A 14-year-old girl who died of cancer has won the right to be brought back to life by being cryogenically frozen.
The terminally ill teenager who had a rare form of cancer, took legal action because she wanted to live longer. She had carried out vast research into cryonics during the last months of her life.
The girl died last month and is now in a ‘cryostat’ tank at around -196C (-321F) inside the Michigan-based Cryonics Institute. She is one of only 10 Britons to have been frozen, and the only British child.
Her divorced parents had become embroiled in a dispute relating to whether her remains should be taken to a specialist facility in the United States and cryogenically preserved.
Also Read: World’s First 3-Parents Baby Born In The US
The girl who lived in the London area with her mother, asked a High Court judge to rule that her mother – who supported her wish to be cryogenically preserved – should be the only person allowed to make decisions about the disposal of her body.
The teenager, represented by lawyers because she was too ill to attend the hearing, wrote to the judge explaining that she wanted a chance to ‘live longer’.
In a heartbreaking letter to the court, she said:
“I don’t want to die but I know I am going to…I want to live longer…I want to have this chance.”
Speaking to a relative, she said: “I’m dying, but I’m going to come back again in 200 years.”
Even though a number of people had tried to dissuade her, the girl reportedly pursued her investigations with ‘determination’.
In line with the girl’s wishes, Justice Peter Jackson made the ruling she wanted on October 17, and her remains have now been taken to the USA and frozen in Michigan-based Cryogenics Institute.
Also, for fears that media coverage would distress her, the judge ruled that nothing about the case could be reported while the teenager was alive, and that no-one involved could be identified.
While hospitalized, the judge, who visited her in hospital, said he had been moved by the ‘valiant way’ in which she had faced her ‘predicament’.
He said the girl’s application was the only one of its kind to have come before a court in England and Wales – and probably anywhere else, adding that the case was an example of new questions science posed to lawyers. Her lawyer described her as a ‘bright, intelligent young person’.
Justice Peter Jackson said he had made decisions relating to a dispute between parents – not about the rights and wrongs of cryogenic preservation.
Mr. Justice Jackson said the relationship between the girl’s parents was ‘very bad’ and she had not seen her father for eight years at the time of her death.
According to the Judge, the girl had refused to have contact with her father, not wanting him to have details of her illness and also didn’t want him to see her body after she died as he had been reluctant to approve the plan.
Her father had been concerned about consequences of his daughter being cryogenically preserved and had been concerned about the costs involved. But Justice Jackson said the man’s fluctuation was understandable as no other parent has ever been put in his position.
Her worried father expressed his fears to the Judge saying;
“Even if the treatment is successful and she is brought back to life in, let’s say, 200 years, she may not find any relative and she might not remember things. She may be left in a desperate situation – given that she is still only 14-years-old – and will be in the United States of America.”
But during the litigation her father’s position changed and he later consented saying he respects the decisions she is making, which is the last and only thing she has asked from him.
Though there is no proof that the process of cryo-preservation could ever be reversed, around 350 people have been frozen since the process was invented in the 1960s.