Teenage Cancer Patient Wins Historic Case to Be Cryogenically Frozen

Discussion in 'Current World News and Events' started by Phoenix, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Phoenix

    Phoenix *~Though she be but little, she is fierce~*

    (Cryonics Institute in Flint, Michigan)
    A terminally ill teenager has won the right to be brought back to life using cryogenic freezing technology.

    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.

    The 14-year-old girl, who lived in the London area with her mother and had a rare form of cancer, took legal action because she wanted to live longer.

    She 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.

    Mr Justice Peter Jackson had made the ruling she wanted in October and her remains have now been taken to the USA and frozen in Michigan-based Cryogenics Institute.

    The judge had said that nothing about the case could be reported while the teenager was alive, after she said media coverage would distress her. He also ruled that no-one involved could be identified – again in line with the girl’s wishes.

    The teenager, who had been too ill to attend the hearing, had been represented by lawyers and had written to the judge explaining that she wanted a chance to ‘live longer’.

    The teenager's letter to the judge

    "I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done.
    I am only 14 years old and I don't want to die but I know I am going to die.

    I think being cryopreserved gives me 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 may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up.

    I want to have this chance.This is my wish."


    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.

    The judge said the teenager had carried out vast research into cryonics during the last months of her life.
    He said there was no doubt that she had the mental capacity to launch legal action and a lawyer representing the girl had described her as a ‘bright, intelligent young person’.

    The judge was told that she had pursued her investigations with ‘determination’ even though a number of people had tried to dissuade her.

    Mr Justice Jackson said the relationship between the girl’s parents was ‘very bad’ and she had not had seen her father for eight years at the time of her death.

    The judge said she had refused to have contact with her father, had not wanted him to have detail of her illness and had not wanted him to see her body after she died as he had been reluctant to approve the plan.
    He had been concerned about consequences of his daughter being cryogenically preserved, and had been concerned about the costs involved.

    "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,’ he had told Mr Justice Jackson.
    ‘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 his position had changed and he later added: "I respect the decisions she is making. This is the last and only thing she has asked from me."

    Mr Justice Jackson said the man’s fluctuation was understandable."No other parent has ever been put in his position,
    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."

    The judge said the case was an example of new questions science posed to lawyers .Adding he had made decisions relating to a dispute between parents – not about the rights and wrongs of cryogenic preservation.

    The teenager died peacefully in October knowing that her remains would be preserved, but the judge said there had been problems on the day she died.

    He said hospital staff and bosses had expressed concerns about the way the process of preparing her body for cryogenic preservation had been handled.

    This was carried out by a voluntary group in the UK before her body was flown to the US for storage. He suggested that ministers should consider "proper regulation" of cryonic preservation for the future.


    cred: bbc
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