Thank God: The Boy Who Was Denied Chemotherapy For Religious Reasons (and Ordered into Treatment by a Judge) Is Now Cancer Free

hausers(2)gavel2Many followed the case (here) of Daniel Hauser of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota when his fundamentalist Mom fled with him to avoid chemotherapy for his cancer on religious grounds. Few may be aware of the end of the story. He has completed his last chemotherapy sessions and is now cancer-free — thanks to the judge who overrode his mother’s objections.


At 13-years-old, Daniel now has the potential of a full life ahead of him. I have previously written about the need for courts to reject such “good-faith defenses” to the denial of life-sustaining medical care for minors, here.

In February, the family fled with Daniel as a Hodgkins lymphoma tumor grew within his chest.

His mother said “It’s really nice that he’s done. We’re happy, that’s for sure.”

For the full story, click here and here

21 thoughts on “Thank God: The Boy Who Was Denied Chemotherapy For Religious Reasons (and Ordered into Treatment by a Judge) Is Now Cancer Free”

  1. Isis,
    I’m an Institute Trained Gestalt Psychotherapist. The woman who headed up my Institute had what was diagnosed as incurable/fatal stomach cancer. Her husband was a famous Doctor in NY and you can be sure she had the best in oncology treatment, but the prognosis was grim. Besides regular medical palliatives she did one solid month of creative imaging, led by her co-workers and students in shifts. She imagined the cancer cells being destroyed by her body. She is alive and active today and has had no recurrence of the cancer.

    I fully believe in creative imaging, nutritional sanity and in other alternative medicines and have used it to deal with my own severe medical problems. I do believe that Medical Science is sometimes blind to alternatives. That being said I regularly see my physicians, follow their treatment regimens and go to a hospital when situations become critical. So far they have kept me alive, perhaps with an assist from my alternative sources. I
    consider myself a pretty smart man and I’ve found that the trick is to find pretty smart Doctors with open minds to treat you.
    In this case a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma tumor is a very treatable problem and the parents were making the wrong bet with their child’s life at stake.

  2. Do they have chemo for fundamentalism too?

    The whole family could probably use a lobotomy, that is, if they have any brain samples to take…

  3. Isis

    When opinion has facts and reality on its side it carries more weight than anecdotes and wishful thinking. Reproducible effects and methods and a history of consistency in efficacy favour medicine. The non-medical examples I highlighted have non of these to support them.
    You certainly have the right to an opinion, but you don’t have the right to equate wishful thinking with concrete evidence.

  4. Mespo,

    How’s this: Science (which includes modern medicine) isn’t a pool of knowledge, it’s a way of filtering what ideas match up with reality and which don’t. If an idea matches up consistently with reality it becomes scientific theory, if it doesn’t it either gets amended or discarded.

  5. If a child is under the age of majority in a case such as this, the states’ interests probably overrule the parents’, if a judge weighs the professional opinions of at least 2 independent M.D. oncologists who agree that treatment will save a child’s life and if within a narrow confidence interval of the likelihood of success.

    If I were the judge, I would also consider the practical aspects of long-term care this child might have needed if he lapsed into a coma without receiving treatment, thereby leaving the state burdened with the care his parents could never afford.

    Generally, I oppose the state intruding into private matters. If the person is an adult—at or above the age of majority—then the state should not have the power to intervene in medical decisions, unless that person in under the care of a state-owned medical institution and is a ward of the state.

  6. I stand in to state that all medicine is a practice. Both of my parents were in the medical profession. I have no practical experience other than listening to other medical professional speak of science and the practice of medicine based upon statistical probabilities and it was not an exact art and that you hoped and prayed a lot for your patience’s.

    If the above is true, then every aspect of medicine is a practice on the person and who is to say that all aspects of medicine applies to each and every person. And if Holistic medicine is based upon natural remedies and sciences then why cannot that be perfected as well.

    When I was a child I grew up in the medical center in Houston. The Hospital that my mother worked for included an allowance for living expenses. The Hotel that we lived at in the medical center also put up children that were being treated for cancer. It used to be the customary practice to shave the head and to mark the parts with purple ink that was to be radiated. I think that they have now stopped that aspect of it.

    The point that I am making is it keeps evolving and who is to say what us right and what is wrong as it continues to change….

  7. Isis:

    There are opinions and there are foolish notions. Opinions, like people, are not created equal, and while your experience might be fruitful, the vast majority of cancer patients trying these complimentary and alternative treatments suffer the same diminished life expectancy as those following conventional methods of fighting the disease. Many CAM treatments have been evaluated and the results show they offer merely hope in lieu of effectiveness.

    http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/cgi/content/full/54/2/110

  8. I agree with mespo. The Hausers are hardly heroes. Instead, they are part of the current wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual naysayers that frankly are a menace to public health in this country. There’s a reason that most states will no longer license homeopaths, naturopaths and other practitioners of America’s own version of witch doctors. What they do doesn’t work. None of the medical “informercials” that routinely run on late night cable are sponsored by clinics, research facilities or non-profit agencies. They are run to hustle dollars from people who are afraid to have their children vaccinated against smallpox and measles, but who will shell out big bucks to hucksters promising good health with no effort and no side effects. If any of this stuff actually worked, the medical establishment would have already signed licensing agreements.

  9. Harebell:

    Just remember this is only your opinion. I have been involved in alternative treatments for cancer for many years so I also can have an opinion. It is our right to differ and there are many ways to cure cancer– not just chemo and radiation.

    Isis

  10. Isis:
    “And Yes thank you to the Doctors who are simply doing what they are taught to do. Thank you docs for doing what you thought was best). However it is time for them (the doctors who are practicing on patients) to expand their knowledge of what is available to their patients so that they may honor their patients (or parents of the childs) choices as options that are good ONES… (even if they don’t like them or agree with them”

    ************

    The reason so-called “alternate medicine” is just that is because it cannot stand up to scientific scrutiny for replication of results. That it works in an idiosyncratic way tells us nothing at all, the least of which is causative connection between the treatment and the “cure.” I really need Patty C here, but the bottom line is that physicians are trying to expand their knowledge and patient options all the time. It is the purveyors of alternate medicine who are the hindrance diverting dollars and effort away from the best method we know to cure people-the scientific method.

    The Huasers heroes? Only if courage is defined as levying a death sentence on your child’s head due to belief in magic, superstition, and other religious foolishness.

  11. Isis
    The Hausers are entitled to their own opinions, they however are not entitled to their own facts.
    As soon as you qualified medicine with the word allopathic you showed a desire for your own facts. If a treatment works and is shown to work it becomes accepted by the medical community and is termed medicine. If it is shown not to help patients it is discarded. There is medicine and non-medicine.
    Praying does not cure cancer. Drinking unbelievably dilute vials of remedies that have been tapped in a certain manner doesn’t cure cancer; they are not medicine. Chemo and surgery has been shown to cure cancer; this is medicine.

  12. You do not capture the the full picture here.. siding and honoring only with the Conventional “medical” allopathic way as the Heroic ONE… In my opinion after following the court case, the documents and the news there is much more to this story.

    From what I gather the Hausers are well educated on alternative treatments and absolutely implemented not only diet (which is KEY to restoring health) but so many other alternative/integrative modalities to keep Danny’s body health strong through the toxic treatments of chemo/radiation that he was forced to undergo. IMAGINE WHAT IF There are other ways to HEAL (which there are)…. and so many Cancer patients have already done so through alternate means and survived with out suffering the complications and long term side effects of chemo/radiation. These patients have refused the recommendations of oncologists for “chemo and radiation and sought out other treatments. Other countries are so far ahead of us in implementing much less evasive Cancer treatments and having enormous success. (but hey there is not much money in staying healthy or less expensive treatments) Jleman says it well in her posting.. (follow the money) By the way we are not winning the War on Cancer more people die of cancer (or the treatment of chemo/radiation or secondary cancers) every year in the US (something clearly is not right with the picture) .. I urge you to check it out..

    So delighted to hear that Danny is well and healthy but my bet is that he is doing so well not to be credited (only)to the chemo and radiation but rather because of all the integrative/supportive/natural modalities that his caring Mother, Colleen has incorporated into Danny’s plan to restore health.

    And Yes thank you to the Doctors who are simply doing what they are taught to do. Thank you docs for doing what you thought was best). However it is time for them (the doctors who are practicing on patients) to expand their knowledge of what is available to their patients so that they may honor their patients (or parents of the childs) choices as options that are good ONES… (even if they don’t like them or agree with them)

    This is a polarized issue and my point is we should have HEALTH FREEDOM (and CHOICE) in this Country but it seems as though Big PHARMA is so powerful and has so much $$$$$ to lose that it will just have to take some time for people (docs) to WAKE UP and become AWARE that their are BETTER ways to restore our body to HEALTH which honor and support the body Temple (in healthy non-evasive ways) and not destroy (poison) it– even in cases of cancer.

    One final request please stop putting down the Hausers they too are “HEROES” in the eyes of many who see them as standing for what they believed to be True.. which often requires challenging the system…. I would say the TRUE American Way of Being. By the way it seems as though you missed the point with your comment that the Hausers do not trust the doctors/children services — The Hausers are entitled to their opinion and they simply have a different different perspective.

    ISIS

  13. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can’t for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.”

    Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac

  14. M…k!,

    Maybe. Yes. Yes.

    There are plenty of intelligent people with crazy beliefs. I bet you’ve got at least one yourself (one of mine is that Shakespeare was a nom de plume for a certain Earl of Oxford, seriously).

    There are plenty of stupid people with crazy beliefs. Folks is folks, we’re all wired more or less the same way. We’re wired that way because in a majority of situations, it’s useful. Sometimes, it’s not.

    I don’t excuse people who abuse their children like those parents, but I do empathize; we share the same weaknesses.

  15. Anon Mine.

    By powers that work I am assuming you mean the law.

    It really does beat me what goes on in these peoples minds. Are they really that stupid? Are they really tha gullible? Are they really that indoctrinated?

    Whatever does go on in their minds certainly isn’t rational thought, that’s for sure.

    I’m not knocking faith – it gives a lot of good people comfort during hard times. But this is about as rational as the recent piece on African Albino kids being killed for making magic potions. I can handle it an off the beaten track African community where much of technology and scientific education is pretty recent, but in the USA?!

  16. “Thank God:”
    ________________________________

    What’s God got to do with it

    (Sorry T.Turner)

  17. I guess it proves that some powers out there are at work. If it was not meant to it would not have worked. Case in point….

  18. This is wonderful news. It’s frustrating that some people — like this boy’s parents — live in a fantasy land, and you have to wonder when they’ll snap out of it. Thankfully this story ended well, though.

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