A 14-year-old British teenager dying of cancer had one last wish: to be cryogenically frozen, her body preserved so that one day, maybe, science could cure her disease. She had learned about cryonics online.
But controversy arose when her divorced parents couldn't decide on whether to honor their daughter's request. Her mother, whom she lived with, supported her choice.
However her father, estranged from his daughter since 2008, originally came out against it. He eventually changed his mind, but not before the dispute reached London's High Court over which parent "was responsible for the arrangements after her death."
While making his decision, Justice Peter Jackson received a letter from the teen, referred to only as JS. Here's what she wrote:
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. 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.
Although he pointed out that he was not ruling in favor of her right to cryogenics but on which parent should have authority over the arrangements, the judge sided with JS's mother, and therefore the unique procedure would proceed.
According to CNN, "the judge ruled in favor of her mother and said the girl had died peacefully, knowing her wishes had been met."
When she learned of his decision, JS started calling the judge "Mr. Hero Peter Jackson."
The United States is apparently one of only two countries to offer the procedure, and JS's body reportedly arrived in Michigan eight days after her death.