As a last wish, a 14-year-old UK teen convinced the high court to be cryogenically frozen, hoping that one day she will be brought back to life. The girl suffered from terminal cancer, and she explained in court that she wanted to have a chance at living longer.
The court ruled that the girl’s mother should be the one to decide on what to do about her daughter’s body. Initially, the estranged father did not agree with this idea; however, as the girl’s condition advanced, being frozen became a possible solution.
An Unprecedented Case
The girl used the internet to research about cryogenic freezing. She then decided to send a letter to the court, which states her wish to have another chance at life — even if this means being brought back to life in a few hundred years’ time. She also mentioned in the letter to not be buried underground.
High Court Judge Peter Jackson said that the girl’s case was exceptional and also the first one of the sorts in England. Although Judge Jackson finished the case in October, any media coverage while the girl was still alive was — for the sake of dignity for human life — forbidden. The judge also called the case an example of the “new questions that science poses to the law”.
The operation cost the family about $46,000. The girl was moved from her house in the UK to the United States and her body is being preserved “in perpetuity”.
The girl was too weak to be able to leave the hospital bed in order to attend to the court meetings. However, impressed by her situation and by the dignity she fought with, the judge of the case paid her a visit at the hospital.
Scientists, Skeptical About This Procedure
Being cryo-frozen is, however, subjected to a lot of skepticism from the medical specialists, who believe that there is no scientific support to the idea that bodies preserved this way will be functional in the future.
“At the moment we have no objective evidence that a whole human body can survive cryopreservation with cells which will function after re-arming,” noted Barry Fuller, specialist in low-temperature medicine at the University College London.
He also explained that the entire process of preserving cells through the means of ultra-low temperatures is promising, but we cannot even apply it to the level of a large organ, such as a human kidney, let alone an entire body.
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