Over the years a number of Hollywood blockbuster films have explored the idea of cryogenically freezing people, but to most it seemed like science fiction.
That concept has however become reality in the recent landmark case, Re JS (Disposal of Body) [2016 EWHC 2859 (Fam), whereby the High Court granted an application for a 14 year old to be cryo-preserved upon her death.
The girl referred to as “JS” had told the court of her wish to be cryo-preserved in a letter that set out her hope that they may “Find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish”.
Mr Justice Peter Jackson was clear in his judgement that he was not approving or encouraging cryonics but that he was considering the wishes and feelings of the child.
In any matter concerning children, the Court’s paramount concern is the welfare of the child. In making any order concerning the children the Court will take into account the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child considered in the light of the child’s age and understanding. The 7 criteria set out in Section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989 include;
- The wishes and feelings of the child concerned,
- The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs,
- The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision,
- The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the courts decision,
- Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering,
- Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
- The powers available to the court in the given proceedings
Whilst the circumstances of Re JS are unique, the Judgement exemplified the power that the Welfare Checklist has in any matter concerning children.
Here at Farleys Solicitors our specialist family law team offer fixed fee Case Management Meetings to parents who feel they need legal advice regarding their situation. During this meeting an experienced solicitor will be able to advise you on the options available tailored to your personal circumstance. For further information regarding Child Care Arrangements or the other family law services we provide please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0845 287 0939. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.