Saturday, April 11, 2015

Connecticut Teen Can't Return Home as Forced Chemo Ends

News Brief by Prachi Sharma

            A 17-year-old, documented as Cassandra C., -her true name has not been revealed due to her status as a juvenile)- was forced to undergo six months of chemotherapy against her will to treat Hodgkin lymphoma.  Recently she has been denied a motion to return to her mother's home or hold visitation rights. Cassandra was initially diagnosed with the cancer in September 2014, and was told that she had an 85% chance of survival if treated with chemotherapy; without it, doctors asserted she would die within two years. After undergoing treatment for two days in November, Cassandra ran away and was consequently placed under the custody of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. In spite of an intense legal battle, doctors surgically implanted a port in her chest to administer the medication in December, and Cassandra has been in good health since then.      Ultimately, her lawyers failed to prove that Cassandra was mature enough to make her own medical decisions. A judge has ruled that Cassandra will remain in temporary custody of the state until the end of April when her last round of chemotherapy is complete, and will then be free to return home, even though her lawyers assert that she is currently no longer in jeopardy from her disease and should be free to leave now. This case illustrates the ongoing debate between patient autonomy and beneficence, the physician's duty to act in the patient's best interests.

Goldschmidt, Debra. "Connecticut Teen Can't Return Home as Forced Chemo Ends." CNN. Cable News Network, 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
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