A 17-year-old girl in the States is at the centre of a landmark case, as she fights the state of Connecticut over the right to refuse chemotherapy.
The teenager, referred to only as Cassandra C in court documents, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September 2014, and given an 80 to 85 percent chance of survival by doctors, if she underwent chemotherapy.
However, according to Foxnews.com, the teen refused to undergo the recommended therapy on account of its long-term effects on the body, and was supported by her mother, Jackie Fortin, in her decision.
Speaking about the reasoning behind her daughter’s decision, Ms Fortin said:
“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.”
The hospital handling Cassandra’s case immediately alerted the state Department of Children and Families (DCF), which took the teen into temporary custody and obtained a court order for Ms Fortin to comply with the hospital’s recommendations.
After receiving two treatments, Cassandra ran away from home, before later returning but refusing to undergo any further treatment.
The DCF ordered for Cassandra to be placed back under its custody on the grounds that, by lending her support to her daughter, Ms Fortin didn’t have her child’s best interests at heart.
Now, in a case that is being heard this week, Cassandra and her mum are fighting the court ruling.
We will keep you updated on the progress of the case as the week goes on.