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Judge Overrules Parents’ Alternative Treatment For Cancer Teen

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, May 15, 2009 12:43 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Cancer, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Nemenhah Band, National Cancer Institute, Radiation, Chemotherapy, Freedom of Religion

Parents cannot chose their alternative treatment for their son's cancer a judge rules.

Hodgkin's Lymphoma 



IMAGE SOURCE: Daniel Hauser from MSNBC Web site


The parents of a 13-year-old cancer patient want him treated with alternative medicine as prescribed by their religion. But a Minnesota judge has ruled they don’t have that right and that the parents must seek conventional treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Daniel Hauser has been “medically neglected” says Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg

He gave the parents, Colleen and Anthony Hauser until May 19 to select an oncologist to treat his Hodgkin’s lymphoma, (nodular sclerosing, stage IIB), a cancer of the immune system.

The Hausers live in a rural town, Sleepy Eye, in southwestern Minnesota and following the alternative treatments favored by the Nemenhah Band, which is advocated by some Native Americans groups.  The treatments incorporate acupuncture points, use of botanicals, and kinesiology.

Treatments would include a sweat lodge, diet choices, and natural remedies.  The Hausers are also Catholics and see no conflict in following a set of two different religious belief.      

Nemenhah was founded in 1990 by a man who spent four months in prison for fraud related to natural medicine, reports MSNBC. 

Without conventional treatment, Daniel’s chances for survival are five percent. With chemotherapy and radiation his chance of a cure rises to 90 percent, doctors say in court documents.   

Daniel himself will not submit to chemotherapy for religious reasons, his mother says.  The teen is one of eight children and court filings say he has a learning disability, is unable to read, and is in the fifth grade.

The judge has ruled that Daniel “lacks the ability to give informed consent to medical procedures.”

Daniel’s parents argue they have a constitutional right to the freedom of religion and their beliefs, but the judge writes that those freedoms “can be overcome only upon a showing of a compelling state interest.”

Daniel’s court-appointed attorney, Philip Elbert, called the decision unfortunate.

“I feel it’s a blow to families,” he said to MSNBC.  “It marginalizes the decisions that parents face every day in regard to their children’s medical care. It really affirms the role that big government is better at making our decisions for us.”

Daniel reportedly began chemotherapy but stopped. Dr. Bruce Bostrom says the tumor shrank with the first treatment but has since grown.  Altogether the family has seen five specialists who all recommend radiation and chemotherapy.

Judge Rodenberg says in his 58-page ruling that Daniel does not understand the risks and benefits of chemotherapy and does not believe he is ill.  #


Anonymous User
Posted by d
Friday, May 15, 2009 11:58 PM EST

Government needs to stay out of religion.Govenment is the problem in America

Anonymous User
Posted by Bart Murray
Sunday, May 17, 2009 8:14 AM EST

The constitution put the separation of church and state in there for a reason!!!

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, May 18, 2009 3:07 PM EST


Please read the child's testimony. It might shed some light on his ability to make a decision for himself, as his parents claim he is doing.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 4:02 PM EST

Anthony Hauser showed up to court alone today. His wife and son did not appear.

The judge has issued a warrant for her arrest and is also ordering Daniel be placed in protective custody... The full story is here: LINK

Comments for this article are closed.

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