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A Young Women Forced to Undergo Chemotherapy  

Friday, January 14, 2015 - Everyone wants to receive proper care when they are sick. But when it comes to cancer treatment, precisely chemotherapy, more and more cancer patients want to avoid it. It was actually this week, a young woman, Cassandra C., in the state of Connecticutwho has Hodgkin Lymphoma but said to chemotherapy.   


Cassandra is 17 years old, and was diagnosed with the cancer in September. Her doctor recommended her to receive chemotherapy, the main conventional treatment for Hodgkin's disease, but she refused the therapy. She considered the chemo agents as "toxic harmful drugs” that would do more harm to her body than good. She intended to use alternative cancer treatment to fight her condition.  Cassandra’s mother, Jackie Fortin, approves her decision to turn down the "poison" chemo for alternative treatments.  


Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymphatic system which can lead to fetal result without proper treatments. But thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma in recent years, patients can now have a full recovery if the cancer is treated early and properly. 


She asked the Supreme Court of Connecticut the authorization to consider her decision to not undergo chemotherapy. But the Court has denied her request the fact she is still minor, and required the young patient to receive proper care. According to the Court ruling, Cassandra will be eligible to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18, next September.

Cassandra is hospitalized her will in the Medical Center of Connecticut children to undergo the therapy. Her oncologist told her that after treatment, she had between 80 and 85% chance to fully heal of the disease. But without treatment, it would be certain death, her oncologist said. But the young woman refuses to be "exposed to toxic poisons of chemotherapy", and saying “I
believe in the quality of my life, not the quantity." 


She also went further to declare in a text that "Being forced into the surgery and chemo has traumatized me. 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."  The Court, however, declared they are not violating her rights.  

Her mother told the US media, "Let my daughter refuses to poison her body is her constitutional right as a human being if she was major, her request would not be a problem, however, she will be 18 years in 9 months. She is very smart and she knows what she's doing. She knows what might be the long-term side effects of chemotherapy." 


Regardless of the decision of the Court about the Cassandra case, it is clear that more and more patients do not believe in the conventional cancer treatment we currently have. When question cancer survivals and cancer-free individuals (people who have not been diagnosed with cancer), some say the treatment is “useless” in fighting cancer; other say the   “short survival time is not worth the painful side effects of the treatment.”


External reading: cancereffects.com