Judge rules Conn. teen can’t refuse chemotherapy

Posted: 5:28 PM, Jan 08, 2015
Updated: 2015-01-08 17:59:20-05

HARTFORD, Conn. (PIX11/AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that state officials aren't violating the rights of a 17-year-old girl by forcing her to undergo cancer chemotherapy she doesn't want.

Justices ruled Thursday in the case of the girl known in court documents only as Cassandra C., who will be free to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18 in September.

The case centered on whether the girl is mature enough to make her own decisions about how to treat her Hodgkin lymphoma, which she was diagnosed with in September. Her mother, Jackie Fortin, of Windsor Locks, agreed with her wishes not to receive chemotherapy.

"This is her decision and her rights, which is what we are here fighting about," said Fortin.  "We should have choices about what to do with our bodies."

She is being held in a room at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford; she was released to undergo chemotherapy at home in November, but disappeared for a week instead.

“Cassandra either intentionally misrepresented her intentions to the trial court or she changed her mind on this issue of life and death,” Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers said.

Doctors said chemotherapy would give her an 85 percent chance of survival, but without it she could die.

The girl is in state custody and receiving treatment at a hospital.