By in Breaking News

Teen refuses cancer treatment but is forced to have it anyway.

17 year old Cassandra (last name withheld), a Connecticut native, decided that she did not want to undergo chemotherapy when it was discovered that she in the late stages of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a very aggressive form of cancer. Her mother agreed but the Department of Child and Family Services did not. They took temporary custody of the girl and forced her to undergo chemo even though the chances that it will help are slim.

After two treatments, Cassandra ran away, trying to flee from any more debilitating treatments. Once found, she was forced back to the hospital to continue treatment. She had to be strapped down because she was fighting every step of the way. The DCF removed her from her home, accusing her mother of negligence. Now she and her mother can only see each other twice a week for two hours at a time - supervised.

This girl is very ill. She is in the final stages of this disease which starts in the blood and attacks just about every organ in the body as well as the lymph nodes. She wants to live out her final days in peace and die in peace. Now she can't even see her own mother when she wants to.

Later this week, the family will go to court to fight for Cassandra's rights as a "Mature Minor". 12 states have doctrines for situations like this when a child is nearly an adult and wants to make their own health decisions but Connecticut does not have any laws in place for such an occurrence. If Cassandra and her family win, she will be able to decide for herself if she wants to undergo brutal chemotherapy. If not, then she will be strapped down for more of the toxic treatment which will probably only prolong her suffering. At the end stages of this disease, there is no cure, just the possibility that life will be prolonged for a while. But the sufferer will be very sick.

I think it's crazy that they took this ailing young woman from her mother when she needs her most. That they cant be together in her final days and that the mother is looked at as some sort of child abuser is awful. I know some parents don't get proper medical treatment for their kids and the state has to step in. It is sometimes for the best because these kids have very treatable illnesses and could easily be cured by modern medicine.

But when we're talking about end stage cancer, well, that's a whole other story. When a child is months away from being an adult who can make her own health decisions, I believe there should be a law in place to allow such minors the right to choose as long as they have all the information they need and doctors to help with the decision making process. Other states have such laws. It's time for Connecticut to get with it.

I hope that Cassandra and her family win and she can live and die in peace.

What do you think? Should this girl be forced to undergo chemo for an end stage cancer that is almost always fatal?

The original story is here if you want to read it:


Image Credit »

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


BodieMor wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:14 AM

This situation nauseates me. Of course the girl should be with her mother instead of these robots who can't differentiate between comfort and torture!

SoundNFury wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:37 AM

That's horrible. An example when our laws and their implementation get it way wrong. I agree, we need exceptions, common sense and humanity applied in these cases. Just sad.

ison1 wrote on January 6, 2015, 3:59 AM

It's awful how the law and procedures end up tying themselves into knots that stop the most important person, the patient, having their view heard. very sad

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 4:23 AM

It really is awful. I agree that some parents, for whatever reason, need to be monitored because their kids could die from simple things due to their beliefs against modern medicine. But this situation is entirely different.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 4:25 AM

I think i cases of nearly adult minors with very severe illnesses, each case should be looked at separately. In this case, I can't imagine tying down this girl and forcing her to have chemo when the likelihood of her surviving is so very low.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 4:26 AM

I can't imagine being 17, dying and not being with my mother when I wanted to be. I don't even know where this girl is living, probably with strangers. It must be torture for her mother and her. SO sad.

catsholiday wrote on January 6, 2015, 5:13 AM

Absolute;y crazy ! That poor girl and her family - how cruel can people get??!!

MegL wrote on January 6, 2015, 5:50 AM

That is terrible. One family in the UK had to flee to Spain to get the treatment they wanted for their son. This is the opposite situation of course. But why should she not be allowed to make her own decisions on this?

PineMartens wrote on January 6, 2015, 6:31 AM

This is an awful situation. I hope the girl can find some peace soon - whether it's from the treatment actually working or the unthinkable.

msiduri wrote on January 6, 2015, 8:26 AM

This is so sad. There really isn't a winning way out of this situation. Chemotherapy itself is miserable for the vast majority of people. Treatments may prolong her life, but is there a realistic chance of them getting rid of the cancer? There may be more to the story than is being reported here, but this is just sad. The mother and daughter should be together. Even if for some reason, the cancer does go into remission, they shouldn't be separated. And if this is the end of her daughter's life, mother and daughter should spend as much time together as possible. It would be more compassionate, I believe for the girl to choose, after careful consideration with her parents, how to handle her illness.

melody23 wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:50 AM

Oh my god how horrible for her! In the UK we have a thing called 'informed consent' which basically means it doesn't matter so much about the age of the person whether they can consent (or not) to treatment, but their understanding of the treatment, risks and pros and cons. This girl sounds like she has the information she needs to make this heart breaking decision and she clearly has the support of her mother, to force her to have treatment that is probably going to do nothing more than prolong her life slightly, but also make her very ill at the same time is inhumane.

wolfgirl569 wrote on January 6, 2015, 10:04 AM

That is very wrong, what is a couple of months in age for making a decision like that. Her mental state should be the deciding factor. Is she mature enough to process the info. not just you are not of age yet so you have to do it. The mother needs to be with her also that makes it even more wrong to me.

McIntire wrote on January 6, 2015, 10:48 AM

As someone who has fought...and still am aggressive type of breast cancer, I sympathize with the young lady. If the chemo is only going to give her a few more months, then it IS torture, plain and simple. At her age, she knows what she wants, which is to pass away with dignity. Pain meds are always administered by Hospice to make the patient comfortable. Poor child, I will keep her in my prayers.

paigea wrote on January 6, 2015, 11:21 AM

What a very sad situation. Once the hope is only to briefly prolong life all the support should be to help her end herr life with comofrt surrounded by family

k2705 wrote on January 6, 2015, 4:31 PM

That's terible she needs her Mother more than anything now, it's cruel what they are doing to her.

mrsmerlin wrote on January 6, 2015, 5:17 PM

Such a sad tale. I would like to meet the person who took the role of God in this. Was it her doctors or social care worker? Surely they understand that to successfully undergo a course of chemotherapy one of the things that you absolutely need is positivity and a body capable of taking the abuse. They are taking her from her loving mother as you say when she needs her most so they are increasing her suffering and reducing her support network which will stop the chemo working anyway and now they want her to go through a court case as well? I can't bear to think how the girl and her mother are facing this, I don't think I could cope if it was my daughter

MelissaE wrote on January 6, 2015, 8:47 PM

Thank you for sharing this interesting piece of news. I'm not sure how I feel about the entire situation. I don't believe that the girl should have been taken away from her mother. I can't imagine my own nineteen year old going through this.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:04 PM

I hope that on Thursday, she is allowed to go home and die in peace. The government won't even allow THAT!

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:05 PM

I have read of people having to flee to other states or countries to get the treatment they wanted or to escape the treatment they did not want. This is a sad case and I hope it is resolved on Thursday.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:06 PM

I do too. Poor kid is only 17 and has all this on her shoulders with very, very little chance of living much longer.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:08 PM

I wanted to know more too like what are the chances that she would survive with treatment. But I looked up late stage Hodgkin's Lymphoma and it clearly states that there is no cure and that by then, all major organs are involved including the brain and heart. That is just so sad. I hope for her a miracle and she can live and be with her mother the way it should be.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:10 PM

In some states they do have a doctrine that a mature minor can decide for themselves what treatment they want in life threatening cases. This state has none so they have to treat the situation like her mother is negligent and they have to force treatment on the girl. It must be awful...

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:11 PM

I guess they will find out Thursday. She will be at the hearing and will be able to speak for herself and explain her reasoning. I feel for her and her mother.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:14 PM

First, I wish you all the best in your fight and hope you will declared cancer free. And I agree that this girl, considering the very grim prospects, should be allowed to die in peace with her family not strapped down yelling and screaming that she doesn't want chemo. I hope somehow she gets better but I read about her type of cancer and it invades everything. Terrible. I wish cancer could be banished forever!

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:15 PM

Taking her from her home was crazy. They could still force treatment if they must but she should be allowed to be at home with the one person who loves her the most. Now she is with strangers going through this.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:17 PM

It's awful. I don't know what I would do if it were my child. Two hours supervised twice a week is not enough. Mother and daughter should be able to be together anytime they want. This girl really needs support and it seems everyone is turning on her. I hope that Thursday, at least they will return her to her home.

PattyTherre wrote on January 6, 2015, 9:18 PM

I think of everything, the fact that they removed her from her home and placed her with strangers is the worst. They could continue to force her to have treatment if need be but she really needs her mom right now and not for two hours supervised. That must be so stressful for her.

catsholiday wrote on January 7, 2015, 6:52 AM

Common sense and decency seem to have flown out of the window here I fear!

LisaSteinmetz wrote on January 7, 2015, 7:56 PM

it amazes me as to how those powers that be think it's ok to make this poor child suffer like she is.. I hope they sue them.