The family of a 17-year-old girl with cancer is going to court this week to determine whether or not the teen can be forced to undergo treatment after she refused chemotherapy.
The teen, identified only as Cassandra, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in September, but, with her mother's support, decided she did not want to undergo the prescribed treatment. The Connecticut Department of Children and Families, however, stepped in and ordered her to comply with the doctor's recommendation.
Cassandra's attorney says the state is overstepping its bounds.
"This is not a negligent refusal to provide care; this is a choice," Assistant State Public Defender Joshua Michtom said. "Cassandra and her mother asking that that choice be respected."
Cassandra underwent two rounds of chemotherapy in November and then ran away from home, refusing to continue treatments. She was eventually placed in custody of the state and has been undergoing forced treatment for the past three weeks.
Michael Taylor, the attorney representing Cassandra's mother, says they will argue that the teen be allowed to make treatment decisions for herself based on the "mature minor doctrine," which holds that some children, deemed mature enough, should be allowed to make key life decisions for themselves.