What are the best options for cryonics in Europe?
AFAIK the best option is still to use one of the US providers(e.g. Alcor) and arrange for transportation. There is a problem with this though, in that until you arrive in the US your body will be cooled with dry ice which will cause huge ischemic damage.
- How critical is the ischemic damage? If I interpret this comment by Eliezer correctly we shouldn't worry about this damage if we consider future technology.
- Is there a way to have adequate cooling here in Europe until you arrive at the US for final storage?
There is also KrioRus, a Russian cryonics company, they seem to offer an option of cryo transportation but I don't know how trustworthy they are.
Hi Roland, since I'm currently in the process of signing up for cryonics I have looked into this a bit too. There are indeed no other options (yet), and I would personally be wary about trusting a new institute, anyways. There has been a number of institutes before that went bankrupt before or failed due to personal conflict amongst the founders, so this is definitely a concern. I also don't know how a for-profit model like KrioRus's will work for cryonics. I live in Germany and I've been informed that the transportation of the body over the border is tricky, but they might have added more options by now. That said, in some cases where institutes failed to survive, the bodies were transported and stored with Alcor before, so not all might be lost.
About your questions: 1.) This seems to be a question of what you think future technology is capable of. I've heard that considering what medicine is capable of at present, the damage cannot be repaired. There is still formation of ice crystals and macroscopic breaks of the tissue when the body freezes from outside to inside. That of course doesn't mean it will be impossible in the future too, though. However, it might be more practical to scan the body and build a new one or upload rather than repairing the broken one.
2.) It depends on your country. I know there are efforts to work together with embalmers in Germany, so if that goes well they would be able to perform the vitrification process in Germany and fly the body to the US without further damage. I think there is a working team in England that will provide first care, but I'm unsure what that entails and whether they will fly to other countries as well.
Take my words with a grain of salt - a lot of this information is what I recall from a presentation on the topic I recently heard and I don't have in-depth knowledge of the topic. If you want to talk to a better-informed member of the German cryonics association (DGAB), I will happily put you in contact.
I'm also in the process of signing up. I already submitted the application for life insurance and filled out the membership application form by Alcor. The next step then is to meet up with a notary and transfer ownership of the insurance policy to Alcor. After that, Alcor has to check the documents and then I will hopefully be a full member.
I've also heard rumors that Alcor is considering opening a new facility in Switzerland. But even if that's true it will take years and will probably not be cheaper than storage in the US. Though maybe easier to sign up for.
Concerning your second question, from my understanding adequate cooling is really easy, keeping the body in ice water should be enough. That's also how they preserve donated organs, I think.