Skip to main site content.
(REUTERS/Jeff Topping)

'I want to live'

After legal battle, 14-year-old girl who died of rare cancer undergoes cryogenic freezing

November 18, 2016

After winning a legal battle against her father, a 14-year-old British girl’s wish to be cryogenically frozen after her death has been fulfilled. The girl, who suffered from a rare, terminal cancer, had expressed the hope that she could be “woken up” in the future when a cure for the disease had been found. Too young to make a legally binding will, the girl needed both of her parents’ permission in order to undergo the process. When her father, who also has cancer, said he was opposed to the idea, the teenager asked a High Court judge to rule that her mother be the only person allowed to make decisions about the disposal of her body after death.

“I think being cryopreserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up, even in hundreds of years’ time. I don’t want to be buried underground,” wrote the girl in a letter to the court. Her identity and those of her parents have been kept secret for legal reasons. “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.”

The judge in the case, Mr. Justice Jackson, ultimately ruled in the teenager’s favor, saying that the girl had convincingly demonstrated herself to be a “bright, intelligent, young person” with the capacity to bring the application. Jackson also expressed his sympathies to the viewpoint of the girl’s father, noting that “no other parent has ever been put in this position.”

The girl became the first British child to be cryogenically frozen — and one of just 10 Britons to have undergone the process. There is no proof that it would be possible to bring someone who was cryogenically frozen back to life.

Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald.


Breast Cancer Foundation workers collect tears from cinemagoers in New Zealand

14-year-old girl with rare disease makes difficult decision to schedule her own death

Hayley Okines, teen battling premature aging, dies at age 17