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British High Court Grants Girl’s Wish to be Cryogenically Frozen

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“I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up,” a 14-year-old British girl wrote to a judge before her recent death. She said “being cryopreserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up–even in hundreds of years’ time.” The girl, whose name has not been released for legal reasons won a High Court case, granting her the right to freeze her body after she passed away recently from a rare form of cancer.

Judge Peter Jackson, the presiding judge in the case who specializes in the Family Division of Britain’s High Court, said the case represents a new precedent in the confrontation of science and law. “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,” he said. Jackson added that the case is “an example of the new questions that science poses to the law.”

Jackson said his decision was not based on affirming the sound science of cryopreservation–there is not any–but rather on settling a family dispute. The girl’s mother supported her wish to freeze her body, but her father, initially at least, did not. The girl’s parents are divorced, and her father also has cancer. His views eventually shifted. “This is the last and only thing she has asked from me,” he told the judge. The procedure will cost the family 37,000 pounds, which is equivalent to $46,000.

Cryonics, which is an extreme type of cryopreservation, where the entire body is frozen with the hope that it will be re-animated at some point in the future once technology has advanced far enough to cure currently incurable diseases, like cancer. There is no evidence that the procedure could be successful, scientists say, though some still hold out hope.

The girl, whose remains were shipped to the U.S. to undergo the cryopreservation treatment, learned of the judge’s decision 11 days before she passed away, according to her lawyer Zoe Fleetwood. “It brought her great comfort,” Fleetwood told the Associated Press. “She saw this as a chance to be brought back at some stage in the future, but she knew it was speculative.”

Alec Siegel
Alec Siegel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. When he’s not working at Law Street he’s either cooking a mediocre tofu dish or enjoying a run in the woods. His passions include: gooey chocolate chips, black coffee, mountains, the Animal Kingdom in general, and John Lennon. Baklava is his achilles heel. Contact Alec at



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