  • Can I ask to be revived only if my spouse/siblings/offspring/parents can be revived?
  • What will the world be like if I am revived?
  • When do you think people will be revived? What technologies will make that possible?
  • Won’t there be too many people in the future already?
  • What if I want to do this but my spouse/family/friends are against it?
  • Why have so few people signed up to be cryopreserved?
  • Why would I want to be cryopreserved rather than eaten by worms and bacteria or incinerated in a large oven?
  • Is there any tension between cryonics and religions?

Technical questions, probably for a separate, optional section:

  • You say you don’t really, literally freeze people, but instead “vitrify” them. What does that mean?
  • Is it true that the brain dies after three minutes without oxygen?
  • Why is it that we can cryopreserve skin, corneas, eggs, sperm, and heart valves and rewarm and implant them but we cannot yet revive whole humans or human brains?

Book a tour.

Send your questions to: info@alcor.org

De-identification in Case Summaries

Alcor is pushing to provide a higher level of confidentiality and anonymity of members and patients who wish it. As a result:

  • Case summaries no longer identify the location of a patient more precisely than the level of country and (within the USA) state.
  • The date of a cryopreservation will no longer be given except for the month and year. Timelines will begin at <month> at T+0 days. Subsequent days will be presented as “T+x days”. Case summaries will also no longer report confidentiality status.
  • Even if a patient is non-confidential, no name will be given in case summaries. This is to make it more difficult to connect a name in the List of Patients to that Case Summary and A-number, especially if they were the only non-confidential patient that same month.

For links to full case reports, see Complete List of Alcor Cryopreservations, and Complete List of Non-Confidential Cryopreserved Alcor Patients.

Many case reports are currently in the pipeline and will be published soon. Publication was delayed while Alcor decided on the most effective and practicable way of protecting confidentiality for those who request it.

Member Profile: Carrie Wong

Carrie Wong

Carrie Wong’s member profile from Cryonics September 2014 has been added to the website.

Part of the growing constituency of life extension advocates and activists in British Columbia, Carrie Wong splashed into cryonics head first upon learning about it when she attended a meeting of the Lifespan Society of British Columbia at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the fall of 2012.

“It was an extremely enlightening evening and I made up my mind at that moment that I would attend Lifespan Society meetings,” Carrie says. “The concept of cryonics clicked for me immediately.”

See Carrie Wong’s Member Profile

See all Member Profiles.

Cryonics Magazine 3rd Quarter 2020

Cryonics Magazine 3rd Quarter 2020 is now available on the website. Featured articles include:

How to Sustain an Organization for Over a Century. Part One: Corporate Longevity
In this two-part article, Max More reviews the track record of different types of organizations to survive for very long periods and what it means for Alcor.

Interview with Max More
As Max More transitions from his position as CEO to his new role of Ambassador & President Emeritus, we check in with Max to look back on his career at Alcor, his achievements, and how his thoughts on cryonics and Alcor have evolved during his time in this position.

The Alcor Meta-Analysis Project
The Alcor Meta-Analysis Project is a collaboration between Alcor and Advanced Neural Biosciences to conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis of all Alcor cases. This report outlines the objectives of the project and the progress made to date.

Jerry Leaf: Researcher, Surgeon, and Cryonics Advocate
After his untimely cryopreservation there was a brief burst of short articles on Jerry’s life and achievements at Alcor. After almost 30 years we return to the life and career of Jerry Leaf as a surgeon, researcher, and writer.

 

Netflix Documentary: Hope Frozen

An English language version of the Netflix documentary Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice was released September 15, based on the 2015 Alcor cryopreservation of a 2-year-old Thai girl with brain cancer. A trailer can be found here:

The documentary has received quite a bit of press coverage:

And the website for Cinemaholic ran several articles about where the principal players in the documentary are today: