Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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."

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In some cases, government actually does make better decisions than the parents, shocking though it may seem.
The young man isn't cured yet and chemo and radiation too often don't work. In this case it's easy to suppose the child was being neglected as the articled particulars indicate, in others it isn't. Lots of terminal patients are tortured both by proceedures and the constantly dwindling hope. Some alternative approaches offer greater dignity in death or better chance of survival.
The danger as I see it would be the removeal of alternatives to toxins and radiation. It's not an easy decision for anyone, I had two close relatives make opposite decisions in the matter of thier respective cancers recently, one went hi tech the other chose Tylenol three they're both dead both had very invasive cancers, the difference being one was consumned with death and the other just kept on living like it wasn't going to happen. The government did the apparently right thing for the kid but I wouldn't want it making that decision for me.
Last edited by darkbeaver; May 15th, 2009 at 10:51 PM..

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