Keegan Macintosh, a UBC law graduate, would like the B.C Supreme Court to allow him to live forever. He would like to overturn the provincial laws and have his body preserved post death. Why? He hopes to be resuscitated at a later time.
Keegan feels the court should have no problem with his desire to extend his life in the future. He is using the Charter to support his case. He believes the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act all infringe on his rights to possibly have a future after death. Keegan is willing to use his personal resources to help achieve his goal and feels the government should have no say in how he chooses to have his body treated post death.
Keegan isn’t alone in his fight; he is a co-plaintiff in a matter with the Lifespan Society of B.C, a non-profit organization that advocates for cryonics, the conservancy of bodies after clinical death to stop the progressions of decomposition. The thesis of cryonics is based on the idea that untreatable medical conditions will be curable in the future such as the natural body aging process.
B.C.’s Funeral Services Act prohibits the sale of body engagements meant for the preservation of a body based on the anticipation of future resuscitation. The claim states that the B.C is the sole jurisdiction that does not allow for the sale of cryonic services.
The claim also states that the provincial laws infringe on an individual’s right to life. Furthermore, the suit also claims that the law denies individuals the right to liberty by contradicting their choice to dispose of their bodies as they wish.
Supporters have argued that if there was a religion behind the choice to be frozen after death, the law would’ve been more sympathetic and would support their choice. Furthermore, it was argued that individuals who wish to be frozen post death are fighting for a chance to live again as they know there isn’t a guarantee and the government has no place to interfere with this desire.
Points of discussion:
1. Do you think the state has a place to interfere with how one would like their body to be treated post death?
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