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14-year-old wins right to cryogenic freezing

November 18, 2016 | Comment icon 6 comments



Cryonics involves preserving a person after death using liquid nitrogen. Image Credit: US Navy
A controversial court ruling has made it possible for a young cancer patient to be frozen after death.
The 14-year-old, who had been suffering from a rare form of the disease, had expressed a desire to be cryogenically frozen after she died so that she could be revived again in the future.

The process typically involves freezing the patient in liquid nitrogen in the hope that one day a cure for their illness can be found. The technique has been widely criticized because to date there has been no evidence to suggest that anyone can be brought back to life after being frozen in this way.

Despite this, the 14-year-old, whose name has been withheld for legal reasons, remained adamant that she should be given the opportunity to be cryogenically preserved - something that her mother supported but her father was very much against.
In the end, a high court ruling opted to side with her mother, thus giving her a green light to go through with the procedure. The cost of freezing her body in this instance was £37,000.

"The diagnosis of death is that death is irreversible, and for people who seek cryopreservation, they've died of a serious disease, in this case it's cancer," said medical ethics expert Simon Woods.

"The person is in a pretty bad state of health to begin with, and there's absolutely no scientific evidence that the person could be brought back to life."

The girl, who sadly died back in October, has since been flown to the US to undergo the process.

Source: BBC News | Comments (6)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Marss 5 years ago
Good luck girl, might never happen.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Vox 5 years ago
The background to this story is terribly sad. At the heart of it lies a feud between the mother and father which did not play out too well and questions were raised in respects to the procedures employed by the charitable cryopreservation organisation that was tasked with preparing the body for airlift to the US. I do hope however that she will get her wish in the end. Godspeed brave girl.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Wondering Soul 5 years ago
Hope to see her in 200 years +joy
Comment icon #4 Posted by White Unicorn 5 years ago
I'm glad she knew her last wish would be fulfilled, just as others can choose cremation or burial requests. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
I have heard somewhere(?) that cryogenic preservation is optimized if the creature is still alive during the initial freezing process. Something having to do with special cellular "antifreeze" being able to get into all critical cells (which is supposedly not entirely possible if dead as the dead cells won't properly suck in the special cellular antifreeze) Anyway, the problem is that, besides the science, legally this amounts to murder prior to preservation since the human must be alive during the initial process, and is likely a horrendously painful procedure. I was hoping that the court, in... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Still Waters 5 years ago
It gave her hope, that's the main thing.


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