A 14-year-old dying girl has won the right to have her body cryonically preserved immediately after she died, according to a recent UK High Court decision.
The girl, known as JS, hoped that sometime in the future, when doctors found a cure for her cancer, she might be brought back to life.
She had spent several months researching the science of cryonics and the judge had no doubt that she had sound capacity when making her decision.
The judge noted that under the UK’s Human Tissue Act cryonics is not illegal. However, it is unregulated.
The closest the act comes to cryonics is regulating the freezing of sperm and embryos, in the form of cryopreservation. The judge did, however, acknowledge the need for new legislation relating to cryonics.
This case has received a huge amount of public attention.
But how realistic is cryonics’ chance of success? Is it a nonsensical waste of money and resources, selling snake oil for hope in dying patients? Or is it the new frontier of modern medical science, the path to post-humanism?