The180

BC man wants the right to have his corpse frozen

B.C. resident Keegan Macintosh wants the government to do a 180 on its cryonics policy: he says he has a Charter right to freeze his body when he dies.
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.)

If you want to freeze your dead body for the future, should you be able to? Keegan Macintosh thinks so. But in his home province of B.C., it's illegal. So he's gone to court to try for a 180 on the law.

In 1990, the BC government overhauled its laws around cremation and burial. At the time it added a paragraph to the Cremations, Interment, and Funeral Services Act:

A person must not offer for sale, or sell, an arrangement for the preservation or storage of human remains that is based on:
a. cryonics
b. irradiation, or
c. any other means of preservation of storage, by whatever name called, and that is offered, or sold, on the expectation of the resuscitation of human remains at a future time.

Cryonics is the process of freezing a corpse with as little damage as possible, in the hopes that future technology will one day exist to restore life, in some form.

Macintosh would like to be able to have his corpse frozen close to his home. A non-profit group called the Lifespan Society would like the right to open a cryonics service. They've filed a claim arguing the law violates Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right to "life, liberty, and security of the person."

He says he wants to be frozen for the future, because he wants to live as long a life as possible. 

It's as simple as the fact that I love life. That's really all there is to it. I enjoy life. I don't foresee a time in the future when I won't want to be alive the next day.
- Keegan Macintosh

The BC government says the law is intended to protect consumers. The government provided this emailed statement: 

"Generally speaking, in B.C., the law allows funeral directors to perform preparation and transport services related to a cryonic arrangement – assuming that these services are in compliance with provincial health and human remains transfer regulations. However, in the interest of protecting consumers, the law prohibits the sale of cryonics if it is done with the promise of future resuscitation.  

Since this matter is before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment further or specifically on this lawsuit."

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