On January 8, 2015, the Supreme Court heard expedited oral arguments in In re: Cassandra C, the case involving a 17-year-old adolescent who claimed the right to refuse life-saving chemotherapy for her Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Only minutes after the oral argument concluded, the court issued a brief oral ruling from the bench in which the justices unanimously rejected Cassandra C.’s argument that the court should adopt the so-called “mature minor” doctrine. The court said that a formal written opinion would follow. Today, the court issued its written opinion.
What was the real legal dispute in In re: Cassandra C.? Yes, the specific question was whether a 17-year-old teenager could be forced against her will to undergo life-saving chemotherapy. But, what was the real issue?
Only minutes after hearing oral arguments in the appeal of In re: Cassandra C. (see my earlier posts), the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled from the bench, unanimously, that the 17-year-old teen who wanted the legal right to refuse life-saving chemotherapy was not a “mature minor” and, therefore, could not refuse such treatment.
Two quick updates to the preceding post concerning the appeal in In re: Cassandra C. First, Cassandra’s attorneys filed their reply brief today. The filing of that brief, which responds to the legal arguments the Department of Children and Families made in its brief, concludes the written briefs portion of the appeal. Second, the oral argument in the Supreme Court at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 8 will be televised (I assume by CT-N).
I plan to attend the oral argument on Thursday and hope to have a post-argument post later that day. Stay tuned.