Fuelling the Modern Man

Girl wins right to be cryogenically frozen in groundbreaking case

The 14-year-old took her extraordinary case to the high courts.

Josh Butler
Published 18th November 2016
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In a landmark hearing, a high court has ruled a 14-year-old girl will be cryogenically frozen following her death from cancer, in accordance with her will.

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, but in reality, the young girl is hoping to be “reawakened” in the future if a cure for her condition becomes available.

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However, the reason her case made it all the way to the high courts was down in no small part to her divorced parents, who could not agree on whether to let the girl go ahead with the process.

Her father, who also has cancer, has been estranged from her for eight years and refused to sign over permission for her to undergo the freezing process once she passed away.

With the girl needing the signature of both parents, she took the case to the high courts – and won.

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As her mother had been her sole carer, the court judged only her permission was needed and, once granted, the girl was cryogenically frozen in what is a first of its kind ruling for the British High Court.

In fact, the girl remains only one of ten Britons who have been frozen, and the only child in British medical history. Her body was  taken to a storage facility in the United States, which is one of only two countries, along with Russia, that has facilities for storing frozen bodies.

If you discount Jabba’s palace on Tatooine, of course.

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Following a period of disorganisation, the judge presiding over the case suggested that “proper regulation” of cryonic preservation – which is legal but unregulated – should now be considered.

Explaining her decision to the courts, the girl wrote: “I think being cryo-preserved 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 might find a cure for my cancer and wake me up.”

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However, if you’re harbouring a desire to be cryo-preserved, be prepared to fork out for it. The process cost the girl’s family £37,000, and was only achieved thanks to fundraising efforts by the maternal grandparents.

About 350 people worldwide have been cryogenically frozen since the process was invented in the ’60s, though there is no proof that it would be possible to bring any of them back to life.

Unless you’ve played Fallout 4, of course. In which case, you probably want to stay frozen.

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