State takes over parental rights

Emily Noyes, Design editor

In the case of 17-year-old Cassandra C. the controversial question of when we gain legal control of our bodies is being tested.

In September, Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that is fatal without treatment. Her survival rate is 80 to 85 percent with treatment. Without chemotherapy, she will likely die in two years.

Even though Hodgkins lymphoma is one of the most curable cancers, Cassandra has refused any type of treatment.

Cassandra stated to the Associated Press that the quality of her life is more important than the length.

Cassandra’s mother allowed her to miss several doctors appointments, causing her to be reported to the Department of Children and Families for medical neglect.

Her mother is currently being deemed as an “unfit” parent.

In October, Cassandra was taken from her home to be medically evaluated and placed in a foster home until a court date.

She was allowed to return home in November as long as she went through chemotherapy.

“I do believe I am mature enough to make the decision to refuse the chemo, but it shouldn’t be about maturity, it should be a given human right to decide what you want and don’t want for your own body,” Cassandra said, according to ABC News.

Cassandra endured two chemotherapy sessions and decided she has had enough. She ran away, but returned home a week later.

In December, the decision was made to hospitalize Cassandra; there is a guard at her door 24/7 and she can only leave her room accompanied by security.

Her cell phone and room phone were both taken away from her and visits with her mom and friends are limited and supervised.

After being forced into chemothearpy, Cassandra and her family fight for her medical rights.