You probably thought it could only be done in The Simpsons, but a 14-year-old girl who wanted her body to be frozen so she could one day be brought back to life won a historic legal fight to do so shortly before her death.
The girl – who cannot be named – died from a rare cancer in October and was taken to the US to be cryogenically preserved. Her mum was supportive of her wish, but her dad was against it, and a High Court judge ruled in the mum’s favour.
Cryonics is the practice of deep-freezing a body in the hope that scientific developments can revive it in the future.
It’s actually a controversial procedure and we obviously still don’t know if it’s possible to bring people back to life.
The teenager, from London, researched the method online in the last few months of her life. She wrote to the judge, Mr Justice Peter Jackson, to explain that she didn’t want “to be buried underground” and wanted “to live longer”.
Justice Jackson visited the girl in hospital and was touched by “the valiant way in which she was facing her predicament”.
He also said her letter was the first of its kind to come before a court in England and Wales – and probably anywhere else, for that matter.
Here’s the girl’s sweet letter in full (via BBC News):
“I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done.
“I am only 14 years old and I don’t want to die but I know I am going to die.
“I think being cryopreserved 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.”
Although they don’t exist in the UK, facilities where bodies can be conserved in liquid nitrogen at extremely low temperatures (less than -130C) can be found in the US and Russia.
It’s not cheap, either. The cost of freezing a body for, well, forever is thought to cost as much as £37,000.