Rights revoked: State claims Connecticut teen’s medical rights

The Griffin Rites Staff

In Connecticut, a 17-year-old girl has had her rights to her own body stolen away.

Cassandra C. has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a treatable cancer, but she has chosen not to recieve treatment.

Cassandra is being forced to undergo chemotherapy, has limited visitors and communication and has security posted at her hospital door. This sounds more like a prison sentence than the state looking out for her best interests.

According to the Guttmacher Report on public policy, “Many states specifically authorize minors to consent to contraceptive services, testing and treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal care and delivery services, treatment for alcohol and drug abuse and outpatient mental health care.”

If teens are able to make these decisions regarding their health without parent consent, then why is Cassandra’s situation any different?

If a parent agrees with their child’s decision, there should be no question regarding that choice, and the outcome and possible consequences should be left with the family.

It is as though the court and many officials are looking at this situation through “follow the rules” glasses instead of with their hearts.

It sounds insane to let a minor basically die when there is possible solutions, so of course there are laws against it. If they bent the rules for this minor, they would have to bend the rules for everyone.

On the other hand, Cassandra’s mother has neglected to take her to a number of oncology appointments. This could have played an immense role in the ruling of the case.

It should be taken into consideration, though, that if Cassandra is refusing to go through chemotherapy, it is likely that she refused the appointments as well. In the eyes of the jury, not physically forcing her daughter into a doctor’s office makes her an unfit parent.

Cassandra made this choice based on her belief that the treatment would do nothing but put poison into her body. She has educated herself on the process, so maybe that is what the state should do as well.

A typical chemotherapy treatment begins on day one with the patient gets their blood drawn and IVs inserted. Then, they give them steroids, saline and Benadryl to prepare their bodies.

The heat from within hits on day two. The patient is red all over and their face is hot and puffy. Next, gut-wrenching hiccups last for about two days accompanied by nausea and vomiting for the next 24 hours.

Days three through six, they feel exhausted and fatigued and suffer from mild cognitive impairment. Patients cannot remember things, stop talking in the middle of a sentence and forget the conversation they were having.

On day seven, the patient begins to return to normal until their next treatment.

People are so focused on arguing their opinions, they forget to realize that, right this second, she is going through these stages and loosing her life. Her disease and treatment will not halt so politicians can battle it out in the court system. The community needs to show sympathy and let her enjoy her life, or rather, what is left of it.

Rarely do both sides of an argument come to a unified conclusion. Whatever the outcome, there will always be those who are displeased with it.

The court should put themselves in Cassandra’s shoes before they force her to live without giving her a life worth living.