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To freeze or not?

This recent headline case concerned a 14-year-old girl who was sadly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, all treatment was stopped in August 2016 and she passed away in October 2016. The reporting restrictions have just been lifted which has sparked an understandable interest in this matter.

Before she passed away the girl had researched cryonics: the freezing of a dead body in the hope that resuscitation and a cure may be possible in the distant future. The maternal family raised the necessary £37,000.00 in order to allow this to take place. The mother fully supported the girls wishes, however the previously absent father disagreed and had serious concerns.

Due to the parent’s disagreement the Court had to make a decision, the Judgement made it very clear that he was not passing judgment on the rights or wrongs of cryonics.

In a letter to the Judge the girl said “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.”

The Judge made the decision that the mother should be responsible for making the decisions after the girl’s death and the mother was therefore able to put the plan for cryonics to take place.

This is an extreme case but Rachel McGrath at Rees Page Solicitors can help guide you through the often confusing and complex Court proceedings. 


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