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Want to cheat death by cryopreserving your body? Here's what to expect

• by Simon Woods

A dying 14-year-old child recently won the right to be cryonically frozen after her death following a UK court battle.

In a letter to the judge, the child wrote: "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."

The premature death of a young person is a particular tragedy and one cannot but be moved by the letter. According to newspaper reports, several children, some as young as seven, have also signed up to be frozen after their deaths.

Accurate figures of how many people have been cryonically preserved are difficult to obtain because there is no system of recording this information. There are probably several hundred in the US and Russia where facilities are known to exist.

There are no laws which ban the practice outright but there may be legal difficulties for cryonics because most countries specify how a dead body must be disposed of – and exclude long-term storage of this kind.

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