Judges will seek, if possible, to respect the wishes of people like JS who wish to be cryonically preserved after their death. Even though Hell is likely to freeze over before any cryonic unfreezing successfully occurs. And even though most of us would echo the words of the song in the Disney film Frozen: “Let it go, let it go.” The proper role of the law is to regulate the practice to protect vulnerable people.
Those who wish to offer a cryonic service should require a licence. A regulator needs to be satisfied that they are a fit and proper person to operate in this field, in particular that they have adequately trained staff and effective procedures at least to ensure preservation ”” though no degree of regulation can guarantee future resuscitation. The Human Tissue Authority would be an appropriate regulator. It is the statutory body which controls the use of organs and body parts, but it presently has no responsibility for cryonic preservation.
In the graveyard, Hamlet picks up what he contemplates may be “the skull of a lawyer”. Where, he asks, are now “his cases, his tenures, and his tricks?” It is exceptionally unlikely that in some Supreme Courtroom in hundreds of years time, cryonically preserved and resuscitated lawyers from the early 21st century could again argue and decide cases, even if they would wish to do so. But if any lawyer, or judge, is, like JS, contemplating a freezing process on their death, they are entitled to expect the law to provide regulation. The government should start consulting.
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