A teenager in Connecticut was diagnosed with cancer and instead of going head-to-head with the disease to fight it off as she sees fit, she’s going head-to-head against the state, which is forcing her to take chemotherapy, even though she does not want it.

“She knows the long-term effects of having chemo, what it does to your organs, what it does to your body. She may not be able to have children after this because it affects everything in your body. It not only kills cancer, it kills everything in your body,” says Cassandra’s mother, Jackie Fortin.

Michael S. Taylor, her attorney (the mother’s) argues, “It’s a question of fundamental constitutional rights—the right to have a say over what happens to your body—and the right to say to the government ‘you can’t control what happens to my body.’”

Of course, at 17, she is technically still a “minor,” so that complicates things a little. Still, as an American it would seem that, in terms of medical emergency, she should have the right to refuse treatment.

He continues, “The Supreme Court of the state has never ruled on this issue, the Supreme Court of the United States has not ruled on this issue. So it’s very significant not just for our client, and for the minor child, but for the law in general.”

Speaking about her daughter’s rights, Fortin said “This is her decision, and she’s very intelligent enough to make this decision on her own. She does not want poisons in her body, and she does not want to be forced through the state or the government to force her to do such a thing. And right now, at this moment, she is being forced chemo upon her against her wish.”