Physician-ethicist backs law forcing teen to undergo chemo

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Physician-ethicist backs law forcing teen to undergo chemo

Conn. teen balked at care for highly curable Hodgkin's lymphoma

A Connecticut court's decision to force a 17-year-old girl to undergo potentially life-saving chemotherapy is rational and in line with community standards, said a University of Washington professor of pediatric medicine.

It is the role of the state to protect children until they reach the legal age of consent, said Dr. Douglas Diekema, clinical director of the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children's Research Institute. 

"Just because we let (people) make decisions at 18 is not a sufficient enough reason to let them make them at 17," he said. "I'm not saying they shouldn't be involved or shouldn't have their wishes respected, but at a certain point you have to set a limit."