UK: Cancer patient’s body frozen until cure found for disease

A British 14-year-old who died of cancer was cryogenically frozen last month until a cure is found for the disease. The teenager was the center of a legal battle when her father, who is divorced from her mother, refused his daughter’s request to be frozen. She turned to the courts with a moving letter saying that her wish is to be given the chance to live.
Cryonic preservation Photo Credit: Andrey Malov/ 2 News

A 14-year-old who died of cancer has become the first British girl to be cryogenically frozen until a cure is found for the disease. A British court approved the teenager’s request even though her father was opposed to her decision.

The teenager’s body was frozen last month and placed inside a container that will retain the lowest possible body temperature necessary for cryonic preservation: The process in which body tissue is preserved through freezing within a completely sealed storage tank, enabling doctors to revive the body tissue in the future. The tank in which the teenage girl is frozen is located in Michigan and its average temperature is -196 degrees C.

The 14-year-old was at the center of a legal battle between her two divorced parents. Her mother supported her daughter’s decision to be frozen until a cure is found, but her father opposed, so the teenager turned to the courts to make the decision.

During the trial period, the teenager wrote a letter to the judge explaining her unique request. “I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done,” she wrote. “I’m only 14-years-old and I don’t want to die, but I know I am going to. 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.”  

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