A couple hundred years ago, a bunch of tired, bedraggled, bonneted and buckled people walked onto a shore, and declared that this was the New World. Here was a place where they could practice their religion freely, without interference from an oppressive government. The road was rocky, but eventually, boundaries were laid, states were formed, independence was won and a Constitution was adopted.
Fast forward 200+ years. Travel about 1,500 miles to the west, into MN. Here we find a family in crisis. A family facing the ultimate tragedy, with no easy answers.
Daniel Hauser, discussed here on May 12, is a 13 year old boy from Sleepy Eye, MN. He has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a treatable form of cancer. With chemotherapy, he has about a 90% chance of survival. Without chemo, the chances of survival drop to well below 50%. Some doctors put his survival chances – without medical intervention – at 10% or less. That means that, without treatment, he is likely to die.
Seems like an easy answer, right? Get the chemo.
Nope. After a single chemo treatment, during which he also had to have a chest tube inserted to assist his breathing, Daniel has decided to forgo further treatments. His parents support his decision. As far as I can tell, Daniel has three reasons for his decision: First, it was nasty. It made him sick, gave him headaches and breathing difficulty. Second, his aunt was treated with chemotherapy for a different kind of cancer, and she died anyway. And Third, his religious practice, that of Nemenhah, promotes natural healing – using diet and natural herbs, rather than chemicals – to cure the body’s ailments
Daniel’s parents, Colleen and Anthony, support his decision. The government does not, and has ordered Daniel into chemo.
Yesterday, Daniel and his mother went “into the wind”. They disappeared. Anthony Hauser claims no knowledge of where his family is.
Can you blame him?
Assuming that everyone is operating with all of their faculties intact, that they are completely sane, these are two parents who want to do what’s right by their son and by their beliefs. This decision has placed them directly at odds with an ever more intrusive government.
America was founded on the principal of ‘religious freedom’ – the ability to practice, or not, according to your belief. As long as you’re not pulling a Charles Manson, and slaughtering people in your wake, the government has no say over what you do within your religion.
The medical society has a basic tenet, as well…. “first, do no harm”. Well, what kind of harm are they inflicting on this family? Yes, we would all like to see young Daniel endure chemotherapy, eliminate the cancer, and grow to be a strapping young man.
But he, and his family, have said no. Presumably, they have talked together, prayed together, and made the decision together. Nobody is in shackles, Daniel is not screaming “HELP ME! HELP ME!” while his parents hold him away from the doctors. All are in agreement.
They just happen to disagree with the authorities, who have stepped in with law enforcement and warrants and judge’s decrees.
So Daniel and Colleen are on the run.
And what happens when they finally catch Daniel and Colleen? Daniel will be taken from his parent’s custody “for his own good”, and have a needle stuck in his arm “for his own good”, and have strong chemicals pumped into his blood “for his own good”.
His mother , and possibly his father, will likely face charges of child endangerment, and whatever else can be applied.
And to what end?
What happens if they do find Daniel and force him to take the chemo? Do they provide mental support for him? Because something this traumatic could lead a person – especially a teen – into depression.
What if the chemo doesn’t work, and he dies?
What happened to “first, do no harm”?
New Ulm Journal:
KARE 11 TV News:
This makes me so sad. The government needs to get out of families’ health decisions.
I’ve been told by more than one person that I could be charged with neglect for not having taken my healthy kids for a “well child visit” for over a year. Gimme a break.
Whether this boy is “sick” or not, he needs to be with his family right now, and he needs to be respected as a human being. What is the point of living if you have no say over what happens in your life?
Chemo is a proven killer, and Hodgkins is a proven killer. There is no medical professional and no court official who can really say whether chemo will save or kill this boy. But one thing is certain: if they take him away from his family, they will kill some part of him. Do they really care what happens to him, or are they just trying to scare other parents out of questioning their doctors?
I thought it was interesting on the news last night how the Sherriff’s office said that they are not interested in charging his mother with a crime at this point. They just want Daniel home and getting medical care. Yeah right! As soon as they find them, Daniel’s in foster care (which they said they’d do) and the mother will be in jail charged with something, but what about Dad? He didn’t run, but isn’t he just as “guilty” b/c he didn’t want Daniel to have chemo either? Don’t you think they’ll try and throw that in there?
The government has no business in this. He’s a minor with parents that understand the consequences of their actions. They are his health advocates, not anyone else. No, most of us don’t agree with it, but it’s their decision and they will have to live with whatever the outcome is.
I’m really at a loss for words right now! Do I blame his Mom for taking him and disappearing? H-LL NO! I HOPE I never have to go through something like this. We have no religious background so I can’t comment on that part, I don’t want to judge. What I will say is it should be the parents decision 100%! My heart goes out to that family…I cannot fathom! 😦 Horrible outcome either way now!
The poor kid is going through enough already and now this. It’s a shame!
Thanks for the Links Joy. It’s such a sad story. Cancer is terrible. I’m sure being on the road and all the stress that this situation bring can not be good for the kid. At at time when he should be relaxing and being as stress free as possible. We did see this story on the news. I will read the links and learn more.
This makes me very sad as well SKL and Laura, GREAT job of writing this. Thank you.
I feel so bad for this family. To think they are now on the run with no contact with things that are familiar and dear to them at the worst times of their lives. Now is the time when you need your family and now here they are “fugitives.” It breaks my heart.
The dad is having a hard time too. I believe him when he says he doesn’t know where they went. The pain is to evident on his face. This is on our news every single broadcast on every single channel.
What I would or wouldn’t do isn’t the issue. The issue is what this family wants and we have no right to judge them. If this boy does live, his life won’t be the same now. Does he know enough to make this decision? Who knows but it’s his and his families. NOT OURS nor our governments. Once you open that door a little crack, it never closes and there are to many other “choices” of ours as parents are liable to get through that crack.
I can only imagine what the family must be going through. This is a no win situation, for everyone. People should all have individual rights. Others have a right to their opinion. The law has a right to implement. It is a tough one, I hope to never have to face! Maybe people should “change the law” to be more agreeable for all parties involved.
Where is our freedom of making our own choices for our children. I have known many adults with cancer that have refused chemo and it was okay to do so, why not children.
Our government is getting just a little too powerful wanting to run our families. This is a form of Socialism and we need to fight back.
My heart goes out to that poor family!
Thanks Joy for writing an article on this situation. It really makes us stop and think….what if that was one of us.
This is heartbreaking. What a violation of our constitutional right to choose. I have never accomplished anything with western medicine but my wife and I have resolved ALL of our chronic issues through alternative medicine. And it was a surprise to find out that they were so easily fixed but DR.’s only offered drugs to take forever. Another kid named Abraham Cherrix went though the same thing and he won his court battle. He then went to Mexico and used the Hoxsey Clinic to “cure” is Hodgkins. (He is cancer free now). This same Hoxsey Clinic was chased out of the US by the crooked FDA protecting the drug companies. I just don’t understand how you can take a sick body, inject it with toxic poison, and then expect it to heal? When we go to the DR cuz we’re sick, we expect to feel better. However, when we go for cancer “treatment” we go to the DR. and get treatments that leave us puking, our hair falling out, and damaging our immune system. My aunt recently died from cancer…well…it was the radiation that killed her to be honest but she went down in the books as dying from cancer. A 30 day liquid vegetable diet, ImmPower, and Avemar would do so much more to “cure” it.
Thanks for commenting Paul. It is very sad.
Everyone can support Daniel Hauser on Facebook. I already joined the group.
I just did too Paul. Thanks for the idea.
Govt vs family and Treatment vs Neglect and Science vs Religion…these are big issues and won’t be resolved anytime soon. So let’s table them.
Instead, what was Daniel really running away from? What is he being forced to do?
Did you know that McGill Cancer Centre did 6 chemotherapy trials…
and 58 of the 79 chemo doctors involved with the trials would refuse to be in all the trials because “they were unacceptable due to the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy & its unacceptably high degree of toxicity.”
64 of the 79 chemo doctors involved with the trials would refuse to be in any trial containing Cisplatin – a common chemo drug.
Chemotherapy usually doesn’t cure cancer or extend life, & it really does not improve the quality of life either. Chemo only produces “temporary tumor shrinkage.”
It does do this –
# Nausea and vomiting
# Diarrhea or constipation
# Hair loss
# Memory loss
# Depression of the immune system
, hence (potentially lethal) infections and sepsis
# Weight loss or gain
# Secondary neoplasms
Did you know that one study showed that only 9% of oncologists took chemotherapy when they got cancer? Way to stand behind what your selling. ANd that people who’ve had chemotherapy no longer respond to nutritional or immunologically-based approaches to their cancers. And since chemotherapy doesn’t cure 96% to 98% of all cancers anyway…People who take chemotherapy have sadly lost their chance of finding another sort of cure.
If you knew all of this…wouldn’t you run too?