Bioethics News

14-year-old to be cryogenically frozen in UK

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A 14-year-old British girl who was dying of cancer won a court battle last month to be cryogenically frozen in the hope of being revived in 200 years’ time. Her divorced parents could not agree about whether to carry out her wishes, so she sought permission from the UK High Court. In a letter to the judge, the girl, known only as JS, wrote,

“I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done. I’m only 14 years old and I don’t want to die, but I know I am going to. 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. I want to have this chance. This is my wish.”

According to the Telegraph, JS told a relative: “I’m dying, but I’m going to come back again in 200 years. After her death on October 17 her body was frozen and taken to a facility in the United States.

Only 10 Britons have ever been frozen. Even the companies which store frozen bodies and heads admit that there is currently impossible to revive a frozen cadaver. So at best cryopreservation is a leap of faith; at worst it is quackery. It is not cheap, either. Basic cryopreservation packages costs about £37,000, or, in the words of the Judge, Justice Peter Jackson, “about ten times as much as an average funeral”.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.