- 14-year-old dying British girl expressed wish to be alive 100 years later through cryonics
- The girl was suffering from a rare form of cancer which was untreatable
“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.” This was why a 14-year-old British girl, suffering from cancer, wanted to be frozen for future using the controversial system of cryonics.
Cryonics is an effort to save lives by using temperatures so cold that a person beyond help by today's medicine might be preserved for decades or centuries until a future medical technology can restore that person to full health.
Containers are finally immersed in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C for long-term care.
The teenager was asked the reason for her death wish and the girl, known only as JS, is said to have a written a letter answering the query. She 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."
The decision was not an easy one to make as it faced opposition from the child’s father, while the mother was in support of the procedure. The girl asked the court to rule that only her mother can make decisions regarding disposal of her body, the Telegraph reported. Her parents are divorced.
JS’s parents could not afford to pay for the cryonic process, which costs from £37,000, but her maternal grandparents raised the money. The body has been taken to a storage facility in America - one of only two countries, along with Russia, that has facilities for storing frozen bodies.
Further, a report in the Telegraph states Dennis Kowalski, president and CEO of Cryonics Institute in Michigan, has admitted patients may be left with no memories even if they are successfully woken up. And he added that he only had a “50-50” belief that people enclosed in the freezing chambers would ever be revived.
The scientific community is divided over whether cryonics, which was pioneered by Dr Robert Ettinger, the institute’s founder and - as of 2011 - one of its patients, will actually work. The method has raised questions on its implications –legal, scientific, religious and economical.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:59 PM IST