A 17-year-old Connecticut girl has been forced to undergo chemotherapy treatments against her will.
From ABC News:
A court will determine whether a 17-year-old girl, under something called the “mature minor doctrine,” can be forced to undergo chemotherapy after she refused treatment for her cancer.
The case will go to the Connecticut Supreme court this week to determine whether the teen, identified in court papers as Cassandra, has “the fundamental right to have a say about what goes on with your [her] body,” attorney Michael Taylor, who represents the teen’s mother, told ABC News. Taylor was appointed by the public defender’s office, and Cassandra has her own court-appointed lawyer, but they’ve filed joint appeals.
Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September, but decided she didn’t want to complete the prescribed treatment, according to a court summary. Her mother supported this decision, but the Department of Children and Families stepped in and ordered her mother to comply with the doctor’s treatment recommendation.
“It’s really for all the reasons you might imagine,” said Taylor, adding that he couldn’t go into more detail.
Although chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells, its side effects include hair loss, nausea, pain and fertility changes, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Cassandra underwent two chemotherapy treatments in November and then ran away from home and refused to continue treatments, according to the court summary.
…The state Department of Children and Families issued the following statement:
“When experts – such as the several physicians involved in this case – tell us with certainty that a child will die as a result of leaving a decision up to a parent, then the Department has a responsibility to take action…”
Read the Rest
In other words, the state can force anything upon you so long as they–not you–deem it is in your best interest. Are we in America?
Yes, I realize that the case is more complicated because she’s a minor. But by all accounts she’s a competent, mature person who is capable of making her own decisions.
Yes, the government’s opinion about her impending death without the treatment might be accurate. Yes, her mother might be irresponsible for supporting her decision to decline treatment. Yes, she might be being short-sighted in her decision. But all of these things are irrelevant. The state does not reserve the right to force anything upon free people. And the mere fact that it assumes that it has this right should frighten all of us.
Exit thought: If she wanted an abortion, her defense would be “I can do whatever I want to with my body” and the state would honor it.