The High Court of England and Wales in London has allowed the body of a 14-year old girl, who died from cancer, to be cryogenically frozen. The girl wanted to be frozen in the hope that she could be brought back to life if a cure for her condition was ever found.
After researching about cryonics, the teenager had written to a judge explaining how she did not want to die and how she thought that being frozen would give her a ‘chance to be cured and woken up — even in hundreds of years’ time’.
“I don’t want to be buried underground. I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they might find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish,” she expressed in the letter.
A commercial company has frozen her body in the US at a cost of 37,000 pounds.
The judge, Justice Peter Jackson, had ruled that the media could not report on the case as long as the girl was still alive, because media coverage would distress her.
“I was moved by the valiant way in which she was facing her predicament. It is no surprise that this application is the only one of its kind to have come before the courts in this country, and probably anywhere else. It is an example of the new questions that science poses to the law, perhaps most of all to family law..” Jackson wrote.
The girl’s father had been against freezing her body. Her parents were divorced, and her father had not seen her in many years. The girl lobbied that her mother be the only person allowed to make decisions about the disposal of her body. However, her father changed his position in the end, saying that he respected his daughter’s decision.
More than 200 bodies have been cryogenically frozen around the world. However, the ethics of the process are a subject of massive debate, because no mammal or human has been successfully revived after being frozen in this way.