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17-year-old girl fights Connecticut over forced chemotherapy treatment

Posted by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:02 AM
  • 187 Replies

I can't make an opinion on this. The ONLY reason I can't, is because I heard that with the treatment, there's a 80-85% survival rate.

Is this kid depressed? Why would she not want treatment? If it were my child, I don't think would be able to go along with this...


17-year-old girl fights Connecticut over forced chemotherapy treatment

By  The Hartford Courant  •  Saturday January 3, 2015 6:54 AM

HARTFORD, Conn. — A 17-year-old girl with cancer and her mother are battling Connecticut over an order that she accept chemotherapy treatments — and the state’s Supreme Court has agreed to an expedited ruling in a rare case involving the “mature minor doctrine.”

Lawyers for Cassandra C. argue that she is mature enough to make the decision to reject the treatments, but the state Department of Children and Families, or DCF, is saying the treatments are in her best interest.

“Everyone agrees it’s a serious illness, but you’re talking about a fundamental question: Does she have a say in what happens to her body?” said attorney Michael Taylor of West Hartford, who represents Cassandra’s mother.

Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September, according to a state Judicial Branch summary of the case.

The summary notes that “while the recommended treatment for the disease includes chemotherapy, Cassandra decided that she did not want to undergo treatment, and Cassandra’s mother supports her in that decision.”

At a hearing in November, a Superior Court judge granted a request from DCF to take temporary custody of Cassandra “and ordered her mother to provide and cooperate with medical care under DCF’s supervision and as recommended by her doctors,” the case summary states.

Cassandra and her mother initially complied with the court order, and the teenager received her first two chemotherapy treatments in November. But Cassandra “subsequently ran away from home to avoid further treatment,” the summary said. When she returned, she continued to refuse the treatment.

Cassandra now is in an unidentified local hospital receiving treatment under the court order. Details about her prognosis were not available.

Arguments before the state Supreme Court are set for Thursday.

At age 18, Cassandra and her family would have had considerably more control over her medical decision-making. But lawyers for the mother and teen argue that the state should recognize the “ mature minor doctrine,” which holds that some minors possess the maturity to make their own medical decisions, even if younger than the age of majority.

Taylor said “family integrity” — the right for a family to make educational, moral and other major decisions without state interference — also is a major element in this case.

As of 2013, 17 states — but not Connecticut — allowed some form of the mature minor doctrine, according to an article in the journalPediatrics. But those laws generally grant minors the ability to consent to medical treatment against the wishes of their parents, while Cassandra’s case is seeking legal authority as a minor to refuse treatment.

by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:02 AM
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Replies (1-10):
JustCJ
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:07 AM
1 mom liked this

What I mean is, agree with the mom agreeing with her decision. As a mother I can't fathom, her position, but geez treatment would most likely save her...

ctownjessiejo
by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:19 AM
7 moms liked this

Chemotherapy isn't as great as they make it out to be. Do some research.

JustCJ
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:21 AM
4 moms liked this

My little brother battled leukemia, I don't need to do research.

He won.

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

Chemotherapy isn't as great as they make it out to be. Do some research.


circle_of_life
by Bronze Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:24 AM
7 moms liked this

Maybe they want to try some alternative treatments? IMO, cannabis oil could possibly more effective and definitely less damaging than chemo. There are other ways to treat cancer besides poisoning your entire system. I'd say it's her choice how she wants to handle her health decisions.

JustCJ
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:27 AM

I agree. Without the story it's hard to say.

I guess their must be a pretty compelling reason why mom is going along with it. If so, I would be on  board as well. 

My issue mainly would be the good prognosis. I'm no oncologist though lol.

Quoting circle_of_life:

Maybe they want to try some alternative treatments? IMO, cannabis oil could possibly more effective and definitely less damaging than chemo. There are other ways to treat cancer besides poisoning your entire system. I'd say it's her choice how she wants to handle her health decisions.


ctownjessiejo
by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:28 AM
1 mom liked this

That is great that he won!! Most people aren't that lucky.

Quoting JustCJ:

My little brother battled leukemia, I don't need to do research.

He won.

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

Chemotherapy isn't as great as they make it out to be. Do some research.


JustCJ
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:32 AM
2 moms liked this

My parents were told the odds and made the decision based on them. Same as the story I posted. I can't say for sure, but I heard on the news that the treatment is 80-85% affective. In that case, it's a no brainer I would think...

There was a 10 year old at Children's Hospital with my lil brother who's treatments weren't working. My parents where there when he and his family heard that the latest treatment wasn't working. He flat out said no more...his parents agreed. I can get behind that. The girl in the OP, without more information, I can't get behind it. 

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

That is great that he won!! Most people aren't that lucky.

Quoting JustCJ:

My little brother battled leukemia, I don't need to do research.

He won.

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

Chemotherapy isn't as great as they make it out to be. Do some research.


ctownjessiejo
by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:38 AM
3 moms liked this

I don't think the circumstance makes any difference. It should be family's decision. We are supposed to be free in this country, but it's just a joke.

Quoting JustCJ:

My parents were told the odds and made the decision based on them. Same as the story I posted. I can't say for sure, but I heard on the news that the treatment is 80-85% affective. In that case, it's a no brainer I would think...

There was a 10 year old at Children's Hospital with my lil brother who's treatments weren't working. My parents where there when he and his family heard that the latest treatment wasn't working. He flat out said no more...his parents agreed. I can get behind that. The girl in the OP, without more information, I can't get behind it. 

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

That is great that he won!! Most people aren't that lucky.

Quoting JustCJ:

My little brother battled leukemia, I don't need to do research.

He won.

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

Chemotherapy isn't as great as they make it out to be. Do some research.


JustCJ
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:47 AM

But why would any mom agree with their child basically committing suicide? This wouldn't be news if treatment was most likely futile. 

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

I don't think the circumstance makes any difference. It should be family's decision. We are supposed to be free in this country, but it's just a joke.

Quoting JustCJ:

My parents were told the odds and made the decision based on them. Same as the story I posted. I can't say for sure, but I heard on the news that the treatment is 80-85% affective. In that case, it's a no brainer I would think...

There was a 10 year old at Children's Hospital with my lil brother who's treatments weren't working. My parents where there when he and his family heard that the latest treatment wasn't working. He flat out said no more...his parents agreed. I can get behind that. The girl in the OP, without more information, I can't get behind it. 

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

That is great that he won!! Most people aren't that lucky.

Quoting JustCJ:

My little brother battled leukemia, I don't need to do research.

He won.

Quoting ctownjessiejo:

Chemotherapy isn't as great as they make it out to be. Do some research.


billsfan1104
by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 8:51 AM
9 moms liked this
If a 17 year old can make a decision to have an abortion because it's "her body, her choice", then I do not understand why she cannot make a choice for this.
Chemo is tough and it has lasting effects for years and years.
I also wish national organization of Woman or Planned Parenthood, since they are supposedly not all about abortions, would help in this case.
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