Teen refuses cancer treatment but is forced to have it anyway.
17 year old Cassandra (last name withheld), a Connecticut native, decided that she did not want to undergo chemotherapy when it was discovered that she in the late stages of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a very aggressive form of cancer. Her mother agreed but the Department of Child and Family Services did not. They took temporary custody of the girl and forced her to undergo chemo even though the chances that it will help are slim.
After two treatments, Cassandra ran away, trying to flee from any more debilitating treatments. Once found, she was forced back to the hospital to continue treatment. She had to be strapped down because she was fighting every step of the way. The DCF removed her from her home, accusing her mother of negligence. Now she and her mother can only see each other twice a week for two hours at a time - supervised.
This girl is very ill. She is in the final stages of this disease which starts in the blood and attacks just about every organ in the body as well as the lymph nodes. She wants to live out her final days in peace and die in peace. Now she can't even see her own mother when she wants to.
Later this week, the family will go to court to fight for Cassandra's rights as a "Mature Minor". 12 states have doctrines for situations like this when a child is nearly an adult and wants to make their own health decisions but Connecticut does not have any laws in place for such an occurrence. If Cassandra and her family win, she will be able to decide for herself if she wants to undergo brutal chemotherapy. If not, then she will be strapped down for more of the toxic treatment which will probably only prolong her suffering. At the end stages of this disease, there is no cure, just the possibility that life will be prolonged for a while. But the sufferer will be very sick.
I think it's crazy that they took this ailing young woman from her mother when she needs her most. That they cant be together in her final days and that the mother is looked at as some sort of child abuser is awful. I know some parents don't get proper medical treatment for their kids and the state has to step in. It is sometimes for the best because these kids have very treatable illnesses and could easily be cured by modern medicine.
But when we're talking about end stage cancer, well, that's a whole other story. When a child is months away from being an adult who can make her own health decisions, I believe there should be a law in place to allow such minors the right to choose as long as they have all the information they need and doctors to help with the decision making process. Other states have such laws. It's time for Connecticut to get with it.
I hope that Cassandra and her family win and she can live and die in peace.
What do you think? Should this girl be forced to undergo chemo for an end stage cancer that is almost always fatal?
The original story is here if you want to read it: http://thelibertydoll.com/2015/01/04/connecticut-teen-forced-undergo-chemo-will
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/sad-depressed-depression-sadness-505857