Cassandra

Cassandra

At the age of sixteen, Cassandra learned she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and would need to undergo chemotherapy. Scared and confused, she and her mother were hoping for other opinions for treatment or an alternate diagnosis. In their course, several medical appointments were missed as other providers were sought. The Department of Children and Families in Connecticut eventually took temporary custody of Cassandra due to her mother “not attending to Cassandra’s medical needs in a timely basis.”  Cassandra’s mother stated “I guess they say it does kill the cancer. But it also kills everything else in your body… It’s her body, and she should not be forced to do anything with her body.” Because Cassandra could not prove that she could be considered a ‘mature minor,’ she was court ordered to receive the chemotherapy treatment.

Cassandra, a then seventeen year old female, was forced to take in what her and her mother described as poison. Someone else declared her to simply be a ‘minor,’ and could then impose their beliefs on her body. She was a child who faded in with background, her opinion on her own health irrelevant.

References

[1] Harris, Elizabeth. "Connecticut Teenager With Cancer Loses Court Fight to Refuse Chemotherapy" The New York TImes. January 9 2015. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa72/AA72.pdf.

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