Connecticut Supreme Court to Hear Case of Teen Forced to Undergo Chemotherapy

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A 17 year old Connecticut teen with Hodgkin's lymphoma has been removed from her home and is being forced to undergo chemotherapy treatment by the state's Department of Children and Families (DCF).

The girl, identified only as Cassandra C., was diagnosed with the highly treatable cancer in September. With the support of her mother, she refused treatment. DCF got involved, obtaining an order of temporary custody which required her mother's cooperation. After two rounds of chemotherapy Cassanda ran away from home.

According to court documents, the girl's doctors testified to her need for treatment, leading a state court to order that she be removed from her home and that she remain in DCF’s care and custody. It further authorized DCF to make all necessary medical decisions on Cassandra’s behalf.

She and her mother appealed on the grounds that the ruling was a violation of her constitutional rights, chiefly because she was not found to be incompetent to make her own decisions.

"It’s a question of fundamental constitutional rights," said the girl's mother's attorney. "The right to have a say over what happens to your body–and the right to say to the government ‘you can’t control what happens to my body."

The girl remains at a local hospital while the state Supreme Court will hear her case this week.

Children with cancer have refused treatment before, and have been forced by the court to undergo chemotherapy, but typically there is a religious component involved. Thus far no such component has been reported by the media, so it is unclear what the girl's specific objection is.

Source: CBS CT

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