British judge OKs teen's last wish to have body frozen

2016-11-19 08:45
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London - A British girl who died after a terminal illness won the right to have her body frozen in an unprecedented ruling, the High Court said on Friday.

The 14-year-old girl from London had written to a judge explaining she wanted a chance to "live longer" after suffering from a rare form of cancer.

She had researched and decided to undergo cryonics, the process through which people's bodies are frozen in the hope they will be brought back to life with the help of future medical advancements.

"I am only 14-years-old and I don't want to die but I know I am going to die," she wrote to the judge.

"I think being cryo-preserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up - even in hundreds of years' time."

The girl launched legal action to request that her mother, who supported the child's wishes, be the only person allowed to make decisions about the disposal of her body.

Her parents are divorced and the teenager's father initially objected to his daughter's plan.

Wishes of teenager

Judge Peter Jackson ruled in the girl's favour in October following a private hearing at the High Court of England and Wales in London.

The girl was too ill to attend the hearing and has since died, with her remains being taken to the US and cryogenically frozen.

US-based Cryonics Institute issued a statement saying that the teenager had arrived at their facility and "packed in dry ice, about eight days after death," becoming its 144th patient.

Its minimum fee for cryopreservation is $28 000according to its website and The Times reported the cost to the girl's family was $46 000.

The case was not reported on before Friday in keeping with the wishes of the teenager, who also asked that no one involved be identified.

Jackson said his decision was based on the dispute between the girl's parents and the best outcome for the child's welfare, not on the science itself, in what he described as an unprecedented ruling.

The judge described the case as a "tragic combination" of childhood illness and family conflict, while praising the girl for the "valiant way" she approached the situation.


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