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It's not just Disney's Frozen that was fiction


Just about everyone will have seen the reports in the newspapers about the 14 year old cancer sufferer who wished to be cryogenically frozen after death and her body sent to the US in case a cure is ever found. Did you wonder what was behind the headlines?


Most of the press reports suggested that the court had approved the cryogenic freezing but did you know that the case wasn't about that at all? The real issue was much simpler and was about what should happen to the body after death.


The girl's parents were divorced, she lived with her mother and had not seen her father face to face for years. Mother supported the wishes of the daughter but the father wished to impose conditions - including that he should be able to see the body after death. The hospital didn't support the freezing either but was prepared to go along with it in order to spare the girl from anguish.


The court did not agree or disagree with freezing but saw the girl's welfare as its paramount concern before making orders that reflected that. She was clearly very distressed at the thought that her wishes would not be met and that her father might be allowed to see her after death.


The decision of the court was that the mother was the sole person with responsibility for making the arrangements for the body and as executor has the duty to decide how it should be handled after death. When put like that the case no longer seems to be tabloid fodder.


Ian Stirzaker


Ian is the Senior Partner and Head of Family Law at SME Solicitors. Please contact him or Joanna Gardner for specialist help and advice in all aspects of family law at or


Added: 21 Feb 2017 12:48

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