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Last Wish of Dying Girl, 14, to Be Frozen, Is Granted by Jud

Article for this week in history by Rita Batievsky

Rita Batievsky

on 8 December 2016

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Transcript of Last Wish of Dying Girl, 14, to Be Frozen, Is Granted by Jud

During the last months of her life, a terminally ill 14-year-old British girl made a final wish. Instead of being buried, she asked to be frozen so that she could be “woken up” in the future when a cure was found — even if that was hundreds of years later.
“I don’t want to be buried underground,” she wrote.The girl’s divorced parents had disagreed over whether her wish to be frozen should be followed, so the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, asked a High Court judge to intervene.The girl, known as JS, asked Mr Justice Peter Jackson to rule that her mother, who supported her desire to be cryogenically preserved, should be the only person allowed to make decisions about the disposal of her body.
The girl wrote a heartbreaking letter to the judge asking if she could be cryogenically preserved, as she believed in the fact that she could be back alive in 200 years, when doctors have finally found the cure for cancer. “I don’t want to die but I know I am going to...I want to live longer...I want to have this chance.”
Last wish of dying 14 year old girl is to be frozen and is granted by the court
Questions about the article
If you were the parents, would you agree with the girl's last wishes?
Shortly before her death in a London hospital on October 17, in what is believed to be a unique case, the judge granted JS her wish. Her body was frozen and taken to a storage facility in the US. She is one of only 10 Britons to have been frozen, and the only British child.
Videos about the article
This week in history article
By Júlia Aguilar, Manuela Rodes and Rita Batievsky
The story of the girl's last wish come true
Freezing after death is getting cheeper
Would you have chosen to get frozen?
Would the cost of the procedure affect your decision?
Should the court have considered the age of the girl when making final decision?
Imagine if you were frozen and you would wake up 200 years later. What would be the first thing you would do?
JS, who lived with her mother in London, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year and by August this year she had been told her illness was terminal and active treatment came to an end.

She began researching cryonic preservation online - a controversial and costly process that involves the freezing of a dead body in the hope that resuscitation and a cure may one day be possible - and decided she wanted to be frozen after her death.

Because she was too young to make a legally recognised will, she had to have the permission of both of her parents to sign up for the process.

When she contacted her father, whom she has not seen since 2008 and who himself has cancer, he said he was opposed to the idea, so JS began legal proceedings through a solicitor to ensure her wishes were followed.
What are cryogenics?
Full transcript