Zee Media Bureau
London: A 14-year-old girl from London who died of cancer became the first child to be cryogenically frozen after death in UK.
The British girl had won the right to have her body frozen in an unprecedented ruling, the High Court said on Friday.
She had written a letter to a judge explaining that she wanted a chance to “live longer” after suffering from a rare form of deadly cancer.
She had researched and decided to undergo cryonics, the process through which people’s bodies are frozen in the hope they will be brought back to life with the help of future medical advancements.
The girl wrote to the judge, “I am only 14-years-old and I don’t want to die but I know I am going to die”.
She added, “I think being cryo-preserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up — even in hundreds of years’ time.”
She launched legal action to request that her mother, who supported the child’s wishes, be the only person allowed to make decisions about the disposal of her body.
Her parents are divorced and the teenager’s father initially objected to his daughter’s plan.
Judge Peter Jackson ruled in the girl’s favour in October following a private hearing at the High Court of England and Wales in London.
The girl was too ill to attend the hearing and has since died, with her remains being taken to the United States and cryogenically frozen.
US-based Cryonics Institute issued a statement saying that the teenager had arrived at their facility and “packed in dry ice, at 5pm on the October 25, approximately 8 days after death,” becoming its 144th patient.
Its minimum fee for cryopreservation is $28,000 (Dh102,844; 26,400 euros), according to its website, and The Times reported the cost to the girl’s family was $46,000.
The case was not reported on before yesterday in keeping with the wishes of the teenager.
Jackson said his decision was based on the dispute between the girl’s parents and the best outcome for the child’s welfare, not on the science itself, in what he described as an unprecedented ruling. The judge described the case as a “tragic combination” of childhood illness and family conflict, while praising the girl for the “valiant way” she approached the situation.
(With AFP inputs)