Judge rules that woman’s remains can be frozen

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According to the family of Mary Robbins, who died of cancer in early February at age 71, on her deathbed Robbins changed her mind about willing her body to a non-profit organization for cryogenic preservation. In 2006 Robbins signed an agreement with Alcor Life Extension Foundation—the same group that preserved the head of baseball great Ted Williams—both giving her remains to be frozen, and setting up a $50,000 annuity to pay for the preservation, the Associated Press reports. Yet, despite her family’s objections, in a court ruling on Monday, Robbins’ original wish to have her remains preserved was upheld.

Friends of the Colorado native who spoke in court said that Robbins had mentioned her desire for cryogenic preservation in the past. Her family has 72 hours to appeal the court decision. Robbins’ remains are currently stored in dry ice at a Colorado Springs funeral home, the AP reports.

Robbins agreed to have her head cryogenically preserved after her demise in hopes that later advances in technology might be able to bring her back to life. Cryogenic preservation is a process that uses chemicals to lower temperatures to -184ºF (-120ºC) to preserve tissue with minimal formation of ice crystals and resulting damage to cells, according to Alcor.