Judge denies motion to let Cassandra C, the teen who refused chemo, finish treatment at home
HARTFORD – A Connecticut teen who made headlines for refusing chemotherapy has been ordered to finish out treatment in the hospital. Last month, Cassandra C. testified via teleconference before a judge asking to be released from the hospital.
The 17-year-old Windsor Locks teen is in remission. She’s currently at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she’s been for the past couple of months, but now that she’s cancer free she wanted to finish out the remainder of her treatments from her bedroom at home, not the hospital room.
Today, her attorney confirmed the judge issued a decision denying her motion to go home. Here is a statement from Cassandra’s lawyer:
“We are disappointed in this ruling, not least of all because it draws a factual conclusion that is directly contradicted by the weight of the evidence. We’re conferring with our clients now about next steps, including whether to take another appeal.”
DCF has also released a statement in the wake of the ruling. Commissioner Joette Katz says:
“The Department is looking forward to the day later this month when Cassandra can happily return home after her treatment is completed and the doctors are confident that she has beaten the cancer. We know how difficult this has been for Cassandra and her family, and while we are very pleased with her response to the treatment, we also know this has been a traumatic and scary thing through which she has suffered. We want her to complete her treatment so that she can return home knowing she has put this completely behind her.”
Cassandra’s mother, Jackie Fortin, reached out to Fox CT’s Beau Berman. She says:
“I have a visit with Cassandra on Easter and a couple going forward, as planned via DCF. I’m very excited as I haven’t seen her since Jan. So, I plan on making her a HUGE Easter basket, filled with goodies, and tons of hugs and love!”
Fortin also wanted to clarify that the judges orders were not to ban her from the hospital or stop her visits, but it is up to DCF to allow and arrange the visits.
Cassandra’s case drew national attention when DCF forced her to undergo treatment when she didn’t want to.
Against her will she was placed in DCF custody, the agency forced her to receive chemo to combat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The courts sided with DCF saying that as a minor she didn’t have the right to choose whether or not to undergo chemotherapy.
According to her public defender, Cassandra’s hospital treatments only require her to be there a few days a month.
Fox CT’s Beau Berman spoke with Cassandra via Facebook. This was her reaction to the ruling:
Cassandra: I just got the information today. The judge ruled entirely in DCFs favor, I cannot come home early or see my mom . Although April 27th is the assumed date that I can be released, it’s now a question if a judge as to have a say in that or not. A date that I can actually go home was not included in the court ruling . Also DCF has spoke with me about having my mom come and visit me on Easter and start regular weekly visits but now that the judge has ruled, seeing my mom is still a question.
Beau: How are you feeling emotionally after today’s ruling?
Cassandra: I’m irritated … And just sad . I want this to be done with.