MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota judge has ruled that a 13-year-old cancer patient whose parents want to treat him with "alternative medicine" must seek conventional medical treatment for their son.
In a 58-page ruling Friday, Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg found that Daniel Hauser has been "medically neglected" and is in need of child protection services.
Rodenberg said Daniel will stay in the custody of his parents, but Colleen and Anthony Hauser have until May 19 to get an updated chest X-ray for their son and select an oncologist
The judge wrote that Daniel has only a "rudimentary understanding at best of the risks and benefits of chemotherapy. ... he does not believe he is ill currently. The fact is that he is very ill currently."
Daniel's court-appointed attorney, Philip Elbert, called the decision unfortunate.
"I feel it's a blow to families," he said. "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."
Elbert said he hadn't spoken to his client yet. The phone line at the Hauser home in Sleepy Eye in southwestern Minnesota had a busy signal Friday. The parents' attorney had no immediate comment but planned to issue a statement.
Daniel was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and stopped chemotherapy in February after a single treatment. He and his parents opted instead for "alternative medicines" based on their religious beliefs.
Child protection workers accused Daniel's parents of medical neglect; but in court, his mother insisted the boy wouldn't submit to chemotherapy for religious reasons and she said she wouldn't comply if the court orders it.
( Doctors have said Daniel's cancer had up to a 90 percent chance of being cured with chemotherapy and radiation. Without those treatments, doctors said his chances of survival are 5 percent.Collapse )
How the heck is a thirteen-year-old an "elder" in anything? And also, oh gawd, there's appropriation in there, too. Hooboy.