Should patients be forced to undergo necessary treatments they do not want to receive?

by John Snow on Février 2, 2015 - 5:57pm

Chemotherapy may probably be one of the most unpleasant treatments to undergo in order to heal from a disease, and it is unfortunately often the only way to go through various forms of cancer alive. However, in a ''The New York Times'' article published on January 9th, a Connecticut 17 years old girl named Cassandra C. refused to receive anymore chemotherapy treatments to treat her Hodgkin's lymphoma because she could not endure it no more, emotionally and physically. The chemotherapy treatment guarantees a 85% chance of survival if done correctly, but both Cassandra and her mother were fighting for her right to choose to take the treatment. The whole situation went to court over whether or not the child was mature enough to make such an important choice, but unfortunately for Cassandra, Connecticut's supreme court decided that she was not. The adolescent was then forced to receive chemo treatments against her will, sedated and strapped to her bed to avoid any clearance attempts. This debate brings up dilemmas such as the ethical morality of forcing a child to receive treatments with harsh secondary effects against her will. Also, we may ask if it is right to let an under aged make such a big choice without being fully aware of its fatal consequences in the future.

About the author