France: With the amount of media attention and legal proceedings, you would be forgiven for thinking Remy Martinot had killed someone, not merely made an illegal burial arrangement.

This February, Martinot froze his father, Dr. Raymond Martinot, after his death at age 80. Remy Martinot then placed his dad alongside his mother, who the elder Martinot froze in 1984, in a cryonic suspension chamber in the Martinot’s cellar.

While the thought of frozen bodies in a cellar may conjure thoughts of psychopaths, the Martinots are no ordinary family. Raymond Martinot was a pioneer in the field of cryonics and was frozen in accordance with his wishes.

But in France — as in many European jurisdictions — cryonic suspension is illegal. So Remy Martinot must now fight through the courts to prevent his parents from being buried or cremated against their wishes.

This March, a French court ruled that the Martinots’ suspension contravened French law. The judge ruled that they should be cremated or buried and even authorized the use of force to carry out the decision.

Remy Martinot appealed. A court was expected to give a decision on that appeal Monday, but will delay until it knows what other legal action Remy Martinot is undertaking, as he was expected to lodge an appeal against another court’s ruling as well.

Regardless of what happens, there’s a good chance the case will end up in France’s highest court, the Conseil d’Etat. It could also proceed to the European Court of Human Rights and possibly have an impact on cryonics rights throughout Europe.

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