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18 November 2016

British Schoolgirl, 14, Wins Historic Court Battle to be Cryogenically Frozen

In a case that has been described by presiding judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson as a “tragic combination” of childhood illness and family conflict, a 14 year-old terminally ill British schoolgirl has been awarded the right to be cryogenically frozen at a specialist facility in the United States following her death.

The ruling was made despite objections from the girl’s father who, rather than worrying about whether or not the treatment would be successful, instead feared for the mental well-being of his daughter should she wake up, 200 years from now, in a foreign land with nobody to turn to. He told the court:

“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.”

Her mother, on the other hand, supported her decision, leading to a family dispute that needed a judge’s ruling to resolve. Not one to let her battles be fought for her however, the young girl, who suffered from a rare and vicious form of cancer, made her own argument in a beautifully-scripted letter to the judge, which read as follows:

“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 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 may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up.

“I want to have this chance. This is my wish.”

Being that this case marks the first of its kind to appear before a court in England or Wales, and likely anywhere else for that matter, there was no precedent to follow. Deciding to treat the matter as a dispute between parents, rather than a debate on the viability or ethics of cryogenics, Mr Justice Peter Jackson ultimately ruled that allowing the girl’s mother to make decisions concerning the disposal of her remains would be in the girl’s best interests. He reached this decision after visiting the girl in hospital, where he remarked upon the “valiant way” in which she had handled the situation.

The case eventually ended on a relatively positive note, with the father finally accepting his daughter’s wishes and telling the court, “I respect the decisions she is making. This is the last and only thing she has asked from me.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.