A 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.
Doctors diagnosed the teenage girl, identified only as “Cassandra C.” in court documents, with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September of 2014 and recommended she undergo chemotherapy.
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.
Cassandra underwent two chemotherapy treatments before running away from home. When she returned, she refused treatment.
The teen’s doctors testified at a trial court hearing, after which it was decided that she was to be removed from her home and remain in DCF custody— and that DCF was authorized to make medical decisions on her behalf.