Last week a judge in Minnesota ruled that the family of a boy suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma could not refuse the child's chemotherapy for conflicting with the family's religious beliefs.
I was pleased with the decision because it meant one less child would die from his parents' magical thinking and spiritual beliefs. Last year we were all horrified to hear of poor little Madeline Neumann who died a slow, painful death for her parents religious beliefs. I thought the ruling in the Daniel Hauser case to be a great victory for childrens rights. Every child deserves medical treatment, no child should die of a treatable disease and no child should be denied treatment due to his parents' religious beliefs.
Hauser's mom believes in holistic medicine, herbalism, and planned to treat him with vitamins and herbs instead of proven chemotherapy. The judge's ruling now requires that the boy receive medical care including chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Daniel Hauser's mom is dead set on preventing her child from getting the medical care he needs to survive. Even after a doctor appointment which indicated Daniel is getting worse and his disease has progressed without treatment his mother ran off with Daniel into hiding.
13 year old Daniel's parents had told him that chemotherapy would kill him so I have no doubt he'll do anything to aid his mother in hiding him until it's too late to successfully treat his illness. If this results in the child's death, the family will feel justified and blame his death on the last ditch efforts of medical professionals trying to save a child treated too late.
This poor kid's parents talked him out of life saving treatment by telling him that chemo would kill him. This is not an adult we are talking about who may make an informed decision to die from a treatable illness if they want to, Daniel is a thirteen year old child with a learning disability.
In my opinion, the child's mother, Colleen Hauser, should be tried for kidnapping and attempted murder - or murder if the child dies as a result of delayed treatment - and his father should be charged for accessory to those crimes.
Now police suspect Hauser may be taking Daniel to Mexico to escape medical treatment of his illness.