A 14 year-old English girl who wanted her body to be “preserved” in case she could be cured in the future, won “a historical legal battle” just a short time before her death. The project devised by this young girl in the terminal stage of a rare form of cancer, divided her parents. She wanted “to live longer” and “not be buried”. Judge Peter Jackson authorised the transfer of her body to the United States to be cryopreserved following her death in October and he authorised the mother to make the necessary decisions about her daughter’s body.
The young girl, who wanted to remain anonymous, even carried out an Internet survey on cryopreservation or cryoconservation. In a letter addressed to the Judge, she said, “I’m only 14 years old and I do not want to die, but I know that I am going to die. I believe that cryopreservation will give me a chance of being cured and woken up – even in hundreds of years from now. I don’t want to be buried. I want to live and live longer. I think that, in the future, there will be a remedy for my cancer and I will be woken up”.
Cryopreservation is a procedure used to preserve the entire body. It is, however, controversial since there is no scientific proof that the person can be brought back to life.
There are facilities in the United States and Russia where bodies can be stored at very low temperatures (below -130 ° C). The cost of preserving the body for an indefinite period of time in this case was approximately €45,000.
Judge Jackson stated that this case “raise new scientific questions for the legal system”. He suggested that ministers should adopt “appropriate legislation” towards cryogenic preservation.