A judge in the U.K. has granted a dying teenager’s wish to have her body preserved at a facility in Michigan, in hopes that scientists will eventually be able to restore her to life and health.
A 14-year-old cancer victim, whose name has not been released, died last month in a hospital in London. Before her death, the terminally ill girl told her parents that she wanted her body to be preserved so that she could potentially be restored to life one day.
“I am only 14 years old and I don’t want to die but I know I am going to die,” the girl wrote in a letter. “I think being cryo-preserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up—even in hundreds of years’ time.”
Cryonics, first popularized in the 1960s, is a controversial and unproven technique designed to restore dead people to life in the future. People who decide to be cryonically preserved are, upon death, rushed to special facilities, injected with a special type of anti-freeze fluid that prevents bodily decay, and then stored in vats of cold liquid nitrogen.
To date, the bodies of an estimated 350 deceased people are preserved in cryogenic facilities, and hundreds more have opted for this treatment upon death. Proponents of the practice are confident that advancements in medical technology will allow people to one day be revived.
“Cryonic suspension is a sort of ‘ambulance to the future,’” the organization Cryonics UK says on their website. “Chances are good that the treatment you will require to be revived will be available in the future (just look at how far humanity has come technologically in the past 50-100 years alone, and then project that forwards).”
Prior to her death, the terminally ill 14-year-old girl expressed her desire to live in a future age when a cure for cancer is available.