Mysterious 'embargoed' story is a groundbreaking case about a cancer patient being cryogenically frozen 3 years ago

Mysterious 'embargoed' story is a groundbreaking case about a cancer patient being cryogenically frozen

The details of her case have just been released.

If you were active on social media last night then you might have noticed that #embargo was one of the topics that was trending. A variety of newspapers couldn't publish their front pages until after midnight due to the sensitive nature of this story that concerns a 14-year-old girl (referred to only as JS) who died of cancer that won the right to be cryogenically frozen in the US.

The judged backed the mother who supported her daughter's wishes while the estranged father opposed.


The reason for the embargo, according to the judge, Mr Justice Peter Jackson, was that nothing about the case should be reported while she was alive because media coverage would "distress" her.

During the last months of her life, the teenager used the internet to investigate the process of cryonics. She sent an open letter to the court, stating that:

“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. Dying is the last thing anyone wants to do – so keep cool and carry on. 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.”

The judge, Mr Justice Peter Jackson, gave an explanation for his ruling:

“I was moved by the valiant way in which she was facing her predicament. It is no surprise that this application is the only one of its kind to have come before the courts in this country, and probably anywhere else. It is an example of the new questions that science poses to the law, perhaps most of all to family law…No other parent has ever been put in [the] position [of JS’s father]. A dispute about a parent being able to see his child after death would be momentous enough on its own if the case did not also raise the issue of cryonic preservation.”

Since the ruling, the body of JS has been preserved and transported to the cryogenics facility in the US at a cost of £37,000.