State Forces Teen With Cancer To Undergo Chemo Treatments

dreamstimefree_245546A 17-year-old cancer patient and her mother are locked in an unprecedented legal battle with the Connecticut state government over the teen’s right to refuse chemotherapy treatment, Fox CT reported.

The girl, identified only as “Cassandra C.” in court documents, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September. At the time, doctors at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) recommended she receive chemotherapy. After she refused treatment— with her mother’s support— Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) stepped in.

According to the Hartford Courant, Cassandra believes chemotherapy can cause her as much or more damage as the cancer at this point. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. As it progresses, it compromises the body’s ability to fight infection.

“She knows the long-term effects of having chemo, what it does to your organs, what it does to your body. She may not be able to have children after this because it affects everything in your body. It not only kills cancer, it kills everything in your body,” Cassandra’s mother, Jackie Fortin, said in a video published on the Hartford Courant’s website.

Cassandra was taken into temporary custody by DCF in November, and her mother was ordered to cooperate with medical care administered under the agency’s supervision, after the hospital reported her to the agency. Full Story

Update: Court Rejects Teen’s Plea to Stop Cancer Treatments

Connecticut’s top court on Thursday rejected a request by a teenager diagnosed with cancer to halt the state-ordered chemotherapy treatments she has been receiving, saying her rights had not been violated.
The court’s seven justices said the 17-year-old, referred to as “Cassandra C.” in court papers, and her mother had not demonstrated a good reason to overrule a lower court’s ruling that supported a decision by the state to take her into custody so she would receive treatment for what doctors call an aggressive but treatable cancer.
Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September and after surgery failed to rid her of it, underwent two rounds of chemotherapy before asking that the treatments be stopped. She ran away from home to avoid further treatment.
“She has not been deprived of her due process rights and we agree that Cassandra’s conduct proves she is not mature based on any standard,” Chief Justice Chase Rogers said at a hearing in Hartford. Full Story.

 

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