1/07/2015

Teen refusing chemotherapy to be forced by state [PHOTO\VIDEO] of Connecticut

By Tashi Singh

It is a case that pits a 17-year-old girl with cancer against the state of Connecticut: she is being forced to undergo chemotherapy against her will, and now the case is going to the state Supreme Court.

The girl, identified only as “Cassandra C." in court documents, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September. Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. As it progresses, it compromises the body's ability to fight infection. At the time, doctors at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) recommended she receive chemotherapy.

After Cassandra C. declined medical treatment for cancer and her mom agreed with her decision, the Division of Children and Families (DCF) assumed custody of her and forced her to undergo what they called life-saving chemotherapy.
Credit FNC


According to the Hartford Courant, Cassandra believes chemotherapy can cause her as much or more damage as the cancer at this point.

“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 and her mother filed an appeal to the court as they fight for anti-chemotherapy rights. They argue the trial court violated their constitutional rights in permitting DCF to force the girl to receive medical treatment against her will.

The Connecticut Supreme Court will review the series of events, taking up an issue decided by several other states — whether some minors are mature enough to make decisions about their own bodies.


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