Science & Technology
14-year-old wins right to cryogenic freezing
November 18, 2016 | 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
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