I came across an article today on 7online.com about a 17 year old girl who has been undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After two rounds of chemo, she is refusing to continue treatment and her parents are taking her side. Child services have gotten involved, removed the girl from her home and forced her to continue treatment.
Should those who have cancer be allowed to refuse treatment? Should a teen, so close to consenting age have the same right? What about a child?
Even though I have had recent setbacks and have suffered several side effects due to chemo treatment, I have had it pretty easy. We can all agree.
We don’t know what this girl’s side effects have been but let’s assume that they are bad enough that she feels that she can’t continue. Is that reason enough to stop? To risk dying because that might be better than what she’s suffering (I don’t know what is going through her head, I’m only guessing).
I’m not sure how I feel about this subject. I do feel that an adult has the right to accept or refuse any treatment. I have done so, in fact. With my first round of chemo, they wanted to give me Ativan to keep me calm. After the first treatment I asked them to stop because it made me very sleepy and loopy. They would rather have given it to me but, as an adult, I had the right to refuse. And I did.
But a teen? I don’t know. I’m not sure on my position here. What’s yours?