British Columbia

Immortality sought through B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit

A B.C. man is going to B.C. Supreme Court in a bid to overturn a law which would prevent him from preserving his body after death in the hopes he can be brought back to life in the future.

Claim alleges B.C. only jurisdiction on earth banning sale of post-death body preservation

Keegan Macintosh has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court in a bid to overturn a law preventing him from preserving his body for future resuscitation. (Lifespan Society of B.C.)

Judges get asked to rule on many things: Keegan Macintosh wants them to help him live forever.

The B.C. man has filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court in a bid to overturn a provincial law preventing him from preserving his body after death in the hopes he can later be resuscitated.

In an unusual Charter of Rights argument, Macintosh claims the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act infringes on his right to life now by denying him the possibility of extending his life in the future.

"It is hard for me to understand why the province thinks it needs to rescue me from freezing my body after I die," said Macintosh in a media release.  

"If I want to devote my personal resources to the future possibility of resuscitation, what business does the government have stopping me from doing so?"

Death the final frontier?

Macintosh is a co-plaintiff in the suit with the Lifespan Society of B.C., a non-profit society which advocates for cryonics, the preservation of bodies after clinical death to halt the processes of decomposition.

According to the claim, the use of cryonics "is predicated on the possibility that currently untreatable medical conditions including the ordinary biological aging process will be treatable in the future."

B.C.'s funeral services act prohibits the sale of arrangements for body preservation based on cryonics, irradiation or any other means of preservation based on the expectation of future resuscitation.

Yeah baby! The movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery saw the British spy frozen in time for 30 years.

According to the claim, B.C. is the only jurisdiction in the world that prohibits the sale of cryonic services.

Fictional characters in movies from Forever Young to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery have toyed with the idea of extending their lives through suspended animation.

But dozens of people in the U.S have actually had their remains cryonically preserved by a company in Arizona, most notably former major league baseball player Ted Williams.

According to the claim, Lifespan wants to offer similar services: preserving and cooling bodies, stopping decomposition and transporting bodies to the Arizona facility.

According to the claim, Macintosh says he wants to prevent "informational-theoretical death" — described as the destruction of information within a human that would make death truly irreversible.

In addition to infringing on the right to life, the suit also alleges that the law deprives people of the right to liberty by denying them "the fundamental choice of disposing of their bodies as they see fit."

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