The law was created mainly for younger kids, but since she's still a minor, she still falls in the same category whereas in September she'll be 18.Does a 17-year-old have the right to not only make choices about her own medical treatment, but to do so in a way almost guaranteed to end in death?
This is the question that was just decided in Connecticut, where the state has taken custody of a 17-year old resident who is refusing chemotherapy treatment for her Hodgkin lymphoma.
The young woman, identified in court documents as Cassandra C., will turn 18 in September of 2015. Cassandra’s mother, Jackie Fortin, explained her daughter’s decision to local reporters, saying, “She has always — even years ago — said that if ever she had cancer … she would not put poison into her body.” Attorneys for the family have also made clear that Cassandra is not refusing treatment based on religious reasons, and her family has stated that Cassandra has their full support.
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that state officials are not violating the young woman’s rights by forcing her to receive the chemotherapy treatment she does not want to receive....
The case is also complicated by the reality that she has an 85% rate of survival if she is treated but will likely die within two years if she is not treated. Usually what we see is a treatment with low viability [painful + dubious results regardless] that people are thus hesitant to pursue, and in that case most reasonable people would say, "Why reduce quality of life for something that likely won't work anyway?"
But here we have a very treatable cancer that she doesn't want to be treated for, for personal (non-religious) reasons, and the court is using her minor status as the basis for forcing treatment.
What are your thoughts?