Posted on May 17, 2020 at 4:00 AM
Cassandra Callender, who was forced by Connecticut courts as a teenager to undergo chemotherapy for cancer, has died at age 22.
When she was 17, Cassandra and her mother refused treatment for her Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This form of cancer has a high cure rate when treated. And it is fatal when not treated. So, the benefits of treatment heavily outweighed the burdens.
Therefore, the state Department of Children and Families overrode Cassandra’s refusal. The state supreme court affirmed. The court was prepared to recognize a mature minor doctrine, but held that Cassandra was not mature enough that her refusal should be accepted.