This is the third time I’ve written on the Cassandra C’s story. I should have left it at that. But I came across this Fox News column by a defense attorney defending the Connecticut State Supreme Court’s decision to allow a hospital to forcibly kidnap, confine, and operate on a 17-year-old girl that is so pompous and supercilious that I couldn’t let it go.
Not only does he believe the state was right to step in, he has total contempt for Cassandra’s belief that she should make her own decisions.
Cassandra’s disdain for the treatment that will likely save her young life is, perhaps, the best evidence that she was not mature enough to make a wise and informed decision on her own. But then again, neither was her mother. Which is why the state of Connecticut stepped in. As an adult, Fortin, is presumed to be competent under the law to make decisions for her daughter, a minor. However, Fortin’s aberrant judgment in rejecting the treatment that could save Cassandra’s life and her concomitant belief that her daughter would somehow, miraculously, not succumb to an insidious, fatal illness… called that legal presumption into serious doubt.
Everything he says medically about the situation is 100 percent true and 100 percent irrelevant. The state does not get to “decide” whether people are mature enough to make a “wise and informed” decision about their own health choices.
But this is the mentality of legal experts, courts, and attorneys. Whatever they say they can do, they can do. One can practically taste this condescending, patronizing attitude in this article.
Notice that quip he makes about presumption of competency. In other words, this guy, and the state, believes it has the final say over your healthcare decisions, and whenever they don’t like the choice you make they can make the decision for you.
So if you accept the medical treatment proscribed by your betters, then you can “make” the decision to agree with their conclusions. But if you reject it, then the state has the authority to make the decision for you or your children.
In realty, Cassandra and her mother had no choice. Either they accepted what the doctors said or she would be forced to do it.
What’s the point, then, of claiming it’s their choice?
Beyond the false impression of choice, what I can’t stand is the sheer dishonesty running through the entire narrative of this story.
Let’s cut the pretentious BS, shall we?
The State Supreme Court, the Department of Family Services, and the hospital that kidnapped Cassandra do not care in any way about this young woman. This has nothing to do with cancer, nothing to do with chemotherapy being or not being poison, and nothing to do with saving the life of a 17-year-old girl who lacks the maturity to realize what’s happening to her. It was not an act of mercy or benevolence on the part of any of these “public servants,” every single one whom were paid through taxation as they committed these crimes. It takes a special kind of human being, and not the benevolent kind, to forcibly seize a girl who is so desperate to avoid being taken they run away from home.
This was wholly, completely, entirely about them asserting control over her life, and nothing else. By rejecting treatment, she and her mother asserted ownership over her body and her life. Had it been an ordinary medical situation, it might have been let go. But because the diagnosis was so severe, it caused a showdown over just who gets to make the final decision, Cassandra and her mother or the state.
This is why their choice was regarded as an outright challenge to state authority. This is why state authorities swooped in and kidnapped her and are so brazen about operating on her. It was an act of rebellion and needed to be crushed.
As heartbreaking as it would be to watch this young girl die from a treatable cancer because she couldn’t stand the chemotherapy, what’s worse is the way in which her rights are so willingly violated by a collection of smug, self-righteous egomaniacs with holier-than-thou messiah-complexes who are willing to force themselves on her under the delusion that because they know what’s best they own her body.
As for the legal presumption of competence, let’s look at this from a libertarian perspective. We do not presume the state is incompetent to make any decisions for anyone. It is incompetent to make decisions for anyone. They were not competent to make the decision to operate on Cassandra. They were not competent to make the decision to kidnap her and force her to stay in the hospital.
Their “competency” relies solely on their ability to summon superior physical force. Had state agents who summoned Cassandra to go back to the hospital not been willing to use violence, would she have gone?