Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

How cryonics works

Making arrangements

We recommend that you carefully review the evidence, costs and risks relating to cryonics, as well as looking into the actual process to be used on your body, before making your decision. Also, as with any plans for your body after death, you should discuss your wishes with your relatives, so that they are aware when the time comes.

Only a handful of cryonics facilities exist in the world at the time of writing, none of which are in the UK. As a result, you would need to arrange for your body to be prepared and collected after your death, so that it can be transferred to a cryonics facility. The cryonics company would then perform their procedure and provide long-term storage for your body.

The cryonics process

The cryonics process is likely to vary between providers and individual situations; as such, we cannot provide a thorough description. The following is based on those providers who have published their processes, but it cannot be guaranteed to be representative.

The cryonics process itself cannot begin until you are declared dead. If it has been arranged, there may be people on standby who would attempt to carry out initial procedures. If possible, your body may be cooled, and a CardioPulmonary Support (CPS) machine used, which pumps oxygen through a tube and face mask and performs chest compressions. At the same time, various medications may be injected, along with a mixture intended to protect the body’s tissues from the harmful effects of freezing.

Your body would have to be transported overseas to a cryonics facility, where the process of preparing your body for storage is completed. Following this, your body would be transferred to a tank of liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. However, there are several factors to consider which can affect how this process is carried out and if it can be carried out at all.

Description: 
The cryonics process; making arrangements, what you can expect and what happens to your body.
Last updated on: 26 Sep 2018