Back when the Ebola panic was in full hysteria mode, I wrote a couple of columns defending Kaci Hickox’ right to not be forced into quarantine by the state of Maine, when there was no evidence that she had the virus. A judge agreed with me.
My topic for today is much more serious and signals even a greater threat to everyone’s freedom.
Cassandra Fortin is 17 years old and is a model not just for courage, but for resistance to government violation of inalienable rights. For the present, the government is winning. Cassandra has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She tells her own story best:
“I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My mom and I wanted to make sure my diagnosis was correct, so we agreed to seek a second opinion. We wanted to be 100 percent sure I had cancer. Apparently, going for the second opinion and questioning doctors was considered ‘wasting time’ and ‘not necessary.’ My mom was reported to the Department of Children and Families for medical neglect because we weren’t meeting the doctors’ time standard.”
In October 2014, Cassandra saw DCF and the entire Windsor Locks Police Department surrounding her house, pounding on doors and windows. She hid in the closet, but when her mother returned home, the state agents invaded the house and took Cassandra into custody.
Despite her mother’s objections, state officials put her in a foster home until Cassandra relented and pledged to receive the chemo treatments. The situation left Cassandra with no other option but to become a fugitive from authorities:
“I felt backed up against the wall. I had no right to choose what I wanted. I was told I had a voice and was being heard, but it didn’t feel like it. I took things into my own hands — I was fed up with DCF — and ran away.”
But Cassandra was then on a most wanted list. While felons daily succeed in evading the efforts of law enforcement to track them down, Cassandra was a priority. When state authorities issue an order and you decide otherwise, you’re an outlaw. They soon apprehended her upon a brief visit home to her family, prompted by her fear that Connecticut would jail her mother and this time they made certain she wasn’t going to slip out of their grasp:
“I was admitted to the same room I’m in now, with someone sitting by my door 24/7. I could walk down the hallway as long as security was with me, but otherwise I couldn’t leave my room. I felt trapped. After a week, they decided to force chemotherapy on me. I should have had the right to say no, but I didn’t. I was strapped to a bed by my wrists and ankles and sedated. I woke up in the recovery room with a port surgically placed in my chest. I was outraged and felt completely violated.”
“Even if the decision might result in criticism, we have an obligation to protect the life of the child when there is consensus among the medical experts that action is required.” the state Department of Children and Families said in a Jan. 5 statement.
Cassandra disagrees. “I want the right to make my medical decisions. It’s disgusting that I’m fighting for a right that I and anyone in my situation should already have. This is my life and my body, not DCF’s and not the state’s.”
And this is a key point and an irony lost on nanny state progressives. In California, New York, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and a host of other states, a teen can obtain an abortion without parental consent. In many other states, a teen’s appeal to a court can override the lack of parental consent and in some states, parents don’t even need to be notified.
A teen can obtain an abortion in Connecticut without anyone’s consent, even the Department of Children and Families. Why? Because as we’re constantly reminded, “it’s a woman’s right to choose”. Even if the ‘woman’ is not a woman, but still a child.
It’s remarkable to look at the contradictions in the state of Connecticut’s position. Cassandra couldn’t ‘consent’ to having sex at the age of 17 – her partner would be arrested for statutory rape. But the DCF and the court can force medical treatment on her without her consent. Cassandra can drive at 16, marry at 16 and apply for emancipation at 16 – but cannot escape the tyrannical grasp of the state at 17?
Cassandra will be 18 in September 2015, but unless she wins a court decision above the Connecticut Supreme Court, she will continue to be given chemo treatments against her will.
All of this puts an even more sinister meaning to the expression “individual mandate”.