Monday, January 12, 2015

Having a Say in What Goes in Your Body

Cassandra, a 17 year old girl living in Connecticut, is being forced to undergo chemotherapy to hopefully cure her leukemia, which she was diagnosed in September 2014.  Later in November, after a couple forced chemo treatments, she ran away from home.  Cassandra made up her mind. Cassandra's parents supported her in her decision to fight her cancer naturally.  
The case will go to the Supreme Court in Connecticut to see if Cassandra has A say in what goes in her body.  If she continues with chemotherapy she has a 85% of surviving her leukemia. Without the treatment, which is what she wants, she has no chance surviving.  She will have one year to live.
Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer that destroys cancer cells with drugs.  Unfortunately it also can harm new healthy cells that your body makes; skin cells, tissue cells and hair cells (that's why patients that are using chemotherapy lose their hair).  The most common side effect is fatigue, being tired and exhausted.  Side effects get better during the treatment and will go away after the treatment is over.
Cassandra is using the "Mature Minor Doctrine" in court. The Mature Minor Doctrine is a common law policy agreeing that an adolescent patient have the rights to accept or reject treatment. She is using this in court to show and back up her reasons why even though she is young she should be the one in charge of her own body.  For the past three weeks, she has been living at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where she is being forced to undergo chemotherapy.  
The youth needs to know this because anyone can get cancer.  As of last year 52,380 people in the United States were estimated to be diagnosed with leukemia.  1 in 285 will be diagnosed before they turn 20.
Cassandra will keep continuing to fight her cancer in court. She wants to prove that young adults should be the decision makers for their own body.  Be aware that anyone can be diagnosed with cancer.
A bright, smart, and loved nine year old boy is very sick.  The doctors are afraid he has chronic myeloid leukemia. He is going through many tests to confirm that prediction.  His choices for the cure are not certain yet. Meanwhile all of his friends and family are helping him, comforting him, and praying with him.

By Emma

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