I have been watching the case of “Cassandra C.” very closely and today the Supreme Court ruled against Cassandra and her mother, stating that Cassandra does not have the right to refuse chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma. It is very important to note that Cassandra does not want to refuse all treatments, just chemotherapy. She does want to pursue and look into alternative treatments. According to an article:
Cassandra told The Associated Press in an exclusive text interview from her hospital that it disgusts her to have “such toxic harmful drugs” in her body and she’d like to explore alternative treatments. She said she understands “death is the outcome of refusing chemo” but she believes in “the quality of my life, not the quantity.”
“Being forced into the surgery and chemo has traumatized me,” Cassandra said. “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.”
It is a sad development in the political climate here in America where this girl would not be considered too young to have sex, choose or refuse birth control, give birth to a child or to have an abortion, but she is considered too young to make decisions about her own body otherwise. How can she be considered legally mature enough to be responsible for another life but not her own? Where are all the feminists and other activists who would be rallying for this girl if they were taking one of those rights away?
It is also important to note here that it is not Cassandra’s mother or doctors who have brought this case against her in court to force her to get chemotherapy against her will; it is the state of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families [DCF], which was granted temporary custody of Cassandra so they could force chemotherapy on her. The government has essentially kidnapped this girl – this woman – to force her to undergo a medical procedure she does not want.
The rest of us should pay very close attention to this case. It could easily happen to any of our families.It is a blatant violation of our rights and a direct attack against any medicine the government does not sanction.