A terminally ill 14-year-old girl has become the first British child to have her body cryogenically frozen in the hope she can be brought back to life in hundreds of years time.
The teenager, who cannot be named, had written to a High Court judge saying she did not want to die and wanted the chance of being “woken up” when a cure for her rare form of cancer was discovered.
Her divorced parents had become embroiled in a dispute over whether her remains should be taken to a specialist facility in the United States and cryogenically preserved, with her father appealing against the actions.
But, following a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in October, the presiding judge, Justice Peter Jackson, made the ruling she wanted. She died 11 days later and lawyers say her remains have now been taken to the USA and frozen.
The girl, who was described as a “bright, intelligent young person”, had written a letter to the judge pleading to be frozen.
“I am only 14 years old and I don’t want to die but I know I am going to die. 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 may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish.”
Mr Justice Jackson, who visited her in hospital, ruled nothing about the case could be reported while the teenager was alive and that no-one involved could be identified, in accordance with the girl’s wishes.
He said the girl’s application was the only one of its kind to have come before a court in England and Wales – and probably anywhere else.